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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Innovation 2013 – Aerospace Edition

WSU Leads FAA Center in Alternative Jet Fuels

From the WSU News Service

Fostering a new industry with jobs focused on developing alternative jet fuels and helping to meet the emerging environmental needs of the nation’s aerospace industry are primary goals for a new Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment led by Washington State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


…Washington state has always been on the cutting edge of new technology that makes American planes better, safer, and more efficient…


FAA officials announced WSU’s successful bid for the center in September following a months-long competitive process that drew proposals from around the country. Co-led by WSU and MIT, the center also includes an additional 14 university partners and more than 50 industry and national laboratory partners throughout the United States. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory also is a partner in the center.

“This innovative partnership supports President Obama’s national plan to address climate change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Center of Excellence will tap talented universities to help us take environmentally friendly, alternative jet fuel technology to the next level. Airlines and their customers will both benefit from their work developing cleaner fuel that supports the environment and continued aviation growth.”

The designation means up to $40 million in new funding over the next 10 years.

“This landmark investment will help the jet biofuels industry take flight,” said U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell. “From farms to airports, green jet fuel means jobs for Americans. This investment impacts every sector of the American economy. It secures and grows our aviation competitiveness by controlling the costs of jet fuel, protects our environment by reducing carbon emissions, and keeps our nation safer by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. And this investment will support aerospace jobs. More than 10 million Americans work in our aviation economy, and this center will provide the innovation needed to support jobs and keep America ahead in the global aviation economy.”

“Washington state is poised to lead the nation in tackling this critical scientific challenge,” Cantwell continued. “Biofuel research brings together Washington State’s leaders in aviation, innovation and agriculture. This Center will propel Washington State’s innovation economy to the forefront of the emerging biofuels industry.”

Sen. Patty Murray agreed.

“As the longtime home of our nation’s aerospace industry, Washington state has always been on the cutting edge of new technology that makes American planes better, safer, and more efficient, and I’m thrilled Washington State University will continue that proud tradition as home for the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for alternate jet fuels and the environment,” said Sen. Murray. “Developing new alternative jet fuels is crucial for the airline industry, our military, and our environment, and the FAA made the right decision to base this important research where it belongs, in Washington State.”

WSU President Elson S. Floyd said “competing for and winning the Center of Excellence designation reaffirms the State of Washington and Washington State University as international leaders in aviation and the development of alternative jet fuels. We, along with our university and industry partners, stand ready to deliver the new science, advanced technology and educated workforce the industry will need to be globally competitive. I especially want to thank Sens. Cantwell and Murray, and our entire Congressional delegation for their support of our proposal for the center designation.

Ralph Cavalieri, associate vice president for alternative energy at WSU, will serve as director for the Center of Excellence, which will have its headquarters at WSU Tri-Cities.

“Leveraging the knowledge, expertise and research capabilities of some of the best scientists in the country will speed our progress toward solutions for both the economic and environmental challenges the national aviation industry faces,” Cavalieri said.

More information about the center and a complete roster of partners.