A team of top-level executives from the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC) at Tinker Air Force Base visited campus Feb. 11 to meet with OU’s Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomas Diaz de la Rubia, Senior Associate VPRP John Antonio, Gallogly College of Engineering Dean John Klier, and many other faculty and staff.
Led by OC-ALC’s Vice Director Wade Wolfe, Engineering Director Kristian Olivero, and Technical Director for Sensor Systems, Jenniffier Bieberbach, the group toured the new Sustainment Modernization Partnership facility at 2 Partners Place, where OC-ALC personnel work and conduct joint research with OU on software-oriented projects, including enhancing the capabilities software systems for platforms such as the Air Force’s iconic E-3 Sentry, commonly known as the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and developing new approaches for predictive maintenance through the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The location of 2PP at the University Research Campus provides close proximity to OU faculty and students for joint research, and will aid OC-ALC’s Software Engineering Group in recruiting interns and new graduates.
The group also discussed collaborative research projects supporting the physical and mechanical aspects associated with the fleets and components that OC-ALC maintains, including projects in the areas of additive and advanced manufacturing, coatings, composites, and advanced materials. A key overarching collaborative effort underway between OU and the OC-ALC is addressing an engineering workforce shortage within the Department of Defense. Through the development of a new research-based education program, OU will help engineering and computer science students develop the skills the DoD needs to pursue successful career paths at the OC-ALC. Furthermore, this project will include opportunities for working professionals at OC-ALC to purse advanced degrees at OU. This collaborative effort is aligned with the Sustainment and Modernization aspect of the Aerospace, Defense, and Global Security plan that is outlined in the Strategic Research Verticals document.