Florida Polytechnic University Meets with Department of Defense Research Leaders

Oct 28, 2013

Florida Poly’s Director of Government Relations Rick Maxey, Director of Nanotechnology and Multifunctional Materials Programs Robert I. MacCuspie, Ph.D. and Professor Ryan Integlia, Ph.D. were among representatives from Florida’s 12 public universities who participated in the first C.W. Bill Young Research Day of the State University System of Florida at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The one-day workshop with key defense leaders was the first of its kind for the State University System (SUS) of Florida and served as a tremendous opportunity for higher education institutions like Florida Poly to learn first-hand about the research needs of the DoD, one of the federal government’s largest funders of research grants.

“We established valuable relationships with some of the DoD’s top research administrators, several of whom expressed serious interest in partnering with us,” said Maxey. “We were also able to get a good sense of what the DoD’s needs are, and that provides our faculty the opportunity to focus their research proposals on topics and programs that increase Florida Poly’s competitiveness for funding.”

The event kicked off with an introduction from Interim Chancellor Jan Ignash, followed by a presentation from Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering Alan Shaffer, who provided an overview of how Florida Poly and other Florida universities can participate in DoD research and development.

Attendees also heard from key research leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on the military’s research priorities, challenges, budgets and latest initiatives. Potential areas of research need ranged from the development of remote sensing applications to understanding environmental factors for communicable diseases in underserved communities.

“It was exciting to learn that many of the degree programs that Florida Poly is offering align well with the specific mission needs identified by the DoD, including nanotechnology, big data, health informatics and mechanical and electrical engineering,” MacCuspie said. “I think Poly’s innovative applied research programs are very attractive to DoD research administrators.”

“As a new university, Florida Poly has the nimbleness to design our curriculum and research programs so they are responsive to the needs of the DoD and other major research funders as they change and evolve. That’s a major advantage,” added Integlia.