Oklahoma State University and Tinker Air Force Base have signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) which will develop technology that directly impacts the readiness of the United States Air Force.
The agreement will allow students, faculty and staff at OSU to work hand-in-hand with engineers and technicians at Tinker Air Force Base to research, develop and employ technology that will provide a faster, safer, higher quality and more cost-effective means of maintaining and upgrading existing and new aircraft.
“This partnership will allow research that will help improve maintenance operations in the depot to better advance the readiness of our Air Force,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey King, commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base. “These aircraft provide no support sitting in the depot. The faster we can accomplish maintenance on each aircraft, the faster we can get them back in operation for our men and women serving around the world.”
As part of a larger educational partnership agreement, this CRADA addresses an immediate need of Tinker Air Force Base and will provide students and faculty in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology the opportunity to make a direct impact on the nation’s armed forces. Specifically, this research opportunity will facilitate technology insertion and process improvement for removing the many and various aircraft and engine fasteners, an essential step in depot operations.
“This agreement gives us a real-world, impactful way to exercise our research expertise in a way that benefits society almost immediately,” said Dr. Kenneth Sewell, vice president for research at OSU. “This puts a real-world problem in the hands of our students and provides them with experiential research training that they wouldn’t experience under normal circumstances.”
The research conducted under this CRADA will supplement each participating student’s educational experience and create a more knowledgeable, experienced graduate that is more prepared to enter the workforce and address the growing engineering needs of the state of Oklahoma and the nation.
“Our graduate and undergraduate students benefit from understanding the engineering challenges facing the Air Force in sustaining aircraft and engines,” said Dr. Kurt Rouser, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, serving as the University Technical Point of Contact for the CRADA. “This opportunity will enhance a pipeline of talent uniquely prepared for the aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul industry that has a national hub situated at the crossroads here in Oklahoma.”
While addressing a very specific, immediate need, the CRADA also provides a foundation for the partnership between OSU, Tinker Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force to build upon. A partnership that the leaders at OSU believe is their obligation.
“We, as a university, see it as our role to contribute, not only to our local community and our state, but to our nation, as part of our land-grant mission,” Sewell said.