OC-ALC partners with OSU on Educational Partnership Agreement

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Woodruff
  • Air Force Sustainment Center Public Affairs

Leaders from the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and Oklahoma State University announced an Educational Partnership Agreement to cultivate a sharing of ideas in aerospace technology development and to improve and enhance education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Air Force Sustainment Center Commander Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland, OC-ALC Commander Brig. Gen. Jeff King and OSU President Burns Hargis signed the agreement Sept. 24.

King said the partnership is beneficial to both institutions because it allows for the sharing of skills, equipment and expert knowledge, and is a transformational agreement allowing both parties to work together.

“It is important to team up with colleges because the defense industrial base in not as flexible as it used to be,” King said. “There are components that are no longer available and now we are trying to fix something that was never intended to break. We have to reverse engineer it and find ways to do it better, faster and cheaper.  Agreements like this help us tap into bright young minds and their incredible energy.

“We are very excited for this opportunity,” he added.

Hargis agreed this is a win-win for both the university and Tinker Air Force Base.

“You can’t exaggerate the benefit this is to our school,” said Hargis. “To the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, this is a wonderful opportunity with both entities working in the same area — working aerospace engineering is a prime area for us and that is also Tinker’s main business.

“It is very synergistic and we are thrilled,” he added.

Tinker officials toured some of the engineering facilities at OSU before the signing and were genuinely impressed.

“We use an incredible amount of engineering between the three Complexes, and we have more engineers than the rest of the Air Force combined,” said King. “In fact, if we hire every engineer that Oklahoma produces, it still isn’t enough.”

King said at the end of the day, the work the students are doing could help reduce the cost of logistics and sustainment to the Air Force. He added that’s important for the taxpayer, the warfighter and good all the way around.

With the agreement, OSU students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to apply their academic research to practical problems within the Department of Defense and aerospace industry. Likewise, the OC-ALC will have access to OSU facilities, equipment and expert knowledge.

Because OC-ALC is a national laboratory, the Complex can enter into one or more EPAs with educational institutions. In July, OC-ALC entered into an EPA with the University of Oklahoma.

King said the agreements between OSU and OU are almost the same, but the applications vary in that the universities have different STEM focus areas.

The OSU partnership agreement formally spans five years, but may be renewed or extended beyond its scheduled termination. The objective of the agreement is to aid the education of graduate and undergraduate students and/or faculty and staff of OSU by providing a mechanism under which selected individuals may undertake various projects.

Those projects include radar sensing and communication systems, materials, structures, computer engineering, data science and analytics, software engineering, controls and systems engineering flight dynamics, aero propulsion and power, electronics, avionics, aircraft sustainment, cybersecurity, electronic combat, manufacturing, and environmental issues.