It was 1956 – seven years after the University of Dayton secured its first research contract (translating aircraft flight-loads data for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) – and UD had some 20 projects underway. John Westerheide, who had been hired to lead the University’s first full-time researchers on a classified project, predicted that an organized research environment would be the only way to coordinate quickly growing efforts and position UD to compete with other universities and research organizations. Taking pen to paper, Westerheide crafted a seven-page proposal for the “establishment of a centralized research organization at the University of Dayton.” On Sept. 1, 1956, UDRI was born.
UDRI celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016. The Research Institute has become a globally recognized leader in research, development and transition of technologies that have not only advanced science, but benefited mankind. UDRI has excelled in advanced materials, engineering, aerospace technologies, structural physics, energy, sensors and much more, growing from $1 million in research revenue in its first year to more than $100 million in 2016 – and topping $2 billion in cumulative sponsored research the same year. To learn more about the positive impact UDRI has had in Dayton and around the world, read the news release.