For Immediate Release — June 14, 2006

 

Contact:

Sarah Grace Pretzer,

Assistant Vice President for Communications

(585) 245-5516

Sarah.Pretzer@geneseo.edu

SUNY Geneseo captures prestigious NYSTAR award for research into revolutionary new protective materials

GENESEO, N.Y.—The State University of New York at Geneseo has received a $522,800 grant from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) Technology Transfer Incentive Program (TTIP) to facilitate the commercialization of high-technology research on ballistic panels that will improve the ability of the U.S. military to protect its soldiers and equipment. The product, MagmacoreŠ, designed by Armor Dynamics, Inc., of Kingston, N.Y., is a light-weight and highly effective shield that provides a barrier against high-velocity rounds or explosives. It also has the capacity to be applied to innovative applications for urban police forces in disposal of suspicious packages, or for other homeland security responses to potential terrorist threats. The patent, filed by Armor, is likely to revolutionize the armor industry. 

The research at Geneseo will be conducted in conjunction with the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Russell W. Bessette, M.D., Executive Director of NYSTAR, said, "Governor Pataki's support of this important technology transfer incentive program will enable Geneseo to participate in developing new technology to help protect our nation's soldiers and first responders. As a result, Geneseo will play an important role in developing new innovations that will build and strengthen New York's high technology economy."

SUNY Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl said he is gratified that SUNY Geneseo will play an important role in this ground-breaking investigation. "We are delighted to be at the forefront of scientific research that supports technology innovation in New York state," he said. "This kind of pioneering research showcases the extraordinary faculty resources we have here at Geneseo and throughout the State University of New York. The combination of intellectual capability and creative problem-solving that makes this advanced technology possible is one of many ways SUNY contributes to economic development in the state."

Geneseo's cluster computing laboratory, established with funds secured by Congressman Thomas M. Reynolds (R-Clarence), will be instrumental in the research. The "cluster," or distributed system of computers, operates as one machine with a single visual display across a matrix of 16 monitors. Its collective computing power is 16 times that of even a powerful, single computer, and the array allows for highly complex analysis and computation.

Principal Investigator James McLean, assistant professor of physics at SUNY Geneseo, along with his colleagues at Alfred, will facilitate computer simulations as a cost-effective way to test and ultimately market the MagmacoreŠ ballistic panel and other products. McLean will identify and adapt software to produce simulations of ballistics tests and incorporate the results of Alfred's analyses into these models. These simulations will be made possible through the extensive computing power available at SUNY Geneseo's Distributed Systems Laboratory.

Author of "The Sound of Physics," published by the Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, McLean has been involved in numerous research grants, and has published dozens of articles and presentations. He has been a reviewer for the journal Surface Science, and for Brooks/Cole (Thomson), publishers of "Physics for Scientists and Engineers," one of the most widely used textbooks on physics in the nation. McLean will be assisted at Geneseo by Homma Farian, lecturer in computer science, who will direct a team to model the dynamics of simulations using the college's distributed computing system.

According to McLean, MagmacoreŠ's panels are made up of a uniquely shaped polymer core, bonded ceramic spheres, and an outer coating. "In combination, these elements redirect the path of a projectile, and grind away the metal jacket, thereby exposing the lead to heat levels that break up the round," he explained. He added that numerous testing sessions at various proving grounds have demonstrated that, due to its self-healing quality, the panel can withstand multiple strikes in a small area. Both the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the New York State Office of Homeland Security have expressed interest in the product.

"The insight gained by research at both universities will allow low-cost analytical predictions of the effects of variables on the armor's performance characteristics," McLean said. "With the ability to predict performance, Armor will be able to adjust its process to optimize the performance of its products, and successfully manufacture and market a wide variety of specific products using this process."

Dahl added that this research project will enable not only the commercialization of this product, but also the creation of a new New York state industry. "Armor Dynamics anticipates operation of a manufacturing facility that will create between one hundred and four hundred jobs, and have a substantial economic impact across New York," he said.

The work of the project will be taking place simultaneously on both campuses, and it is anticipated that there will be considerable interaction among the investigators. "These interactions will result in a truly productive academic team effort in support of the needs of a New York state industry," said Dahl.

The primary goal of the Technology Transfer Incentive Program is the creation of private sector jobs in New York State.

Other goals of the TTIP include creating other economic impacts in New York State by:

Proposals are expected to enhance the economic activity in New York.

 

 

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