The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and the U.S. Navy have established an educational partnership. The agreement brings together the U.S. Navy’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division in Newport, Rhode Island (NUWCDIVNPT) with USM students in the hopes of encouraging and enhancing their studies in various scientific disciplines.
“As we develop a national center for unmanned maritime with federal, state and industry partners, it’s critical we stay true to our university mission of educating the next generation in the engineering and operations of these technologies,” said Dr. Monty Graham, SOSE director.
The purpose of the agreement is to further the education of USM students by providing a program where students can get hands-on experience in research projects using the unique facilities and equipment related to undersea technologies available from NUWCDIVNPT.
”This valuable partnership will advance Southern Miss’ ability to proactively prepare students to be the workforce of the future by providing them real-life experience with Naval ocean science and engineering research projects,” said Dr. Gordon Cannon, USM Vice President for Research.
Students in future programs will receive academic credit for work on defense laboratory research projects pertaining to advanced undersea technologies. As part of the agreement, the NUWCDIVNPT will provide students with guidance from staff scientists and engineers to ensure projects meet the standards of NUWCDIVNPT and USM. Student projects will be structured along the lines of typical laboratory work to represent on-the-job experience.
“Access to Naval laboratory equipment, facilities, and technical assistance will greatly enhance our students’ academic preparation and most certainly, inspire interest in undersea technologies and careers in research and development,” said Cannon.
USM currently offers the only ocean engineering degree in Mississippi and is only one of 10 schools in the Nation which offers the program. In 2017, USM created the first Unmanned Maritime Systems Certification program seen in the United States. Students participate in a three-month training cycle, during which they study nautical science, 3-D positioning, ocean policy, autonomous systems and much more. The UMS program is made up of three tiers including “novice,” “journeyman” and “expert” levels.
Dr. Graham was also selected to serve as the Partnership Program Manager for USM.
“We welcome our partners at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center to the Gulf coast as we work together to make these educational opportunities realized,” said Graham.