The University of Utah College of Engineering and the United States Air Force are proud to announce a new educational partnership that will create valuable student learning opportunities and research projects that can advance technologies from wireless communications and cybersecurity to robotics and composites.
A signing ceremony to celebrate the agreement was held on Friday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. in the Catmull Gallery in the Warnock Engineering Building on the University of Utah campus. The Air Force Honor Guard for Air Force Reserve Officer Training presented colors at the beginning of the ceremony, and representatives from Hill Air Force Base, the Air Force Materiel Command base located south of Ogden, were present, including Brigadier General Richard Gibbs and Director of Engineering and Technical Management Thomas A. Lockhart Jr. University of Utah Vice President for Research Erin Rothwell and Dean of the U College of Engineering Richard B. Brown also participated.
This educational partnership allows university faculty and students to work more closely with Air Force researchers on a wide variety of topics that can include data analysis, machine learning for material detection, prosthetics, nuclear engineering, additive manufacturing, and more. Air Force personnel will also work with the U on developing new educational programs and make laboratory personnel available to teach courses.
Meanwhile, university researchers will gain access to resources not otherwise available from the Air Force such as state-of-the-art equipment, facilities and expert knowledge. The agreement also provides opportunities for Air Force personnel to pursue certificates and master’s degrees through online programs offered by the U, such as an online master of science in electrical and computer engineering.
“The U has faculty with expertise in areas of great interest to the Air Force. This educational partnership will help our faculty researchers and the Air Force get to know each other better, leading to more collaborative research,” Brown said. “We also want their people to be more involved with our students. The partnership will be mutually beneficial.”
“In addition to deepening our relationship with the United States through mentoring, internships and cooperation on defense laboratory projects, this is an excellent opportunity for the Air Force to find ways to change our operations to better and more effectively maintain our weapons. systems and components that support national defense,” said Gibbs .
Already, many University of Utah faculty have conducted or are conducting research supported by the US Air Force, such as projects to help clean up space debris orbiting Earth and research on using machine learning and multi-scale modeling for aircraft materials.
The agreement, which was officially launched this summer, is set to last for five years.