UK Awarded Sloan Foundation Grant

Contact: Kelley Bozeman or Dan Adkins

 

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“We were impressed by the strategic direction of the Gatton College, the historic partnership between UK and the aluminum industry, and by the remarkable degree of cooperation and support exhibited through the Secat group. We believe this center will make important practical contributions as well as equally important intellectual contributions to academia.”

-- Gail Pesyna,
program director,
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2004) -- Joining other top-echelon universities, the University of Kentucky has been awarded a grant to fund a Sloan Industry Center focusing on research into challenges confronting the aluminum industry.

The UK Sloan Center for a Sustainable Aluminum Industry, to be housed in the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, will enhance the university’s long-standing ties to the industry which already include the UK College of Engineering’s Center for Aluminum Technology, and Secat, Inc., a university-industry partnership devoted to advances in aluminum technology. Providing work for almost 18,000 Kentuckians, the industry is the state’s fifth largest employer.

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. noted the new center joins 23 other Sloan Centers for Industry housed at 15 universities across the country, including MIT, Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“The Sloan Foundation is very selective in the way it awards these centers,” said Todd. I'm pleased that the foundation recognizes both the high quality of UK’s researchers and the state’s national leadership within the aluminum industry.” Todd added that UK’s success resulted from the combined efforts of the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, representatives from the state’s aluminum industry, the University of Louisville (whose faculty will participate in the research), and UK.

Gail Pesyna, program director for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, agreed. “We were impressed by the strategic direction of the Gatton College, the historic partnership between UK and the aluminum industry, and by the remarkable degree of cooperation and support exhibited through the Secat group. We believe this center will make important practical contributions as well as equally important intellectual contributions to academia.”

Pat Franc, president of Arco Aluminum in Louisville and chairman of the board of Secat, Inc., said “We are pleased that the esteemed Sloan Foundation has recognized the unique and robust relationship between the university, government and industry that is embodied within Secat and the innovation and value that aluminum brings to the daily lives of Kentuckians and the surrounding region.”

Paul Jarley, associate dean at the UK Gatton College, who has been named director of the new Sloan Center, said the research will focus on four areas of concern to the aluminum industry: recycling; supply chain management; workforce development and deployment; and sustainability issues including environmental matters.

Jarley and Subodh Das, CEO of Secat, Inc. and executive director of the new center, each stressed that the center’s basic and applied research will be a key component in keeping America’s aluminum industry globally competitive.

“Opportunity is certainly an ongoing goal of my administration, and I am confident the UK Sloan Center for a Sustainable Aluminum Industry will provide a multitude of opportunities in areas such as economic development, environmental issues, and research,” said Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher. “I commend the Sloan Foundation for choosing UK as the site for this new center, and I look forward to the industry growth this new endeavor will no doubt provide for Kentucky.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic organization established in 1934 by Alfred Prichard Sloan, then the chairman of the General Motors Corp. It supports research on such topics as the standard of living, economic performance and education in science and technology.

Under the leadership of D. Sudharshan, dean of the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics since 2003, the college is redefining business education with a soon-to-be launched process MBA and an undergraduate program that nurtures the next generation of business leaders.

For more information, contact Paul Jarley in the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics at (859) 257-7692 or pjarl2@uky.edu or Subodh Das in the UK College of Engineering at (859) 515-8989 ext. 3000 or sdas@secat.net.


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