Huntsville Partnerships Produce Prized Projects

Font Size

Article body

The Auburn University Huntsville Research Center (AUHRC) continues to provide north Alabama businesses, industries and government agencies with convenient access to Auburn’s research capabilities. By facilitating collaborations between Auburn University researchers and Huntsville government and industry leaders on a number of federal contracts, the AUHRC aims to increase research funding to both Auburn University and the state of Alabama. Additionally, the AUHRC provides local and regional leadership in strategic areas of interest to Auburn by participating in organizations such as the Tennessee Valley Corridor, National Cyber Summit and Cyber Huntsville.

The following are examples of how the AUHRC is accomplishing these goals in 2019.

NASA has awarded a $5.2 million contract to Auburn’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) to develop additive manufacturing processes and techniques for improving the performance of liquid rocket engines. The three-year contract is the latest expansion of a longstanding public-private partnership between Auburn and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Auburn University continues its partnership with Huntsville City Schools to further education and workforce development in the field of additive manufacturing from high school through graduate-level training. Auburn’s collaboration with the district enables high school students and teachers to receive additive manufacturing training from Auburn’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence through research on two machines owned by Jemison High School and Grissom High School.

The Undergraduate and Graduate Student Applied Research Program, an effort from the AUHRC and Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, is enabling Auburn students to gain real-world experience employed as research assistants for defense and aerospace industries and government agencies while still earning their degrees. More than 50 students are currently working for Boeing and Torch Technologies in Huntsville.

This year, the AUHRC initiated the hiring of an additional four full-time research staff members who are subject matter experts in their fields. Jason Cuneo, a Huntsville-based cybersecurity specialist, serves as chief technologist of the Auburn Cyber Research Center and provides subject matter expertise to AUHRC customers. Tim Allen is a senior systems engineer working on the SLS spacecraft at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Tara Clayton and Lee Vanrell are both software engineers at the U.S. Army Redstone Test Center.

In addition, the AUHRC is working closely with the Auburn Cyber Research Center and Dr. David Umphress and his students on research in Huntsville at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Redstone Test Center and PEO Missiles and Space.

The AUHRC helped establish the Tennessee Valley Corridor’s Additive Manufacturing Collaboration platform, a secure suite of software products that enables government, industry and academia to communicate around advanced manufacturing. Dr. Greg Harris from Auburn’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering will lead the platform’s development.

The AUHRC is facilitating a partnership between the FBI and Auburn’s mccrary Institute to collaborate on matters of critical infrastructure. The FBI has recently relocated 1,350 employees to Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal, and the organization is ultimately expected to create nearly 5,000 new jobs as it expands its presence in Huntsville.

The auhrc is coordinating the installation of a defense research and engineering network (dren) connection on auburn’s campus. The dren is a high-speed national computer network that is the department of defense’s recognized research and engineering system. The dren will allow auburn faculty and students to participate in department of defense-related research, exercises and demonstrations.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.