Aiming to develop the nexgen of space engineers, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) are establishing new academic programs through a multi-million-dollar agreement—the Lockheed Martin Radio Frequency (RF) Space Systems Research Center will boost engineering expertise at the school and create new curriculum to fill in-demand skills in the space sector.
The $3 million sponsorship by Lockheed Martin, spread over four years, will establish new academic programs focused on radio frequency (RF) systems. RF fields address commercial, civil and military needs for communications, radar and photonics. Engineers in this field will develop innovative approaches for tracking, navigation and control of spacecraft as well as nexgen global navigation technologies.
The industry-academic partnership will benefit students and faculty by creating:
- A new master of science in electrical engineering with an RF focus.
- A new, established path for bachelor's degree students in Aerospace Engineering Sciences to obtain a master's degree in Electrical Engineering. Similarly, those pursuing an Electrical Engineering bachelor's degree will have a path to obtain a master's degree in Aerospace Engineering Sciences.
- A Lockheed Martin Chair of RF Engineering, a faculty position dedicated to RF teaching and research.
- A Lockheed Martin Faculty Fellow, a professor supporting research and academic activities of a key faculty member in the new educational programs.
- Lockheed Martin Graduate Fellowships, consisting of graduate students working at Lockheed Martin or projects relevant to the company.
Students and graduates will be able to take advantage of the RF Payload Center of Excellence at Lockheed Martin's Waterton Canyon site, which is the company's hub for RF space technology development.
Lockheed Martin employees will also benefit from the new relationship. For example, the new RF-focused degree programs will offer unique skills training for employees who want to take advantage of opportunities in the RF Payload Center of Excellence, which has added over 60 jobs in the past six months.
The CU research center continues a strong partnership between the university and Lockheed Martin, a relationship that funds joint research programs, supports student design projects and facilitated a cubesat mission. Lockheed Martin has sponsored nearly $7 million in research at CU and is working to start new projects totaling $650,000 by the end of the year. In 2015 Lockheed Martin hired graduates from 15 CU majors, and the corporation employs more than 500 alumni working in its Space Systems division alone.
According to Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin's chief technology officer, each person depends on RF technology in one way or another, from television and radio, to phone communications, to GPS navigation. As the complexity of satellite systems and national security solutions grows, so does the demand for world-class talent. This partnership ensures that University of Colorado graduates have the skills they need to build the systems of the future while also advancing Lockheed Martin's ability to develop revolutionary and relevant innovation.