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 learning opportunities for students and research projects that can advance technologies from wireless communications and cybersecurity to robotics and composite materials.
A signing ceremony celebrating the agreement was held on Friday, November 18 at 10 a.m. in the Catmull Gallery in the Warnock Engineering Building on the University of Utah campus. The university’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps honor guard presented colors at the beginning of the ceremony, and representatives from Hill Air Force Base, an Air Force Materiel Command base located south of Ogden, were present, including Brig. General Richard Gibbs and Director of Engineering and Technical Management Thomas A. Lockhart Jr. Also in attendance were University of Utah Vice President for Research Erin Rothwell and U College of Engineering Dean Richard B. Brown.
This educational partnership allows university faculty and students to work more closely with Air Force researchers on a wide range of topics that may include data analytics, machine learning for material discovery, prosthetics, nuclear engineering, additive manufacturing and more. Air Force personnel will also work with the U to develop new educational programs and provide laboratory personnel 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 expertise. 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 the Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“The U has faculty with expertise in areas that the Air Force is very interested in. This educational partnership will help our faculty and Air Force researchers get to know each other better, leading to more joint research,” said Brown. “We also want their family to be more involved with our students. The partnership will be mutually beneficial.”
“In addition to deepening our relationship with the U. of U. through mentoring, internships, and collaboration on defense laboratory projects, this is a great opportunity for the Air Force to find ways to transform our operations to sustain our military in a better and more efficient way. systems and components that support national defense,” Gibbs said.
Already, many University of Utah faculty are or are conducting research supported by the United States Air Force, such as projects to help clean up space debris in Earth orbit and research on the use of machine learning and multi-scale modeling of aircraft materials.
The agreement, which was officially launched this summer, is to last five years.