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Purdue Breaks Ground On Energy-Efficient Materials Research Facility

Erica Gibson

A new Purdue research facility aims to improve manufacturing of lighter-weight and more energy-efficient cars, airplanes, and wind turbines.

Officials broke ground on the Indiana Manufacturing Institute Tuesday in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette.

Engineering professor Byron Pipes points to the Boeing 787 commercial airplane as an example of what the technology is used for.

“They give you a much lighter weight, stronger material than our conventional steel or aluminum," says Pipes. "So we plan to take the weight out of products while giving them strength.”

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith says the Institute will support the state’s efforts to provide high-tech jobs for Hoosiers while developing products and manufacturing processes that have a global impact.

“With a state that’s so concentrated in manufacturing, if we’re not on the leading edge of these types of technologies we’re going to wake up someday and wonder what happened,” Smith says.

The institute will occupy about 30,000 square-feet of the new building.

The remaining 32,000 square-feet will be occupied by other industries that wish to collaborate with Purdue researchers.

The facility is slated to open in mid-2016.

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