Tuesday, June 3, 2008
FAJRI celebrates fifth anniversary
U.S. senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., congratulated and thanked the institute for its contributions to the military and to industry.
By Laura Angus, media relations assistant
Oakland University’s Fastening and Joining Research Institute (FAJRI) plays an important role in protecting U.S. Army troops and rejuvenating Michigan’s economy, said speakers during the institute’s 5th anniversary celebration on Monday.
U.S. senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., and speakers from Chrysler, DTE Energy and the U.S Army’s Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center congratulated and thanked the institute for its contributions to the military and to industry.
Levin said he just returned from Afghanistan and he knows how important safety is for the soldiers’ vehicles. He said the work FAJRI does may not get much attention, but it is important to the soldiers and to their families.
“The safety of these men and women has to be first and foremost in our minds,” Levin said.
He also said the institute is important to Michigan’s economy by helping produce quality research and development, which relates to the number of jobs in the state.
“FAJRI helps organizations solve problems,” FAJRI Director Sayed Nassar, professor of engineering.
Nassar listed many successes the institute has had during its five years, including more than 80 articles published in various journals, many graduates from the program and partnerships with NASA, Chrysler, DTE, the U.S. Army and others.
“It has impacted numerous industries in a significant and positive way,” Nassar said.
One example was a collaboration with DTE Energy when a problem with a bolted joint shut down the Fermi nuclear power plant near Monroe for several weeks, costing the company $1 million a day. The institute found a solution to the problem, and within four days the plant was able to be brought back on-line.
He also mentioned work with NASA to create standards for fastener systems that will be included in the upcoming Constellation and Orion space programs.
“We are very engaged with NASA on this project,” Nassar said.
The center is anticipating becoming a National Center of Excellence this summer, Nassar said. This designation would bring funding to the institute from the Army and ensure a sustained level of long-term research collaboration with the army and industry.
“The average person is most likely not aware that mechanical joints are often the weakest link in equipment and machinery,” said Virinder Moudgil, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “FAJRI’s research strengthens that link.”