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Dec. 14 , 2004
CONTACT: Ward Mullens

EMU's Coatings Research Institute gets additional federal money to help army, navy protect surfaces

YPSILANTIEastern Michigan University’s Coatings Research Institute (CRI) has re-enlisted with U.S. Army and simultaneously joined forces with the U.S. Navy to help protect their vehicles and ships.

EMU has been awarded a total of $2.1 million in federal grant money to work with both branches of the armed forces to develop coatings, which are more environmentally friendly and will protect America’s tanks, ships and other vehicles.

“Corrosion of military equipment costs the Department of Defense billions of dollars in maintenance and repair each year, and the coatings research and development being performed at Eastern could lead to huge savings for the Army and Navy,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). “Joint projects between the government and universities such as this are an efficient use of taxpayer dollars and lead to high quality products. I’m pleased to support EMU in this effort, which could one day be valuable to the auto industry, as well.”

“The talented faculty, staff and students at EMU’s Coatings Research Institute will make fine use of this investment,” said Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.). “I, along with Senators Levin and Stabenow, made the case that this partnership benefits the Army, the Navy and our constituents – and our colleagues in Washington clearly agreed with our case. I look forward to hearing about the outstanding work going on at the Coatings Research Institute.”

“It’s a very competitive market for defense dollars,” said EMU President Craig Willis. “This demonstrates the quality and commitment of our faculty, staff and students and they should be commended.”

         "This is the third year of federal funding for EMU's Coatings Research Institute (CRI). This brings EMU's three-year federal appropriations total to $8.3 million,” said Juanita Reid, vice president for University Relations.  “Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and Congressman John Dingell have been instrumental in securing federal funds for EMU's research.  We appreciate their continued support."

 “CRI is excited about working on the Army corrosion prevention and control program and the Navy anti-fouling program,” said Ted Provder, director of the Coatings Research Institute. “The grants for these programs expand our capacity and capabilities and provide unique research opportunities for our graduate students. These programs are very important to the Department of Defense with respect to military readiness and potential economic impact as well as being scientifically and technologically challenging."

CRI will receive $1 million to extend its work with the Army to find better coatings for corrosion protection.  CRI will receive an additional $1.1 million to work with the Office of Naval Research to help research anti-fouling coatings that can keep barnacles off the hulls of ships and thus save fuel. When barnacles build up on a ships hull they require the use of additional fuel to move at the same speed, Provder said.

“The Army is very happy with our continuing partnership with EMU's Coatings Research Institute (CRI),” said James Kovanda, associate director, US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC). “The CRI is recognized for its excellent research work and its great access to industrial partners. A large part of the operating costs for Army ground vehicles can be directly traced to corrosion. The work that the CRI is doing is focused on minimizing those costs by developing better, more durable coating systems.”

Provder said both grants would involve the faculty and students in the CRI.

Now that the CRI has gotten off the ground with the army and navy, Provder is looking skyward.

“I guess it could lead to work with the Air Force,” he said with a smile.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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