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M&S Industry Leaders to Gather at VMASC January 29

Key stakeholders in the important modeling and simulation industry will gather at Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center for a breakfast on Friday, Jan. 29, to coordinate the implementation of the region's strategic plan for modeling and simulation, Hampton Roads M&S Strategy 2020.

The 8 a.m. meeting at the Suffolk complex will allow for input and valued participation from the participants in last month's M&S Strategy 2020 meeting at VMASC. That gathering featured many of the key decision-makers for the burgeoning M&S cluster in the region.

The breakfast meeting will also act as a lead-in of sorts for the "Call to Action" meeting being hosted by Rep. Randy Forbes , R-Va., January 31-February 2 at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel, http://www.ndia.org/meetings/01C0/Pages/default.aspx.

Southeastern Virginia is competing with other M&S hubs, such as Orlando and Huntsville, Ala., for research dollars and business investment. Dana Dickens of the Hampton Roads Partnership, one of the participants in Hampton Roads M&S Strategy 2020, said this region is the best organized in the country in its ability to support turning modeling and simulation research into business innovation, leading to real growth.

He said one thing that helps is an education strategy that starts M&S instruction in middle school and continues it through the post-doctoral level.

"Working together, pooling our assets, will put us all in a better position," Dickens said.

Key in that educational capacity is the work done by Old Dominion University. ODU now offers a bachelor's degree in modeling and simulation engineering, making it the only school in the country to provide a complete M&S education, from undergrad to post-doctoral. The school also just announced the creation of a Department of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering in the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, which will help further promote ODU as a hub for the research.

"To help you understand better what multi-disciplinary modeling and simulation is, it's not just a military thing. It's also supporting the medical and health care area, transportation. There are many, clear uses for modeling and simulation. We're even working in the social science area," said John Sokolowski, acting director and director of research at VMASC.

At the December meeting, John Dannon, a senior analyst with Lockheed Martin and chair of the VMASC industry advisory board, looked around the room at many faces he'd never seen before in the crowd of 150. He invited them to get involved in helping shape the future of M&S in Hampton Roads.

"Read through the strategic plan. I'm sure there's something you'll see that will make you say, 'That's what I can do to help.'"

Dannon specifically pointed to the upcoming breakfast meeting as an opportunity for newcomers to get involved. Dannon, Dickens and Sokolowski are all expected to attend.

For information, please contact D'An Knowles, Manager of Marketing and Communications at VMASC, at 757-686-6249, or TKnowles@odu.edu.


This article was posted on: January 21, 2010

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