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The University of Massachusetts at Lowell has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) on a new wind energy research and training center that will help foster long-term collaborations among the wind industry, academia and government.

According to UMass, the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Wind Energy, Science, Technology and Research (WindSTAR) will train undergraduate and graduate students who will support and eventually spearhead the design, manufacture, and operations and maintenance of wind energy systems.

The center will also provide a forum in which turbine manufacturers, component and equipment suppliers, service companies and project developers can work collaboratively.

WindSTAR’s research efforts will be led by UMass Lowell’s Center for Wind Energy (formerly the Wind Energy Research Group), in partnership with the University of Texas at Dallas. Other collaborators include Iowa State University, Southern Maine Community College, the Maine Wind Industry Initiative and the KidWind Project, notes UMass.

"With this award from the NSF, UMass Lowell has become the definitive leader for wind energy research here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has established a national reputation for excellence in the field of wind power," explains Christopher Niezrecki, professor in the department of mechanical engineering and WindSTAR principal investigator. "Between contributions from NSF, the university and industry members, the investment into this one-of-a-kind national center will be more than $620,000 in the first year."

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