WindWind

MSU's wind research is focused on making wind power as efficient and affordable as possible. MSU research will help reduce the cost of owning and operating wind turbines, increase turbines' life-cycles, and serve as a model for working with local manufacturers to get wind sites up and running smoothly.

Right now, MSU engineers are studying the strength and durability of wind turbine blades, which can account for up to 30 percent of a wind system's initial cost. Other work focuses on turbine generator and power control systems. MSU-spurred advances in turbine design and materials will help reduce the cost of owning and operating wind turbines.

Other work at MSU has been focused on the manufacturing side of wind power. MSU works with local manufacturers to commercialize its research, making it possible for companies to build turbine components locally. This new manufacturing will produce technical jobs for the state for years to come.

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Researchers

Douglas Cairns
 

Doug Cairns is a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and studies composite materials used in primary structures. This research includes developing materials and manufacturing processes, as well as design, analysis and testing. He is currently working on manufacturing and testing new materials for wind turbine blade structures.

Dr. Cairns can be reached at 406-994-6050 or dcairns@montana.edu.

Website: www.coe.montana.edu/me/faculty/cairns/

Robb Larson
 

Robb Larson is an associate professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. He is the director of the Wind Applications Center.

Prof. Larson can be reached at 406-994-6420 or robb.larson@montana.edu.

Website: http://www.montana.edu/rlarson/