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The Center for Tire Research (CenTiRe) will focus on supporting a research program in tire materials, modeling, manufacturing, and testing combined with rubber material prototyping and testing, and parallel computing and dynamic simulation capabilities. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT) and the University of Akron (UA) are collaborating to establish the proposed center, with VT as the lead institution.
The primary goals of the proposed center are to initiate formal partnerships with various industry partners and national laboratories that have an interest in tire technologies, and to discuss fundamental issues and topics for research. The Center will fulfill the needs of the tire manufacturing companies by providing innovative solutions in all four research thrust areas of materials, modeling, manufacturing, and testing. The vehicle manufacturing companies are more interested in the application of tire in their products. The Center is built upon the knowledge and expertise of multi-disciplinary researchers in Mechanical, Polymer, and Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech (VT) and the University of Akron (UA). CenTiRe intends to provide the industry with highly trained undergraduate and graduate students who will contribute to this growing industry.
If successful, the proposed Center has the potential to improve sustainability and profitability of US tire manufacturing industry by developing new technologies that will reduce energy consumption, pollution and increase driving safety. The Center plans to graduate a new generation of specialists in tire engineering providing the industry with access to potential employees. The members and the organizational structure of the CenTiRe will promote precompetitive research that will allow the members to rapidly and cost-effectively bring new products to market. Finally, the Center will become a conduit for the professional training and education of not just graduate students from underrepresented and women engineering groups, but also representatives from industry through its outreach programs.