Alabama's premier higher education institutions have joined together to create the Aerospace Consortium of Alabama to better serve the state and its growing aerospace industry. Auburn University, the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama-Huntsville, are working together to create opportunities for state-of-the-art research, share resources and specialized equipment, enhance graduate outreach programs and support K-12 partnerships throughout Alabama.
"Alabama is an aerospace state second to none," says John Cochran, head of Auburn's Department of Aerospace Engineering. "Within this state, the Department of Defense agencies, NASA and private industry are engaged in aeronautical and space research, development and production. The Aerospace Consortium of Alabama offers a major step in providing enhanced aerospace engineering graduate education and state-of-the-art research to help keep Alabama at the forefront in aerospace.
Department chairs from the institutions' aerospace engineering programs are serving as the consortium's board of directors. A meeting was held in early April in Hoover for faculty, researchers and administration from the three institutions to discuss planning and strategic initiatives for research, outreach and instruction.
"By combining the aerospace engineering expertise, resources and influence of these three major institutions, we will be able to provide unique opportunities in graduate education and compete more effectively for large research projects to help keep the United States first in aerospace," adds Cochran.