Just in time for the holidays, Honda Research and Development Americas has given Ohio State University a $5 million dollar gift to go towards the school’s engineering program. The contribution will be used to launch a virtual simulation and product modeling center.
Scott Osborne, Director of Research Operations at the College of Engineering, said that the college is currently remodeling in Smith Lab in order to support the new center, which will be known as the Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center (SIMCenter).
Ahmet Selamet, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Chair, said that the main goal of the research and testing that will take place is to develop and apply leading-edge simulation tools. Some in particular could go towards testing lightweight materials for vehicles.
“(In) the automotive industry, we look to lightweight vehicles more and more,” said Allen Sheldon, Principal Engineer of the SIMCenter.
The SIMCenter at the school will help with “predictive simulations for an automotive crash, for durability of the vehicle structure with some of these newer materials,” he said. Sheldon also added that the money would help both students and faculty to develop advanced simulation systems.
“The purpose is to essentially promote research in a virtual engineering space,” Sheldon said. “We want to be able to eventually create very advanced simulation tools that combine models of our vehicles with all the physical characteristics and control systems, so it can interact with the driver and the environment.”
Aside from the Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center, the money gifted from Honda R&D Americas will also be used to fund other projects over the next five years. Osborne said that proposals can be submitted and will be selected based on their focus.
These areas of focus have been divided into five main cores, which include, “solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, multiphysics, optimization and automation and digital manufacturing,” Sheldon said.
In addition to their gift, Honda R&D Americas also plans on supporting co-op students in the SIMCenter. The students will be employed by Honda R&D Americas but will remain on campus to work.