Johnson Controls funding more UWM research

Nearly $600,000 to support work on automotive batteries

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Johnson Controls is continuing to increase its partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, more than doubling the value of its current contract for battery research.

The university has a current master agreement with Johnson Controls Battery Group Inc. that runs through the end of June 2020. That agreement was established in 2015 to address  intellectual property and other terms.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

To date, three professors have received three work statements worth nearly $478,000. Two additional work statements will take the contract over $1 million, requiring approval from the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. The board’s business and finance committee approved the work on Thursday.

Work statements provide a specific set of tasks to be performed, deliverables and a schedule for the principal investigator to meet. Statements are often in response to a proposal from a faculty member. Johnson Controls provides 30 percent of the funding when the contract is signed and the remaining 70 percent when the work is completed.

Research for the two new work statements is being led by Deyang Qu, Johnson Controls Endowed Professor in UWM’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

One statement is for $558,429 to investigate electrolyte additives in absorbent glass mat lead-acid batteries over two-and-a-half years.

AGM batteries allow for state-stop functions where an engine shuts off while idling and restarts when the driver accelerates. Johnson Controls is seeking to increase its production capacity for AGM batteries to from 17 million in 2016 to 50 million in 2020.

The other is a four-month project evaluating lead grids manufactured with different techniques and provides $31,700 in funding.

Deyang’s professorship is funded through Johnson Controls’ multi-million support for both UWM and UW-Madison. The company has also provided support for a research laboratory on UWM’s campus.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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