The Aerospace, Defense, and Global Security initiative is one of four strategic research verticals identified in the university’s strategic plan that aims to apply convergent OU research to significant, real-world challenges. As the operations manager for ADGS, Cliff Wojtalewicz is the lead point of contact for the ADGS institute and is responsible for all aspects of the institute’s day-to-day operations.
“We are very excited to welcome Cliff to OU and to the ADGS team,” said John Antonio, senior associate vice president for research and partnerships. “Cliff’s vast experience and proven leadership in the defense and national security domain make him the ideal person to help take our ADGS initiative to the next level.”
Wojtalewicz will work with the institute’s leadership, affiliated OU faculty, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships to help identify and develop research and funding opportunities; lead and manage faculty teams and institute projects; and build strong, collaborative relationships with federal, state, and local government agencies and corporate affiliates.
In addition, he will be the programmatic project leader for the design and construction of a Secure Aerospace and Defense Research and Advanced Technology Facility that will house and support the research equipment, instrumentation, and personnel in support of the initiative.
"The vast majority of my career has been involved with national security and defense, both as a career military officer and while working numerous positions with Purdue University in the areas of homeland security and global defense and security,” Wojtalewicz said. “Upon learning of OU's Aerospace, Defense, and Global Security initiative, I became extremely excited about its potential for advancing our national security efforts and increasing the economic development of Oklahoma's defense industrial base."
Following more than 20 years of active duty, Wojtalewicz retired from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has held multiple roles at Purdue University. Most recently, he served as the director of operations and administration for Purdue’s research hub, comprised of 16 research institutes and eight affiliated programs. Other roles have included serving as the managing director for two Purdue institutes, the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Homeland Security Institute. Prior experience also includes his role as a deputy director within the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
He holds a Project Management Professional designation, a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California, a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska and is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.