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About Us

An NSF Industry/Univeristy Cooperative Research Center

The Center for Tire Research (CENTIRE) is a multi-university cooperative research center among Virginia Tech (VT) and The University of Akron (Akron). It is part of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program. It is jointly supported by industry and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The CENTIRE combines the modeling, testing, material science and manufacturing expertise of the VT researchers and the expertise of the Akron researchers in the material and polymer sciences. It will function as a complete tire science and engineering center with extreme versatility in developing synthesis and processing systems for tire compounds. It has the capability and goal to develop leading edge polymer composite and nano materials and processes to improve the technical base that is needed by the tire companies to compete successfully in the global marketplace.

The mission of the Center is to create and transfer to Center Members the new technologies and relevant technical base to drive development of competitive technologies in polymer and nano materials for advanced, high performance tires.

The Center conducts a cooperative research program that features a highly leveraged, pooled, research program. The cooperative research program includes the research of approximately 10-15 graduate students, 16 faculty researchers and several research scientists. Large industrial firms provide a minimum of $40,000 per year in research funding for membership in the cooperative program. Small, SBIR-size, firms pay a minimum of $20,000 per year in research funding for membership. Member firms play a major role in recommending and selecting projects for the cooperative program. Members may designate the program/project areas in the cooperative program to be supported by their funds.

An Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) made up of one member from each voting member firm provides oversight. This committee provides feedback on the state of the research projects at each of the semiannual review meetings. It also recommends projects for the cooperative program, provides feedback on project proposals and makes recommendations to the Center Directors for research direction and Center policies.