Local Corporation to Share Secrets

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AKRON, Ohio -- The Canton-based Timken Corporation's research laboratory has literally been moved from the Timken research facilities in North Canton onto the campus of The University of Akron where the company will be sharing some of its corporate secrets.

Through an innovative move, Timken and the University have partnered to give students access to their research in friction and wear that has, before now, all been done in-house.

The hope is that the research for Timken will advance faster, but at the same time the research will be able to benefit companies in unrelated industries.

"We are taking core technologies of Timken and putting them in the university so the university can work with other companies that are pursuing similar technical issues," said Timken President and CEO James Griffith.

In conducting its own research over the years, Timken has made discoveries that could have useful application in products they do not make.

"Some of the demands that are on artificial joints and prosthesis, things like that, these are things that the technologies that we are developing at Timken have," said Dr. Gary Doll.

Doll worked for Timken for years, but will now be directing the new center at The University of Akron through an endowment from his old employer.

He says the agreement with the University is that the research developed at the new TESL laboratory is not to be shared with competitors, but he embraces the chance to conduct research that can have far-reaching applications.

"We can look at engine components, we can do biomedical components," said Doll.

"We can do aerospace components, for corrosion we can look at things like energy producing, like nuclear fuel rods and the rebar in bridges and we are fortunate to be located here close to some of the best people in the world in corrosion and the biomedical engineer, and the Center for Advanced Vehicles and Energy Systems and the Wright Center for Sensors, this is a confluence of all of the kinds of critical technologies that are needed today," added Doll.

Doll says friction and wear is about a "trillion-dollar-a-year problem in the United States."

Dr. Luis Proenza, president of The University of Akron, envisions a center that can not only impact the region economically, but have a global impact as well.

"It's just a fantastic way for the two to interact and understand how the science that is emerging can affect the applications that are so badly needed in our economy," said Proenza.