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Penn State and Lockheed Martin have signed a Master Research contract, establishing an agreement that includes research collaboration, an enhanced recruiting relationship and increased engagement in Penn State programs.
The research agreement is the most recent chapter in a solid history of Penn State-Lockheed Martin initiatives. It follows Penn State's Open Innovation Model, which allows for academia to propose solutions to challenges articulated by industry without needing to renegotiate contracts.
"Penn State and Lockheed Martin have enjoyed a long and productive partnership, with the signing of this new master agreement sending a clear signal that our relationship is stronger than ever," said Neil Sharkey, vice president for research, Penn State. "I am thrilled that Lockheed Martin and Penn State will be breaking new ground together well into the future, and look forward to expanding our partnership to mutual benefit. Advancing university-industry partnerships such as this one with Lockheed exemplifies Penn State's renewed emphasis on economic development and job creation, and adds to our growing reputation as the go-to industry-friendly university."
Over the past five years, Lockheed Martin has supported dozens of Penn State research programs totaling $6.2 million. This past spring, Lockheed Martin also tasked students in Introduction to Design Engineering to leverage additive manufacturing — 3D printing — to solve new problems or redesign existing solutions for its unique areas of expertise. Some of the areas of design or redesign involved heat exchangers, shock absorbers, wire connectors and USB hub mounting brackets.
"Industry-academic partnerships drive innovation, and together with Penn State, we have uncovered solutions to help solve some of our industry's most interesting challenges," said Lockheed Martin Vice President for Technology Strategy and Innovation, Robie I. Samanta Roy. "Lockheed Martin is focused on creating generation-after-next technologies, and this new research agreement ensures that we can collaborate with Penn State faculty and students who lead in research that will shape our future and benefit our customers."
The research agreement includes a framework that will guide future research projects focused in areas including computer science, cybersecurity, supply chain and aerospace engineering. Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, supported past aerospace research focused on materials science, air vehicle dynamics, additive manufacturing, gear design and testing, and autonomous flight.
Students will benefit from the long-term strategic commitment through access to talent recruitment opportunities, and Lockheed Martin employees also can benefit from Penn State's online master's programs for electrical engineering and engineering leadership and management.
"As our technological demands increase, so do our needs for world-class talent," said Lockheed Martin Vice President of Engineering & Technology Dan Heller. "This agreement is an ideal opportunity for Penn State students to work alongside Lockheed Martin engineers and scientists on the challenges we face today and those we anticipate will emerge in the future."