Virginia Tech and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) signed a memorandum of understanding in Dahlgren, Va., Nov. 25, designed to develop and expand a framework of cooperation that will benefit the university's students and faculty in addition to Navy technology programs.

The agreement will enable a framework of cooperation between Virginia Tech and NSWCDD to develop mutually beneficial innovative research projects and activities.

“Virginia Tech is one of the state’s premier research and development institutions,” said NSWCDD Cmdr. Capt. Sheila Patterson. “Our ongoing relationship with the university’s engineering department has already bolstered the development of crucial programs from Electromagnetic Railgun to Nano Technology and we hope that this new agreement will further enhance our relationship with young scientists and engineers to better support the Navy.”

“Virginia Tech is the commonwealth’s leading research university, according to rankings provided by the National Science Foundation, and it is one of the preeminent leaders in technological research in the country. Our researchers are pushing the envelope of science, and their outstanding work led to the creation of Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS),” said Robert Walters, vice president for research at Virginia Tech.

Christopher Cornelius, the associate director for research, ICTAS, will lead the university’s work with the Navy. Cornelius joined the Virginia Tech engineering faculty after an eight year stint at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), a national facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Sandia Corp.

“Dr. Cornelius has achieved recognition and respect from industry and academic communities. His research has been supported by more than $16 million in competitive research awards, and he has three patents, with an additional two pending, all in the past seven years,” Walters added. “He is an excellent choice to lead our pioneering efforts with the Navy.”

In today’s information rich environment, it is critical that the Navy stay abreast of technology and understand the realm of the possible for the future. Today’s academic institutions are key in being able to do this.

Moreover, in the current fiscally constrained environments, it is important for the Navy and academic institutions to look for more synergistic ways to continue providing cutting edge technology to the warfighter with less funding using progressive relationships and agreements.

This Virginia Tech – NSWCDD memorandum of understanding is supported by a variety of longstanding partnership programs, comprising the Educational Partnership Agreement, Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program, Summer Faculty Research Program, Work for Others, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, as well as other contracts and grants.

Collaboration and efforts to meet objectives in the performance of mutual innovative research and activities may include

  • Collaboration and management of innovative research projects.
  • Evaluation of existing technologies for innovative uses in the Naval environment.
  • Access to and use of each party’s unique laboratories and facilities.
  • Joint publication of studies, evaluations and lessons learned.
  • Acceleration and expansion of promising technologies for warfighter benefit.
  • Joint innovative research in programs related to NSWCDD technical capabilities in dozens of areas from Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Warfare Defense Systems and Directed Energy Systems to Human Systems Integration and National Response Missions that include Homeland Security and Defense Physical and Non-Physical Vulnerability Analysis.

For more information, visit the NSWCDD website, the Virginia Tech website, and the ICTAS website.

IMAGE INFORMATION: Christopher Cornelius, the associate director for research, Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, will lead the university's work with the Navy.

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