The first cohort of students who participated in a new Aerospace Software Systems course through the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Innovation Institute’s Software Foundry program were recognized during a ceremony on Saturday at the University of Oklahoma.
With support provided by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Software Foundry is a collection of nine short courses designed to enhance the technical skills of the growing aerospace and defense workforce in Oklahoma, with particular emphasis in software engineering. The program was developed by a diverse group of researchers and educators, including three OU computer science faculty members, an OU research engineer and three Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex research engineers. Sixty-two students are currently enrolled in Software Foundry courses.
“The University of Oklahoma recognizes the importance of the aerospace and defense sectors to the economy and security of our nation, and to the state of Oklahoma, and we recognize the growing importance of software engineering and development within those sectors,” said Dean Hougen, the lead faculty member for the Software Foundry program and an associate professor in the School of Computer Science in the Gallogly College of Engineering. “Ensuring that there are sufficient numbers of people interested in and prepared to go into aerospace software systems is a pressing need for our state.
“Establishing the OADII Software Foundry and developing this collection of nine courses was an agile response to this pressing need, and we are very excited to have successfully completed our first full course offering under this banner,” he added.
During the event, the students were awarded course completion certificates and were commended for their effort by OU Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships John Antonio. Lacey Schley, an OU research engineer and an instructor for the course, said participants included current OU students and working professionals from the aerospace and defense sector.
Joseph Jones, a student enrolled in the Aerospace Software Systems course, said it was a “good introduction for what it’s like to be a software engineer in the aerospace industry” and Haley Perez said the course encompassed “a broad view of what computer science and aerospace engineering are like in Oklahoma.”
Software Foundry courses are grouped into three categories: “Fundamentals of Software Engineering Practices,” “Programming Language Skills Essentials” and “Advanced Software Engineering Practices.”
The training is open to all employees of Oklahoma aerospace and defense companies and organizations. There is no fee for students’ participation, but enrollment must be approved by the prospective students’ employers. More information about Software Foundry is available at https://ou.edu/oadii/featured-initiatives/software-foundry.