By: Eli Freund, Editorial Communications Manager, UConn School of Engineering
Building on the success of the University of Connecticut and the University of Rhode Island’s joint Naval Science and Technology Program (Navy STEM), the Department of Defense has awarded a $3 million grant that will continue and build on the program for the next three years.
The award, which is part of a $47 million grant from the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Biotechnology, and Enhanced Civics Education, is funded through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. On the UConn side, the program will be overseen by Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Research Professor Alexandra Hain, Richard Christenson, and Daniel Burkey and on the URI side will be Associate Professor of Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi, David Taggart, Arun Shukla, James Miller, and Carl Ernst Rousseau. Previously, the program was funded by an award from the Office of Naval Research.
According to their research, it is estimated that 50 percent of our nation’s Navy STEM professionals are currently eligible for retirement and that submarine construction, which is a big industry in Connecticut and Rhode Island, will require almost half of the Navy’s budget over the next 30 years—creating a crucial need for a new crop of trained professionals.
Over the next three years, Hain, Maier-Speredelozzi, and the other co-PI’s will work with K-12 students through Navy STEM outreach programs, develop crucial coursework for UConn and URI students in the program, build out a Navy STEM Ambassadors group, bring in professionals from the Naval industry, and much more.
For more information on the Navy STEM program, please click here.