GE Aviation will collaborate on a $36 million project to create a research and testing center to advance the technology of gas turbine engines used for jet aircraft, power generation plants, and the oil and gas industry. Partners include the University of Notre Dame and four other public entities.

GE said it has committed $13.5 million over the next five years to fund research at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility in South Bend, Indiana. The GE industrial operations to be involved in gas turbine research and testing at the new center are Aviation, Power & Water, Oil & Gas, and Global Research.

Construction on the 25,000-sq.-ft. center—to be located at South Bend’s Ignition Park—will begin this summer, with completion slated for March 2015.  The university-staffed center, which features five new test bays for compressor and turbine rig testing, is expected to be fully operational in July 2016.

“The center will allow GE’s industrial businesses to simulate full-scale engine operating environments,” GE’s Power & Water VP and chief technologist Rick Stanley said.  

Notre Dame will contribute $7.5 million to the project. Other contributors include: the city of South Bend (with matching funds exceeding $4.4 million), the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (which provides $2.6 million for training and an Industrial Development grant); Great Lakes Capital (which is providing approximately $6 million to construct the facility); and AEP, which will build a substation, valued at $2 million, to provide the considerable power needed to operate the facility’s multiple test cells.