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Air Force S&T team deepens partnership with Carnegie Mellon University Center of Excellence


The Air Force announced May 1 it will deepen its partnership with Carnegie Mellon University by embedding a 10-person science and technology team focused on robotics and associated technologies affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University’s Center of Excellence.

The Air Force team will be located at CMU to work through the center to connect with faculty from across the university and take advantage of CMU’s cutting-edge research and education.

The announcement followed a recent visit to the center by Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. The meetings between Wilson and CMU officials underscored the changes that can advance robotics and associated technologies within the Air Force.

“Our new science and technology strategy emphasizes driving innovation through partnerships. Carnegie Mellon has been a partner with the Air Force for many years and this is the next step to deepen that partnership,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the team will put into action the recently published Air Force Science and Technology Strategy by better identifying, developing and deploying breakthrough technologies. It also will give Air Force personnel a path to expand their expertise through academic research.

“Carnegie Mellon is excited to engage in this new partnership with the U.S. Air Force, which represents yet another milestone in our 60-year history of collaboration in software engineering, AI, autonomous systems and advanced manufacturing,” said Farnam Jahanian, CMU president. “We look forward to continuing to advance research and education in these emerging fields, which are so critical to the security and economic competitiveness of our nation.”

The Air Force Research Laboratory and CMU partnered in October 2018 to establish the Center of Excellence. The goal of the Center of Excellence is to support the Air Force’s vision of a future where intelligent machines are seamlessly integrated with human capabilities. CMU currently has 28 agreements and grants from the Air Force worth $37.3 million.

The Air Force collaborates with research universities and national laboratories around the U.S., including a machine learning-focused Center of Excellence at the University of Wisconsin and a high strength materials-focused Center of Excellence at Cornell University, as well as technology partnerships with Purdue University, Michigan State University and more.

“We need a lasting partnership between our military and academic institutions to seed the next generation of scientists and engineers to tackle the most complex challenges facing our nation,” Wilson said.


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