Notre Dame’s New Niche

    What began as a university program focused on aerospace technology has expanded into a world-class research facility targeting a wide range of applications that involve turbomachinery technology. Part of the University of Notre Dame, the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory (NDTL) is focused on turbomachinery research, testing, and workforce development.

    In June 2016, NDTL celebrated the grand opening of its new US$36 million research and testing laboratory at Ignition Park in South Bend, Indiana, USA. Since then, NDTL has operated a 3-stage, 5-MW turbine test in cooperation with General Electric’s Power division. NDTL also signed a 19-month agreement with Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. to conduct compressor research and testing to support the development of a 300-MW gas turbine (See March 2017 Gas Compression Magazine, p. 32). This work will include the construction of a new 10-MW compressor test cell as NDTL continues to expand its capabilities in turbomachinery research and testing.

    “About three years ago we started making plans to move to the 10-MW level instead of the sub megawatt level we had been operating in for the past 15 years,” said Joshua Cameron, director of NDTL and faculty member of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. “We also decided to diversify. We had been heavily focused on aerospace. We saw the opportunity to expand into power generation, oil and gas, and different industrial applications that came to the table as part of our expansion plan.”

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    Notre Dame’s New Niche