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NSWC adds to portfolio of university partnerships

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), has added to the list of universities with whom it has Educational Partnership Agreements (EPA) that support the command’s mission-focused capabilities and help build a future workforce.

PHD leadership just inked its latest EPA with Cal Poly's materials engineering program, which trains students on technologies PHD is rapidly developing. That means the EPA could potentially supply the command with capable future employees and facilitate more partnerships between the two entities.

Currently PHD has EPAs with California State University Channel Islands and University of California, Santa Barbara. The command is also negotiating EPAs with the State University of New York at Buffalo, University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Ventura County Community College District, specifically for Oxnard, Ventura and Moorpark community colleges.

PHD could benefit directly from Cal Poly’s materials engineering lab and its millions of dollars of high-tech equipment—from electron microscopy to X-ray spectroscopy to a Mini 55 Instron tensile strength tester. Another benefit to PHD of a formal EPA is that more funding becomes available to allow students to work on Navy-sponsored projects, both at the university and at the command. Grants are distributed through OOT via the Naval Education Engineering Consortium (NEEC).

NEEC grants typically fund three-year research projects based at the universities, though students working on the project may travel to PHD periodically for a deeper dive. Other, smaller grants can be used to purchase specific materials for students to work on in their college labs for senior capstone projects that tackle a Navy-identified problem, with an assigned principal investigator who can mentor that student team. In addition, “mini grants” offered by NSWC PHD can be used to pay for student Capstone Projects and align with Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) Section 219 research projects.

An EPA offers PHD a pipeline to attract students as future employees, as well as partner with them on senior capstone projects, funded by the command. Nearly a third of the students at Cal Poly are engineering majors, and roughly 230 students are in the materials engineering program. The program includes computational modeling and additive manufacturing—two things that NSWC PHD is rapidly developing for its own capabilities. The students work hands on with the equipment in the lab from day one.

The EPA also allows the command to get in front of students via command-only events on campus, such as information sessions or recruitment events that would involve only Navy job opportunities. Without an EPA, the command would have to participate in larger recruitment events where NSWC PHD hiring managers are competing with companies such as Google, Microsoft Corp., Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Read more: https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/News/SavedNewsModule/Article/2124573/e...

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