OC-ALC partners with UCO on Educational Partnership Agreement

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Woodruff 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Leaders from the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base and The University of Central Oklahoma announced an Educational Partnership Agreement on April 15 to collaborate and share ideas and advanced technologies.

OC-ALC Commander, Maj. Gen. Jeff King, and UCO Vice President for Advancement, Art Cotton, signed the agreement.

Under the auspice of a unique Educational Partnership Agreement, Tinker AFB donated a Haise Supercomputer cluster that will be incorporated with UCO’s existing supercomputer cluster, known as ‘Buddy,’ to expand capabilities for research and education across science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Tinker AFB is excited to donate this super computer that we’ve used for artificial intelligence, machine learning and cluster computing, because as we have advanced, we found we needed bigger and faster computers,” said King. “Rather than demilitarize and dispose of this equipment, the ability to hand it off means we get more service life out of a great piece of equipment and we get to help one of our universities to enhance their capability and capacity.

“This partnership could feed into our potential pipeline of employees, and at least increase awareness of Department of Defense efforts of engineers in industry at large,” he added. “Ideally, this donation of equipment helps improve the quality of the UCO’s program with better tools for teaching and learning, and that is good for the national defense overall. We are thrilled to be able to keep this equipment in use.”

The partnership will be mutually beneficial for both the university and Tinker Air Force Base.

“The donation of the supercomputer cluster from Tinker Air Force Base will expand UCO’s capabilities to perform computational research and education in areas such as microfluidics engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering design, eco-niche modeling using geographic information systems, genomics and a significant expansion of our data science capabilities with Python, R and Tensorflow,” said Evan Lemley, Ph.D., assistant dean of the UCO College of Mathematics and Science and professor for the Department of Engineering and Physics at UCO.

“Our educational partnerships with other universities to include the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Christian University, have helped us move from transactional to transformational relationships providing great opportunities for students and our engineers alike,” King said. “These partnerships have been a blessing to the Complex and we are thankful for the great universities in Oklahoma, who are truly the lifeblood for innovation and manpower.”

This educational partnership agreement was for the donation of equipment.  The next level of partnership will allow UCO students, faculty and staff the opportunity to apply their academic research to practical problems within the Department of Defense and aerospace industry. Likewise, the OC-ALC will have access to UCO facilities, equipment and expert knowledge.

The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex is one of the largest units in the Air Force Materiel Command, with a team of more than 10,300 military and civilian professionals delivering combat power for America. The Complex performs programmed depot maintenance and modifications on KC-46, KC-135, B-1B, B-52, E-3 and Navy E-6 aircraft and also performs maintenance, repair and overhaul on numerous engines and a wide variety of commodities and software for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and foreign military sales.