The University of Texas at El Paso’s renowned Aerospace Center, also known as cSETR, has partnered with El Paso-based defense contracting company Integrated Defense Applications, LLC IDA Technology to build what officials say is a small business aerospace and defense ecosystem in the Paso del Norte region.
The collaboration will foster research and educational activities in missile systems tests, evaluations, performance analysis, artificial intelligence and digital engineering.
University officials share that the goal is to create new opportunities for students to gain valuable industry skills and insights that they will subsequently contribute to the local workforce after they graduate from the University. The alliance also provides additional contract funding for UTEP to expand aerospace and defense technologies and advanced manufacturing research and education.
“This partnership connects the intellectual talents of our faculty and our students with a local company, IDA Technology, which will allow UTEP to learn of real-life problems that would stimulate future research directions,” said Roberto Osegueda, Ph.D., vice president for research at UTEP.
IDA Technology provides system operational analysis, test program management, joint interoperability network evaluation, modeling and simulation accreditation, evaluation planning and reporting documentation, as well as information technology services.
“We are delighted for this collaboration with UTEP’s Aerospace Center and taking it to the next level,” said Von C. Washington Sr., president and CEO of IDA Technology. “As an El Paso company, we are committed to this partnership and providing opportunities for a highly educated and diverse workforce in the pursuit of innovation and technology-based opportunities for the entire community.”
This strategic partnership will involve collaborations between UTEP students, faculty and staff, and experienced IDA engineers on research projects and a variety of educational and professional development opportunities.
During summer 2020, IDA provided UTEP undergraduate and graduate students with internship and mentorship opportunities and supported faculty as subject-matter experts on various projects. Through work with IDA, students can graduate with professional experiences, making them high-demand recruits for the aerospace and defense workforce.
“Through this partnership, we have access to people who have long expertise and experience working on aerospace and defense systems that enriches our students’ experience and makes them very marketable,” said Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., associate vice president for Aerospace Center and founding director of cSETR.
“On the other hand, they need our students as interns and our faculty as subject-matter experts to work on different contracts. It is a win-win for both sides.”