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Old Dominion University Becomes Full Member of National Institute of Aerospace

Old Dominion University recently joined seven other universities as full members of the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) after a unanimous vote by the group's board of directors.

As an affiliate member since 2002, ODU has established a record of significant contributions to NIA through aerospace research and helping to manage the institute's graduate programs.

"We are proud to join NIA as members. The upcoming launch of our student-designed CubeSat from Wallops Flight Facility demonstrates our commitment to aerospace research," Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick said. "Membership in NIA will help us better prepare the next generation of engineers and scientists to work in the public and private sectors."

The CubeSat satellites are part of the Virginia CubeSat Constellation mission, a collaborative project of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) and four of its member universities: ODU, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Hampton. Three nanosatellites, each about 4 inches cubed and weighing approximately 3 pounds, have been developed and instrumented (one each at ODU, Virginia Tech and Virginia) to obtain measurements of the properties of the Earth's atmosphere.

As part of ODU's membership, Paul Olsen, executive director of programs and partnerships for the University's Office of Research, will serve on NIA's board of directors.

The National Institute of Aerospace is a recognized leader in aerospace research, education and outreach. Based out of Newport News, it leads and conducts research with government, academia and industry partners. Additionally, it delivers graduate and continuing education in science and engineering.

Adding ODU to NIA's research portfolio will facilitate further advances in areas such as data analytics, unmanned systems and graduate programs.

"Over the last few years, ODU students and faculty have benefited from involvement in NIA's unique graduate education and research activities," said Colin Britcher, associate chair of the University's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering program. "As full members, we can now expand further and help drive the Institute's long-term strategy."

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