TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Leaders from the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and the University of Oklahoma announced an Educational Partnership Agreement to cultivate aerospace technology development and to improve and enhance education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
OC-ALC Commander Brig. Gen. Jeffrey R. King and OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia signed the agreement July 14, 2020.
King said this partnership makes sense because both institutions have overlapping circles of interest in cultivating science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
“STEM and the state of Oklahoma are both very important for us with OU being one of the biggest producers of STEM graduates and the ALC, and Tinker at large, being the largest single-site employer for those graduates,” he said. “We believe this partnership will enhance the quality of OU STEM grads by giving them the opportunity to put their studies to use in solving relevant, often time-sensitive, problems that impact national security and combat capability.
“This partnership will also help advance the Air Force’s efforts to sustain aircraft, engines, component parts and software by sharing ideas and infusing into the Complex the innovation and energy that seasoned professors and bright young minds have to offer,” King added.
Last year, the OC-ALC was designated as a national lab, which gave the Complex the opportunity to enter into this Educational Partnership Agreement through its Office of Research. The OC-ALC’s 76th Software Engineering Group will be the first to set up an office of research satellite office, located on the OU campus. The workforce will not only be able to collaborate with professors and have a better recruiting presence, they will also have access to new technologies and commercial internet capabilities not available on base.
The same is true from the university’s perspective.
Díaz de la Rubia said this partnership will enable OU faculty and students to obtain access to otherwise unavailable resources, such as unique, state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, process facilitation tools, expert knowledge and more, all while participating in internships and receiving credit toward their degrees. Further, OU personnel will have the opportunity to work on an important national security mission while tackling and helping solve practical problems within the Department of Defense and aerospace industry.
“This agreement will give OU researchers the opportunity to apply their academic research to solve real-world problems for the benefit of the state of Oklahoma and the nation,” Díaz de la Rubia said. “OU students, faculty and staff will be able to benefit from expert knowledge within the OC-ALC, and will have an avenue to enhance their education and professional development.”
The partnership agreement formally spans five years, but may be renewed or extended beyond its scheduled termination. The objective of the agreement is to aid the education of graduate and undergraduate students and to stimulate research and development in engineering fields related to radar and related sensing and communications systems, materials, computer science, data science and analytics, software engineering, systems engineering, flight dynamics, aero propulsion and power, electronics, avionics, aircraft sustainment, cybersecurity, electronic combat, manufacturing and environmental issues.