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MOU Signals Growing Partnership Between ODU and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division

Calling it a natural progression in the relationship between Old Dominion University and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations was signed yesterday.

In an Oct. 28 ceremony in the atrium of ODU's new Engineering Systems Building, a new state-of-the-art engineering building on campus, President John R. Broderick and NSWCDD Commander Capt. Brian Durant signed the MOU and education partner agreement (EPA).

The MOU and EPA formalize a stronger organizational link between ODU and NSWCDD, for areas of future coordination.

Broderick said it builds on the long-time partnership between Old Dominion and Dahlgren, in areas of research, continuing education and workforce development and training.

"Our partnership with the military is a very significant part of who we are," Broderick said, noting that almost one-quarter of ODU students are directly connected to the military. "With this MOU signing today, our goal is to be a much larger partner with Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren."

Broderick said he is particularly excited for the opportunities this agreement will present. "I would very much like to come back here in a year and a half to have a bigger celebration about what we're doing."

Durant termed the MOU and EPA signings as the "next step" in the partnership between ODU and NSWCDD.

"We started with Old Dominion employees. Many talented ODU graduates have worked at Dahlgren Division for years. With distance learning, it increased our participation to current employees receiving advanced degrees," Durant said.

"I see today's signing as an opportunity to solidify the partnership, leveraging each other's capabilities, and taking the next step."

Also attending the event from NSWCDD were Technical Director Dennis McLaughlin, Chief Technology Officer June Drake, Technical Partnering Office Director Mike Wood, Dam Neck F Department Head Marty Irvine and Dam Neck Business Strategic Operations Lead Terry Sellers.

During the visit to campus, the Naval officials attended a luncheon with senior academic and administration officials, hearing presentations from ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center and Applied Research Center, then touring the University's Modeling and Simulation Labs, Additive Manufacturing Lab and Vision Lab.

As the relationship matures, future collaborative research between the two institutions will require the formation of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) which will signal a more formalized partnership between NSWCDD and ODU.

This formalized partnership will allow for increased collaboration across the university on research in specific need areas, the development of courses and credentialing for Dahlgren staff, and opportunities for ODU faculty and students to participate in internships and Dahlgren's Summer Faculty Research Program.

The MOU, EPA, and eventual CRADAs all signal a more formalized partnership Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and Old Dominion University. ODU has had a teaching presence at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus for several years, and supports the advanced education and credentialing requirements of the Navy base's highly skilled scientific workforce.

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