The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

SimCenter Gets Federal Funding

Zach Wamp, Ward Crutchfield, Bob Corker, David Whitfield, Claude Ramsey

Zach Wamp, Ward Crutchfield, Bob Corker, David Whitfield, Claude Ramsey

UTC SimCenter Receives $1.75 Million in Federal Funding; More from City Projects

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga SimCenter and Graduate School of Computational Engineering is set to receive $1.75 million in federal funding to support research and operations. The announcement was made on the UTC campus Thursday by Tennessee 3rd District U.S. Congressman Zach Wamp.

“As we address the concept of a technology corridor, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has arrived,” said Wamp. “The computational engineering program at UTC is the linchpin research program in the efforts to transform Chattanooga into a ‘technopolis.’ The federal research grants follow an agenda, and here in the Tennessee valley, we have found our role in that agenda, and that is computational engineering.”

Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, and Tennessee State Senator Ward Crutchfield also participated in the announcement.

According to Wamp, $750,000 has been allocated for environmental research related to the Bush administration’s Climate Change Initiative. President Bush began the Climate Change Research Initiative to provide guidance to policy makers regarding advanced scientific questions of the global warming trend in Earth's climate.

An additional $1 million will go the SimCenter to purchase equipment necessary to perform advanced physics-based simulations and other operating expenses associated with the center’s activities.

“Congressman Wamp has been talking about the establishment of a technology corridor in the Tennessee Valley for a while. Here at UTC, we wanted to be a significant partner and the SimCenter and the Graduate School of Computational Engineering allows the campus to step up and be a player,” said UTC Chancellor Bill Stacy. “The establishment of the SimCenter has been a combined effort of the University, the city and county governments, the state government leadership, and the federal government through Congressman Wamp’s assistance. We are grateful to all of our partners in this endeavor.”

UTC’s Graduate School of Computational Engineering has recently been formed to fulfill an educational mission of helping to supply future U.S. needs for computational engineering professionals. These professionals must be capable of developing and applying advanced computational simulation and design software to real-world engineering and science applications of vital national importance. The activities of the Computational Engineering education program and SimCenter require computing facilities that are adequate and appropriate for the integrated research and education mission. These activities include the cross-disciplinary interactions among engineering, scientific computing, and mathematics of computation.

The SimCenter at Chattanooga is a multidisciplinary team of teaching and research faculty, research professionals, and students who develop advanced computational simulation and design systems. These systems enable and support designers in the analysis, design and certification of air, land, sea and space systems.

“This means we can accelerate the recruitment of graduate students. Instead of them having to go to M.I.T. or Cal Tech, they can come to UTC,” said Dr. Harry McDonald, holder of the Chair of Excellence in 21st Century Engineering and Chief Research Scientist with the SimCenter.

Read on for another important announcement regarding the UTC SimCenter
On Friday, December 5, Mayor Bob Corker and Congressman Zach Wamp announced $3.5 million in funding for City's Enterprise Center, which includes project funding for the SimCenter.

During a media conference in the lobby of City Hall this morning Mayor Bob Corker joined Congressman Zach Wamp in announcing $3.5 million in federal funding for the City's Enterprise Center. The funds will support two initiatives being pursued by the Enterprise Center, the Connect the Valley initiative and funding that will assist the City in creating a pilot fuel cell project in Chattanooga.

Mayor Corker praised the Congressman for his advocacy on behalf of the community and thanked him for his leadership in helping bring resources to the city that will allow its citizens to take full advantage of their proximity to the premier federal research assets that surround them.

Connect the Valley
During the Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit, Mayor Corker outlined his vision for "Connecting the Valley." The effort is designed to make it easier for the region take advantage of the premier research facilities that are located throughout the Tennessee Valley (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Marshall Space Center, the Red Stone Army Arsenal, Arnold Engineering and the UT Space Institute).

Through Connect the Valley, the City is working to create tools that will help regional businesses transfer the technology being created in the Tennessee Valley Corridor to the private sector so that this becomes the place where that technology enters the market place, resulting in new jobs and a higher standard of living for all citizens.

In October, Mayor Corker announced that the City and UTC had engaged Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to complete a feasibility study on ways Chattanooga could enjoy more market-driven applications from national regional centers.

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell project
One of the specific ways the Connect the Valley initiative will facilitate more technology transfer in the region is by providing support for pre-market testing and field demonstration of new technologies, especially those that address issues of national importance. An immediate focus for the Connect the Valley Initiative will be to facilitate the development of field tests of new fuel cell technologies with West Coast companies. Working with Dr. Harry McDonald of UTC's SimCenter, the City has already developed significant relationships with various companies engaged in this research on the West Coast.

Congressman Wamp announced that he has secured substantial funding which will enable Chattanooga to pursue the development of a partnership with one or more of these companies to conduct the first field tests of new stationary fuel cell technologies in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

This pilot project will create a powerful opportunity for Chattanooga to take a national leadership role in the demonstration and application of the cutting edge technology in fuel cell development that is significant to energy security for the whole country. In addition, Chattanooga will seek manufacturing rights for the products it supports through its pilot tests when these products are eventually commercialized (as soon as 2-4 years), creating great potential for job creation for the community. This pilot project also provides the opportunity for UTC to be the only University involved in this highly visible demonstration project.