Stratcom, NU announce partnership
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 14:10
The bombers that dropped the atomic bombs over Japan were built in Nebraska. Home to the former Strategic Air Command, and current home to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska houses many important military functionaries and assets. Now, the Nebraska University (NU) system is going to be involved.
On Oct. 11, U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) announced a partnership with the NU system to form a University-Affiliated Research Center (UARC). This research and development institute will use faculty from all campuses to work within their strong fields, and contribute work toward national security functions. This new center will have long lasting benefits to the NU system, including UNO.
Research funding is often an attractive feature for hiring new faculty at a university. The possibility of long-term funding from the Department of Defense seeks to enhance the current research faculty members may be engaged in, and to attract specialists in other relevant fields. The initial contract is for $84 million, and the expectation is that funding and research will only expand as the program takes root. At UNO, where STRATCOM has been a long-time partner, computer security and technology will play a large role.
The main research fields listed included nuclear, chemical, and biological detection, passive defense against weapons of mass destruction, and consequence management. Other fields include space, cyber, and telecommunications law. NU’s college of law leads in space law throughout the country. Within these topics, engineers, chemists, biologists, lawyers, and more will be all come together and use their unique fields to develop new technologies and methods for national defense. While no one is required to work for the UARC, 100 faculty have been identified with pertinent research, and again, the number is expected to grow as the program matures and develops.
Currently, UARCs are only present on 13 other of the most decorated research campuses including MIT and Penn State, so the inclusion of the NU system is a testament to the great work of the faculty and administration at each and every campus. NU’s President Milliken said, “This puts us in unique company...This is great company for the University of Nebraska and a highly sought-after distinction.”
Overall, research and development money leads to increased hiring of qualified faculty. In Omaha, specifically, home to some of the most military friendly universities, UNO included, this partnership simply adds to the ways the NU system works for the military. There are many talented faculty throughout the campuses, with skills in the sciences, as well in in fields outside of engineering and technology that can become involved in the UARC program.