FY18 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Navy and Marine Corps Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), Education and Workforce Program

These abridged abstracts provide a summary of research grants funded in association with FOA N00014-18-S-F003 Amendment 0001.

Broadening Education in Naval Science & Technology with an Expanded Undergraduate Curriculum and Learning Community

Dr. James Buchholz, University of Iowa

A major expansion to our Naval Hydrodynamics certificate program is undertaken to produce a much broader Naval Science & Technology certificate with an added emphasis on autonomous naval systems.  To support students in the curricular program while increasing informal participation of a broader range of students, program development will integrate an extra-curricular learning community, anchored by a student organization focused on development of autonomous marine craft. Outreach activities will introduce Midwestern high school students to modern naval science & technology concepts and challenges, and build a brand for our program.  The project supports the 2018 National Defense Strategy by enhancing civilian workforce expertise, fostering the development of advanced autonomous systems, and promoting a culture of innovation and performance in our graduates through challenging experiential learning activities and the development of leadership skills.

Creating a Coastal Carolina Cyber Workforce Education and Awareness Pipeline for National Security (C4WEAPNS)

Dr. Stanton Greenawalt, Horry-Georgetown Technical College

In partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC)-Atlantic, Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) will establish a Security Operations Center (SOC) and Cybersecurity Forensics Lab for student hands-on development and mastery of the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) required for positions in defense and industry. This enhanced lab environment will be augmented by new and expanded certificate and degree programs in Cybersecurity and Forensics. Curriculum will be harmonized with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework to prepare graduates to successfully evaluate risk tolerance and the complexities of cyber-attacks, work within teams, and set organizational priorities for risk management.

Low-power, miniaturized Radio Frequency components for wireless communications and sensing systems to engage a broad cross-section of students for Navy-relevant STEM careers

Dr. Anupama Kaul, University of North Texas

Historically, a hallmark of the U.S. Navy’s electronic warfare technical leadership has been well-rooted in Radio Frequency (RF) engineering. The North Texas- (NT-) Navy STEM Coalition (NSC) will enable a dynamic program aimed at engaging students in the STEM disciplines broadly, with a particular Naval focus on RF engineering and RF microelectromechanical system (MEMS) components for wireless communications and sensing systems. The NT-NSC proposes three educational tasks and one research task over the course of three years to provide a balanced experience for students in this program in order to integrate education, training and research. The four tasks will engage middle school, high school, Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (Navy-JROTC), community college, undergraduate and graduate students in the core foci of the program which are: curriculum development, mentoring and training activities, diversity initiatives, and sparking interest in research for students to pursue more advanced graduate degrees in the STEM fields.

Minor Certificate Program in Computational Naval Sciences to Enable NAVAL STEM Careers

Dr. Prashant Khare, University of Cincinnati

The overall goal of this program is to train the next generation STEM workforce to maintain U.S. Navy’s technological superiority across all its missions. This will be accomplished by identifying STEM needs in the context of computation-based science and technology careers in the U.S. Navy, and developing an exploratory self-sustaining computation-centric certificate program at two universities, University of Cincinnati and Old Dominion University. Specifically, we will address the ever-increasing demand of computational science enabled workforce in autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, and fluid & combustion sciences. A variety of Naval applications will be used as case-studies such that future Navy recruits will be exposed to, and become proficient in understanding and solving Navy-specific technical challenges using computational approaches.

Retooling Veterans with Service- and Combat-Connected Disabilities in Advanced Virtual Engineering

Dr. Mesbah Uddin, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

This program aims at providing graduate level education and training to veterans with disabilities in the areas of “advanced design and analysis using high performance computing” by augmenting the existing Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering graduate program at UNC Charlotte’s College of Engineering with two additional navy/defense-application oriented, project based applied coursework, and applied-research based dissertation/thesis work along the same line. The veteran participants in the program will be taught first the fundamental principles of computational design and analysis, and then they will be transitioned to the practical product design process. The curriculum is designed as such that the graduates from this program can easily adapt themselves into other career opportunities as information technology experts, data scientists, and computer programmers, which are among the critical areas of HQP need as identified in the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS). Though the program is tailored primarily towards retraining of veterans, the Naval application related coursework and research projects will be open to all U.S. nationals which will enable the Navy and DoD to have access to a larger pool of U.S. national talents trained in Virtual Engineering or in Engineering using Advanced High Performance Computing.

STEM Education Network for Sensor Research (SENSOR) Pilot

Dr. Mark Moldwin, University of Michigan

STEM Education Network for SensOr Research (SENSOR) is an innovative and new program at the University of Michigan that engages science and engineering undergraduates in a variety of research, educational, mentoring, and career exploration experiences focused on sensors and algorithm development. The SENSOR program includes (1) a summer engineering laboratory project for underrepresented Engineering students, (2) a 10-week summer research experience program working with sensors in a variety of contexts, including autonomous vehicles, robotics and space engineering and exploration, and (3) professional development opportunities including those around Navy-related STEM careers. In addition, SENSOR will develop a larger cohesive STEM education and training program engaging 11 universities as part of the NASA Michigan Space Grant Consortium to connect the broader regional sensor community.

Workforce Development Pipeline for Microgrid and Advanced Power Systems Careers

Dr. Nathan Johnson, University of Arizona

Eight training programs in microgrids and advanced power systems will create a pipeline of skilled personnel including Navy scientists, engineers, technicians, Veterans, and active-duty and their dependents. The breadth of programs begins to inspire and engage K-12 students, continues with advanced training in university/college institutions to educate and attract, and extends to on-the-job workforce initiatives to support employment, development, and retention. Over 1,200 people are expected to directly benefit from training, with more to benefit indirectly through a train-the-trainer program. Training will be delivered online, hands-on at the Arizona State University Microgrid and Grid Modernization Test Bed, and at Naval installations in the U.S. Southwest.

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