Boeing and Notre Dame enter into research agreement

by William G. Gilroy


The Boeing Company and the University of Notre Dame recently entered into a Master Sponsored Research Agreement whereby Boeing will fund research projects at the University with a near-term focus on technology translation.

The agreement, the first of its kind under Boeing’s recently implemented enterprise-wide research strategy, distinguishes Notre Dame as a premier provider of applied research in aero-optics and flow control. Boeing will collaborate with Notre Dame faculty and research engineers in these disciplines which have application to current and future Boeing products.

“Notre Dame’s Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department has been one of the premier programs in aero-optics and plasma flow control,” said Bill Bower, senior technical fellow at Boeing. “Boeing Research & Technology has worked with Notre Dame since 2002 in applying flow control to aero-optics under a number of Air Force contracts, and Integrated Defense Systems is currently collaborating with them in flow control applications.”

The agreement provides a framework by which Boeing and Notre Dame will collaborate on research of interest to both organizations. Boeing will identify which research projects have the potential to translate to performance improvements of Boeing products and will work jointly with Notre Dame faculty and research engineers in the execution of the research.

Robert Bernhard, Notre Dame’s vice president for research acknowledged the importance of the agreement, saying, “We have a long-term, very successful relationship with Boeing and believe the execution of this master agreement will provide additional opportunities for our faculty and graduate students to work in close collaboration with one of the truly premier aerospace companies.”

Notre Dame’s aerospace sciences research area encompasses both the theoretical and experimental aspects of aeroacoustics, aero-optics, aerospace systems design, high-lift aerodynamics, low Reynolds-number aerodynamics, low-speed aerodynamics, particle aerodynamics, flow control, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic flows, and vortex dynamics.

The University has a distinguished history in flow visualization dating from the 1930s when Professor Frank N.M. Brown first developed equipment and techniques for accurate smoke visualization in wind tunnels. Contributions to aircraft technology from Notre Dame’s aerospace engineering laboratories long have been recognized for the development of low-turbulence, subsconic, transconic and supersconic smoke-visualization wind tunnels.

Contact: Robert J. Bernhard, vice president of research, 574-631-1862,