Navy, Universities enter educational partnership to advance science, technical careers

WEST BETHESDA, Md and INDIAN HEAD, Md. U.S. Navy officials entered into an educational partnership agreement with the University of Iowa and Morgan State University (MSU). The focus of each partnership will aid in the education experience of the students and advance science and technical careers.

University of Iowa:

The goal of the educational partnership between the University of Iowa and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division is to get students interested in hydrodynamics.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Vandroff (left) signs an Agreement with the University of Iowa on Feb. 26, 2018. With its educational emphasis on naval hydrodynamics and associated technologies, the University of Iowa's partnership will seek to aid in the educational experience of students by providing staff experience and unique facilities and equipment available through Carderock. Carderock's contribution will help to encourage student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Seated next to Vandroff is Dr. Paul Shang, acting technical director for Carderock. Back row, from left is Dave Ghatt, a patent attorney in Carderock's Office of Counsel; Dr. Thad Michael, a naval architect with Carderock's Propulsors Branch; and Dr. John Barkyoumb, Carderock's director of strategic relations. (Photo by Monica McCoy)

Dr. Thad Michael, a naval architect with Carderock's Propulsors Branch and the partnership program manager for the EPA, stated the parternship started with the naval hydrodynamic certificate program for undergraduates, which is intended to provide students with a solid technical and leadership background that will help graduates to thrive in civilian careers in Navy science and technology positions, and in supporting industry, according to the university website.

This partnership has been in the works for a long time, Michael said Carderock has had a partnership with the University of Iowa, and he and other Carderock employees have advised student projects, via Skype or teleconference, at the university. He said their partnership has been funded by the Office of Naval Research, which provided the school with a small tow tank that the students can operate themselves.

Dr. John Barkyoumb, Carderock's director of strategic relations, heads Carderock's EPA programs. The program is geared toward public school systems and colleges that want to partner with the Navy to increase awareness for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career paths, potentially leading them to a career in a Navy lab.

The University of Iowa is the 15th EPA that Carderock currently has with schools and colleges. Located in Iowa City, Iowa, the university has one of the nation's oldest fluids laboratories within their IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Center. The IIHR used to be the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, and although the name has changed, Iowa's college of engineering maintained the acronym for historical reasons. With labs situated alongside the Iowa and Mississippi rivers, IIHR focuses on hydraulic engineering and fluid mechanics, including basic fluid mechanics, laboratory experimentation and computational approaches, something Carderock can lend expertise to.

Morgan State University

The five-year educational partnership between the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division and MSU will enable the command to provide students and faculty the benefit of the NSWC IHEODTD staff expertise, unique facilities and equipment; assist students with academic and career advice; and provide research projects relevant to U.S. Navy technical applications.

“This new partnership with MSU aligns with our strategic plan to grow 400 work-years stronger by 2025,” NSWC IHEODTD Technical Director, Ashley Johnson says. “Establishing public and private partnerships to enhance energetic materials and systems support to the fleet is one of our strategic goals – this agreement is critical in the execution of that plan.”

Some of the EPA goals include:

  • Provide NSWC IHEODTD personnel access to new state-of-the-art, innovative technological methods relating to solving existing technical problems;
  • Facilitate the identification of mutually beneficial partnership opportunities;
  • Provide a unique opportunity for students to learn and collaborate in the many disciplines associated with aspects of energetic and other ordnance-related hazards, which are not otherwise available in a college environment;
  • Encourage and facilitate student interest and expertise in science, mathematics, and engineering, particularly as these fields relate to the U. S. Navy; and
  • Foster technology development and transfer initiatives between the two partners to enhance commercialization activities and provide for mutual benefit with public industry partners.

This partnership is also part of the command’s continuing effort to build relationships to ensure the future strength of the Navy’s workforce by facilitating the training and recruitment of potential future NSWC IHEODTD employees.

Topics covered in this article