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IISc identifies nine projects with Boeing

Staff Reporter

Over 30 faculty members involved

BANGALORE: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have identified nine projects in which they will work with Boeing to build next generation flights.

To build these new flights, the IISc faculty has proposed the use of smart structures, application of lightweight materialssuch as nano materials, alloys and their composites. The designs will be tested in a virtual environment that is being developed at IISc.

Over 30 faculty members from various departments including aerospace, metallurgy, centre for product design and manufacturing and civil engineering are involved in the project.

The areas of focus include developing flaps for the aircraft that are fitted with smart sensors so that they can direct wind currents better, use of aluminium alloys in high temperature areas as well as in landing gear boxes, said S. Mohan, executive chief of the Society for Innovation and Development (SID), which is the commercial arm of the institute.

The proposals have been submitted to IISc's expert committee, which is headed by Director P. Balram. All the proposals will be screened for their feasibility and innovation quotient within the next month, he said.

Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding with the IISc and SID earlier this year. IISc is the only Asian institution that Boeing has tied up with for research and transfer of technology. Boeing's other partners include Carnegie Mellon, Stanford Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and University of Cambridge.

The aerospace major has agreed to invest $ 50,00,000 in research every year for the next five years. So far, Boeing has already given IISC $ 2,50,000. "They have agreed to give us funds that we need for the projects," Prof. Mohan said.

The chief executive of SID said that IISc is careful to accept only projects that involve innovative research. He said SID has turned down about $ 20 million in projects as they lacked research content. "Even then, the demand from companies is so great that we cannot cope," he said.

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