November 11, 2013
The University of Dayton Research Institute recently wished its first endowed Ohio Research Scholar, Dr. Heinz Robota, well as he left the university to join the private sector. His departure allowed UDRI to attract yet another high caliber researcher from out of state who will benefit UDRI, Ohio and the aviation industry, said John Leland, UDRI director and associate vice president for research at the University. Robota, who lead research in alternative fuels at UDRI for four years under funding from the Ohio Research Scholars Program, will be replaced by ORSP endowed researcher Zhenhua Jiang, who specializes in electrical power systems.
Both areas of expertise fit well with the mission of the ORSP’s “Center for Intelligent Propulsion and Advanced Life Management,” a collaborative aviation research effort among the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University and UDRI, Leland said. Each school was awarded a grant to hire scholars to accelerate research in advanced power and propulsion.
Robota left UDRI in July to perform research with Velocys Inc. in Plain City, Ohio, which specializes in the design and development of microchannel reactors for the production of synthetic fuels, chemicals, emulsions and other materials. Jiang joined the Research Institute on Nov. 11 as an endowed researcher in electrical power systems modeling and simulation under continued funding from the ORSP; additional funding will come from a $2-million, three-year contract from GE Aviation. Jiang will initially work in a lab at GE Aviation’s new Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center, which opened in August and is located on the University of Dayton campus .
“While we are disappointed to lose Heinz, who is a gifted researcher, the overwhelming feelings here are those of pride and excitement,” Leland said. “This is a winning scenario for all players involved. It’s an exciting opportunity for Heinz, whose expertise will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of Velocys, a quickly growing Ohio company.
“His departure also provides us the opportunity to acquire another stellar individual,” Leland added. “Dr. Jiang specializes in the modeling and simulation of electrical power systems, mostly in the area of electric utility grids and hybrid electric systems/vehicles. There is a growing demand within the aviation industry for modeling of electrical power systems because commercial and military aircraft are becoming increasingly power intensive. As more flight critical systems go from being hydraulically to electrically driven, aircraft power systems grow in size and complication. Add to this the growth in radar, communications and entertainment systems on aircraft and these systems are being required to perform under highly demanding conditions that were not even possible only a few years ago. ”