Students from three departments within The University of Texas at El Paso College of Engineering will be poised for future employment opportunities thanks to a $120,000 pledge from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to support interdisciplinary research involving artificial intelligence.
The college’s departments of Industrial Manufacturing and Systems Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering will engage students in an interdisciplinary research project involving non-destructive testing (NDT), an analysis method to evaluate the properties of a material, component, structure or system used that is a major component of aircraft safety.
Leading the effort is Bill Tseng, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Manufacturing and Systems Engineering. Tseng is joined by co-investigator Yirong Lin, Ph.D., associate professor, and graduate program director of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Several types of NDT methods are used to test aircraft, including liquid penetrant and ultrasonic testing. Liquid penetrant testing is one of the most widely used NDT methods in the aerospace industry to reveal cracks that may exist on the surface of aircraft materials.
Ultrasonic NDT is the most common sub-surface inspection technique, which uses high-frequency sound waves to locate defects under the surface. Artificial intelligence represents a growing realm in NDT studies, and UTEP students will conduct comprehensive work aimed at building automated procedures to enhance production of aircraft components.
“This applied research project is truly interdisciplinary work and it provides a great opportunity for our students from various majors to work together closely to explore knowledge in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) and NDT,” Tseng said. “Through this project, our students will grow not only on a professional level but also personally in order to become effective team players and communicators.”
The development of an AI-assisted classification system could lead to a manufacturing control mechanism for real-time visualization, analysis, and management that may be implemented in association with the information of image detection, various statistical data, and design parameters in aircraft component production lines.
“This project will train our students in composites manufacturing and in using AI to automatically detect defects, thus predicting remaining useful life of key aircraft components,” Lin said. “The project will help Lockheed Martin increase aircraft reliability and lower maintenance costs.”
On Tuesday, Blue Origin officials announced a national team to offer a Human Landing System for NASA’s Artemis program to return Americans to the lunar surface by 2024.
Blue Origin has signed teaming agreements with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. These partners have decades of experience supporting NASA with human space flight systems, launch vehicles, orbital logistics, deep-space missions, interplanetary navigation and planetary landings.
Each partner will bring their industry leading solutions to the following roles:
Blue Origin, as prime contractor, leads program management, systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and mission engineering while providing the Descent Element that is based on the multi-year development of the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine.
Lockheed Martin develops the reusable Ascent Element vehicle and leads crewed flight operations and training.
Northrop Grumman provides the Transfer Element vehicle that brings the landing system down towards the Moon.
Draper leads descent guidance and provides flight avionics.
“National challenges call for a national response. We are humbled and inspired to lead this deeply committed team that will land NASA astronauts on the Moon,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin. “Combining our partners’ heritage with our advance work on the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA in support of the Artemis program.”
“Lockheed Martin has been honored to help NASA explore space for more than 50 years, providing deep space robotic missions, planetary landers, space shuttle heritage and the Orion exploration spacecraft,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space. “We value Blue Origin’s thoughtful approach to developing human-rated flight systems, and are thrilled to be part of a national team with this mix of innovation and experience. We look forward to safely and sustainably returning our nation to the surface of the Moon by 2024.”
“Northrop Grumman’s commitment to put Americans back on the moon dates back over 50 years ago with the delivery of the first lunar lander for the historic Apollo Program,” said Blake Larson, corporate vice president and president of Innovation Systems, Northrop Grumman. “Along with our ongoing work on the Space Launch System boosters, astronaut escape system, and the Gateway habitat, we are proud to be a part of the Blue Origin national team to support NASA’s Artemis program and the ambitious goal to return to the moon by 2024.”
“When the nation needs precision guidance, it calls on Draper,” said Kaigham J. Gabriel, President and CEO, Draper. “We guided Apollo to the moon and back nearly 50 years ago. We’re ready to do it again with the Blue Origin team for Artemis.”
Via a news release, Blue Origin officials share that their “combined experience is uniquely positioned to meet NASA’s needs for the Artemis program…it’s time to go back to the Moon, this time to stay.”
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) President Heather Wilson and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Vice President of Engineering & Technology Travis Coomer signed a Memorandum of Agreement Wednesday that will employ UTEP students as interns with Lockheed Martin in El Paso.
“Lockheed Martin is a strong partner,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “Through this agreement, we are taking the next step in our relationship and bringing more engineering and business jobs to El Paso. We educate students from the region for jobs in industry, but UTEP will also work with community leaders to attract companies willing to employ people here in El Paso.”
In addition to Wilson and Coomer, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego participated in today’s announcement and signing ceremony.
Over the past 10 years, Lockheed Martin has supported research, infrastructure and program development at UTEP in the College of Engineering, leading to successful collaborations on dozens of professional and educational projects.
The company also has supported the College of Business Administration, where the Lockheed Martin Enterprise Resource Planning Academy has offered students an application-oriented view of planning systems since 2017.
As part of the new agreement, Lockheed Martin will open a location in El Paso near the UTEP campus where they will employ UTEP undergraduate students as interns. In addition, Lockheed Martin will hire UTEP doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to serve as supervisors.
“UTEP is an invaluable asset to El Paso and key in training the next generation of workforce and promoting our binational region’s economic development,” Congresswoman Escobar said. “This partnership with Lockheed Martin will support growth and innovation in the aerospace and defense industries and open the doors of opportunity to a vibrant community of talented, highly trained, highly skilled students.”
