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CHIPS Articles: Warfare Center partners with SoCal universities for collaborative research

Warfare Center partners with SoCal universities for collaborative research
By J.W. Marcum, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division - October 23, 2018
PORT HUENEME, Calif.—Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) offers unique collaborative research partnerships to universities through the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC). Some prime examples of these partnerships have been demonstrated by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division’s (NSWC PHD) recent collaboration with several Southern California universities.

Current NEEC research partnerships are being sponsored and funded by the command at San Diego State University (SDSU); University of California, Riverside (UCR); University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB); and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

“There are opportunities for the Navy to help the universities by providing ideas and topics for senior design projects and capstones,” said Naval Innovative Science and Engineering Director, Mark Jue. “The universities are also doing research in areas that the Navy can leverage.”

The primary objectives of NEEC are to acquire academic research results and products to resolve Naval technology challenges; hire college graduates with Naval engineering research and development experience into the NAVSEA workforce; and to develop and continue exceptional working relationships with naval engineering colleges, universities, professors and academics.

“Some of the research the NEEC students are doing in the areas of cybersecurity and big data analytics is very relevant to the work we do at the Warfare Centers, so collaborating with these students through the NEEC program will definitely pay significant dividends in maintaining our fleet's readiness,” said NSWC PHD Equipment Engineering Division Manager, Richard Watanabe.

“Our NEEC program currently involves cyber research at SDSU and material science research at UCSB,” said NSWC PHD Office of Research and Technology Applications Manager, Alan Jaeger. “As we finalize our topics and proposals for next year, we envision aligning the program with our In-Service Engineering Agent of the Future campaign plan and our new Partnership Strategy campaign plan.”

NSWC PHD and SDSU have held a cybersecurity research partnership under NEEC for the past two years. The command also recently hired Eric Monette, a graduate student who will begin employment in Jan. 2019 under in Littoral and Strike Warfare Department as an information technology specialist.

The NEEC program offers employment opportunities to recent graduates with engineering research and development experience at one of the ten NAVSEA Warfare Centers across the country.

“We have made direct hire offers to five additional SDSU students,” said Jaeger.

NEEC projects target the Navy’s most relevant technology needs. NEEC allows students to acquire academic research results and products to resolve real naval technology challenges while working with university faculty and Warfare Center mentors who are typically engineers, research scientists and acquisition professionals. Most NEEC projects are funded for up to three years, which aligns with a time frame for students to participate in project-based research prior to graduation.

“Working with the Navy to combat cybersecurity threats, researchers are modeling the kind of partnerships envisioned at SDSU Mission Valley,” stated La Monica Everett-Haynes, a reporter for 360, the magazine of SDSU. The article can be found here: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=77393

“University projects funded by NEEC afford Warfare Center scientists and engineers an opportunity to be influential at top academic institutions across the country,” according to NEEC Program Director Kirk Jenne. “Universities and the Navy have a long history of working together successfully, and we can always do better when it comes to national security. Professors are passionate about their projects and enthusiastically engage us with new ideas and future plans. The talented students participating in NEEC are vital to our technical workforce pipeline. We also take time for tours of their facilities and discuss research capabilities, which is crucial to the scientific and technical intelligence needed for future investment decisions.”

University professors have come to anticipate the collaborative research efforts with the Warfare Centers and the added benefits of partnering on national security and naval-focused research to the benefit of their educational programs.

"SDSU is excited to partner with the U.S. Navy by engaging our faculty and students in Naval Surface Warfare Center projects,” said SDSU Management Information Systems Department Chair and Professor Bruce Reinig. “Through these efforts the Navy is helping to guide our research and curriculum. The NEEC program prepares our students to take positions within the Naval Surface Warfare Centers to solve real-world, high-impact problems. We are proud to be affiliated with and help serve the U.S. Navy."

For more information on NEEC opportunities visit https://www.grants.gov and type NEEC into the keyword search box at the top of the page, click on the opportunity number for NEEC and search for topics of interest by each agency. Technical papers can be submitted online.

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