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In July 2009, FieldTurf & Penn State joined forces to mark a historic industry-first relating to sports surface safety and development – the creation of Penn State's Sports Surface Research Center (SSRC). Today, the SSRC is the longest standing University based research center in America and is regarded as one of the foremost experts in the field of agricultural sciences and has developed a strong reputation for their efforts in synthetic turf research.

Since its inauguration the Sports Surface Research Center has conducted groundbreaking research and published over 15 reports, including:

  • Monitoring various surface characteristics of different synthetic turfs over time.
  • Extensive Synthetic Turf Fiber Wear Testing
  • Synthetic Turf Heat Evaluation
  • Temperature Amelioration of Synthetic Turf Surfaces Through Irrigation
  • Survival of Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) on Synthetic Turf
  • Survey of Microbial Populations in Infilled Synthetic Turf Fields
  • Evaluation of the playing surface hardness of an infilled synthetic turf system
  • Published reports on player injuries

The SSRC is an intercollegiate program managed within the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, headed by Andrew McNitt, who is regarded as a pioneer in the world of sports surface research. For years, he has been conducting research relating to athletic field surface characterization and golf green construction and maintenance. He has been honored nationally by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation, the Crop Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Sports Turf Managers Association. McNitt also currently serves as the technical advisor to the NFL Groundskeepers Association.

A significant number of professional sports and collegiate groundskeepers are products of Penn State's prestigious turfgrass science department, which is considered one of the nation's finest. In addition to becoming the industry's main authority on sports surface research and safety, the center has elaborate resource in field construction and maintenance, facts and research, equipment and cost analysis, field dimensions and layout.

The website for the center is located Here.