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ODU Research Team Receives Grant Aimed at Training Skilled Naval Engineers

Now, the hard work begins.

In the spring, Old Dominion University was selected as one of 15 schools nationwide to participate in the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC).

The selection of ODU, along with schools with long naval technology traditions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Washington and the University of New Orleans, is a coup for ODU, and recognition of the school's commitment to marine engineering in a variety of areas.

The NEEC agreement was struck May 6 with the U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). According to NAVSEA, the NEEC will educate and develop world-class naval systems engineers for the Navy's civilian acquisition, engineering and science workforce.

The University of Michigan, the school is leading the NEEC, hosted a meeting last month at which the Old Dominion NEEC team - led by principal investigator Oktay Baysal, dean of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology - received its six-year grant of more than $1.5 million from NAVSEA in support of the initiative.

The grant money comes with a challenge. Along with the other consortium members, ODU is tasked with educating the next generation of naval engineers at a time when the technology being used at sea, on land and in the air is becoming increasingly complex.

Baysal said ODU's invitation to participate in the NEEC is recognition that the Batten College is already engaged in many of these tasks.

"If you look at the engineering management master's degree program, the large number of Naval ROTC students completing undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees while at ODU, and the commitment ODU has made to distance learning, it's clear we're well positioned to contribute to the vital job of supplying smart, motivated engineering graduates to the United States Navy," he said.

Five ODU faculty members and three students attended the NEEC launch workshop in Ann Arbor, Mich., which featured remarks from U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan), Vice-Admiral Kevin McCoy of the United States Navy, and a multidisciplinary poster project.

The grant runs through September 30, 2015, and will assist ODU in research into the training of effective marine engineers, who can fill badly needed jobs in the United States Navy.

ODU's funded research includes numerous projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Naval Surface Weapons Center, Space and Naval Warfare Center and the U.S. Coast Guard. Research projects range from marine engineering education, intelligent ship design, lean production and manufacturing, risk management and systems optimization, high-performance craft and autonomous underwater vehicles.

The Batten College has established marine engineering educational programs that are specifically catered to the Navy. ODU offers asynchronous master's degree education on CD-ROM to naval officers deployed around the world. Many submarine captains in the United States Navy have completed, or are completing, a master's in engineering management from the college's Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering.

Other ODU faculty who will work for the Naval Engineering Education Consortium include Gene Hou and Han Bao, professors of mechanical and aerospace engineering; Tony Dean, associate professor of engineering technology; Steve Walk, assistant professor of engineering technology, and Miltos Kotinis, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

This article was posted on: August 6, 2010

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