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AFRL and University of Alaska Fairbanks sign strategic education partnership agreement

Courtesy photo.

An Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate student intern performs a space experiment in the directorate’s small satellite laboratory. Under the recently signed Education Partnership Agreement, the AFRL Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates look forward to welcoming students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks to collaborate on scientific research projects. (Photo courtesy of the Air Force Research Laboratory)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy and Space Vehicles Directorates in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) are pleased to announce they have signed a five-year Education Partnership Agreement (EPA) that will enable scientific collaboration between AFRL and UAF.

“I am delighted to sign this partnership agreement with a great educational institution,” said Dr. Kelly Hammett the director of the Directed Energy Directorate. “We look forward to welcoming University faculty and students in partnering with AFRL researchers on technology advancements for the nation’s defense, and in expanding STEM opportunities across the Alaska education system.”  

“This is an exciting opportunity for Alaska,” said Dr. Nettie La Belle-Hamer, interim vice chancellor for research at UAF. “This partnership will strengthen both UAF and AFRL, while supporting the needs of Alaskans as well as UAF faculty and students, regardless of where they came from.”

Under the agreement, AFRL will be able to loan as well as transfer laboratory equipment to UAF, make AFRL scientists and engineers available to teach science courses at the University, provide faculty with sabbatical opportunities and students with internships, and involve students and faculty in national defense research projects.The organizations are also working together to develop a program wherein students may be given academic credit for work at the laboratory.

“As a defense laboratory, AFRL encourages the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at all levels of education,” said Col. Eric Felt, the Space Vehicles Directorate director. “Our EPA with the University of Alaska Fairbanks is a fantastic educational outreach opportunity to interest students in pursuing STEM careers to grow our country’s STEM workforce.”

As part of that quest, AFRL scientists and engineers will be available to provide academic and career advice to University students, with an eye toward the future workforce for AFRL and our nation’s defense industry.