The Lockheed Martin location may also provide an opportunity for existing Lockheed Martin employees from El Paso to return to their hometown while continuing to work for the company.
UTEP is one of only nine top tier research universities in Texas. It educates 35% more undergraduate engineers than the University of New Mexico, and is the largest university between Tucson, Arizona; the Colorado border; and Lubbock, Texas.
For Lockheed Martin, the partnership provides opportunities to recruit a highly educated and diverse workforce while continuing to work closely with other high-tech UTEP facilities, including the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and the NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR).
Lockheed Martin is one of the most active and successful recruiters of UTEP graduates. Its F-35 manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, employs more than 100 UTEP alumni.
“Lockheed Martin and UTEP have a strong history of partnership,” Coomer said. “With the establishment of this program, we see great potential for the UTEP interns to make invaluable contributions to the engineering community and to the future of our business.”
Leaders and policymakers from across the Paso del Norte region said they’re encouraged by the prospects this latest addition to the partnership between UTEP and Lockheed Martin presents.
“The City of El Paso fully supports UTEP’s commitment to economic development efforts that harness the talent of this community’s students,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said. “Lockheed Martin’s increased presence in El Paso will bolster our city’s reputation as a place where Fortune 100 companies, like Lockheed Martin, can grow their businesses by seizing on the opportunity that our homegrown, dedicated workforce presents.”
“The County of El Paso stands with UTEP in its efforts to create local jobs for a highly educated and competitive workforce that continues to grow in our region,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego said. “Both the County and UTEP take great pride in the preparation of our future leaders who, through their vision and leadership, will create growth and prosperity in our region. We are pleased to have Lockheed Martin as a partner in this endeavor.”
UTEP is a comprehensive public research university that is increasing access to excellent higher education. It advances discovery of public value and positively impacts the health, culture, education and economy of the community it serves.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
UTEP President Diana Natalicio accepted Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Quality Excellence Award on behalf of The University of Texas at El Paso.
UTEP is the first academic institution to receive the award, which recognizes organizations that drive continuous improvement and demonstrate values that foster innovation, customer relationships and professional development while relentlessly pursuing improvements in the quality of industry and academics.
President Natalicio accepted the award from Daniel Pleshko, vice president of quality and mission success for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, and Charles Akers, director of mission assurance for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
“I am pleased to accept this Quality Excellence Award on behalf of the students, faculty and staff at UTEP,” President Natalicio said. “We are grateful for Lockheed Martin’s long recognition of the value of this mutually beneficial partnership. Their strategic investments over the past decade to enhance educational opportunities at UTEP strongly validate the caliber of our students and the quality of our faculty and staff. We look forward to further developing this highly productive collaboration in the years ahead, and thereby advancing the competitiveness of both UTEP students and the field of aerospace engineering.”
UTEP and Lockheed Martin have shared a longstanding partnership. Throughout the last decade, the company has invested more than $5 million for research as well as improvements to the quality of laboratories and facilities on campus.
Since 2009, those funds have led to successful collaborations on more than 40 professional and educational projects. Currently, Lockheed Martin is near the midway point of a five-year effort to bolster the infrastructure of the College of Engineering.
Lockheed Martin’s reach also extends to the College of Business Administration, where the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Academy has offered students an application-oriented view of ERP systems since 2017.
In addition, UTEP has continually evolved its curriculum, industry alignment, focus on students and quality of work through the partnership.
“Your leadership and UTEP’s focus on institutional quality, industry relevant curriculum and student engagement sets the standard for future universities to receive this Quality of Excellence Award,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
Lockheed Martin leaders also expressed gratitude for the quality of UTEP graduates who have joined the company. More than 130 full-time employees at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth are UTEP graduates. Scores more have served internships at the company.
“The halls of Lockheed Martin are filled with the best and brightest talent,” Carvalho said. “The graduates of UTEP are helping to create a culture of inclusion and innovation that will inspire the next generation.”
The ceremony took place on on Thursday, April 26, 2018.
The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Business Administration and Fortune 500 company Lockheed Martin have teamed up to create a new academic program that integrates business management practices to better prepare students for the workforce.
Leaders from both entities will participate in a kickoff of the Lockheed Martin Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Academy from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 27, in the Business Administration Building lobby. The first cohort of academy students will begin in fall 2017.
This new program will provide UTEP students with curriculum that has workplace relevance, state-of-the-art ERP support and corporate faculty integration, said Robert Nachtmann, DBA, dean of the College of Business Administration.
“We could not be more proud nor more thankful as together, Lockheed and UTEP build the foundation for our students’ futures,” Nachtmann said.
College of Business Administration faculty and Lockheed Martin employees are developing a curriculum that will enable students to earn an ERP academic certificate. This 12-credit program, which will incorporate the world’s leading business software, SAP, will expose students to how enterprisewide information systems support the planning and management of business processes across various departments within an organization.
Along with the academics, the program will feature a speaker series that brings in ERP experts, and chances to tackle real-world ERP applications. Academy participants also may join in site visits, mentorship opportunities, and could be selected for paid internships.
Richard Horvath, Lockheed Martin vice president and controller, said his company was proud to align its resources with UTEP to help develop the next generation of talent. His company, which employs more than 200 University graduates, has a long history of collaborating with UTEP.
“I’m confident the establishment of the academy will allow that number to only increase,” Horvath said.
This is the latest collaboration between the College of Business Administration and industry. The college and ADP started the Human Capital Management Academy in fall 2016 to extend the understanding of theory and practice of human capital management.