NAWCAD-UMD Seed Grant Review and Discussion strengthens collaboration commitment

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Technical experts from the University of Maryland (UMD) and the federal government reviewed and discussed current and future NAWCAD-UMD research seed grants at a SMART Building event in southern Maryland on Nov. 15. This review was part of the UMD, USMSM, and NAWCAD commitment to strengthening research, advanced education, and outreach collaborations for the region, the state of Maryland and the nation.

Seed grants address critical research needs aligned to capability enhancements for the Navy, and seed grant review events highlight important collaborative research relationships between government and academia. Such efforts will contribute to the current and future workforce throughout the Southern Maryland region, ultimately impacting industry and generating new start-up ventures across the country.

Nine UMD faculty from the Clark School of Engineering and the School of Public Health presented summaries of their current work:

•   Bistatic underwater laser imaging, Derek Paley, Aerospace Engineering and Institute for Systems Research
•   Small uncrewed aircraft system swarm, Dan Romero, Electrical and Computer Engineering
•   Safely landing uncrewed aerial vehicles on naval vessels, Michael Otte, Aerospace Engineering
•   Vision-based landing, Inderjit Chopra, Aerospace Engineering
•   Vibration isolation, Norman Wereley, Aerospace Engineering
•   Pilot workload, Bradley Hatfield, Kinesiology
•   Automated computational fluid dynamics of hypersonic flows, Christoph Brehm, Aerospace Engineering
•   3D printable fiber inks, Siddhartha Das, Mechanical Engineering
•   Nanosensor arrays, Cheng Gong, Electrical and Computer Engineering

The review was led by Theresa Shafer, Director of Engineering Education and Research Partnerships for NAWCAD; and Reza Ghodssi, Executive Director of Research and Innovation for the UMD Clark School of Engineering at USMSM. In addition to guiding the day’s discussions and facilitating meaningful participant interactions, Shafer explained the annual seed grant process.

"The fundamental research and relationships fostered through the NAWCAD seed grants accelerates technology discovery, advances capability and fosters critical talent pipelines," Shafer said. "The seed grants are one part of the rich NAWCAD-UMD collaborative relationship contributing to a vibrant ecosystem of research, education and technology adoption in southern Maryland. We are looking forward to the opportunities ahead."

Ghodssi shared the UMD-USMSM vision for research engagement at the SMART Building and MATRIX Lab, which provide collaborative spaces to build exciting, intellectually driven partnerships.

“We see the MATRIX Lab as a bridge to enable collaborative research and access to cutting-edge educational activities—which are some of the primary goals of the strong NAWCAD-UMD relationship,” Ghodssi said. “Our shared goal is for this important work to be translated into real-life applications, and for our education to provide greater opportunities for the region, our state and the country at large. We are truly excited about the future.”


Acronyms and links related to this story

USMSM is the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland. NAWCAD is the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.

The SMART Building, located in California, Md., is the USMSM Southern Maryland Autonomous Research and Technology Building. It houses the UMD Maryland Autonomous Technology Research and Innovation Xploration Lab, commonly known as the MATRIX Lab.

Published November 17, 2022