Central State University administrators visited the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on Sept. 16, 2020. CSU President Jack Thomas and his team toured the campus and discussed joint educational programs with AFIT leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)
Dr. Jack Thomas, President of Central State University, along with members of his senior staff, visited the Air Force Institute of Technology on Sept. 16, 2020. Thomas and his team met with AFIT leadership to discuss joint educational programs including an online technical MBA program and student intern programs for CSU research assistants. Opportunities for adjunct faculty appointments and use of research facilities were also discussed.
"This visit to Wright-Patterson Air Force base and AFIT was inspiring for me and my team,” said Thomas. “As we endeavor upon a new strategic plan, such partnerships are at the center of the direction we are headed. Innovation is in our DNA, and the advanced technological and business opportunities presented will be leverage jointly for our students and faculty."
“We appreciated the opportunity to host Dr. Thomas and his colleagues on their first visit to Wright-Patterson AFB and AFIT,” said Dr. Todd Stewart, AFIT Director and Chancellor. “The visit gave us the opportunity to highlight the potential for mutually-beneficial collaboration with other organizations at Wright-Patterson, like the Air Force Research Laboratory.”
The CSU and AFIT relationship is not new. The two universities have worked together on regional projects such as the Launching Equity in the Academy across the Dayton Entrepreneurial Region Consortium and three CSU faculty conducted research at AFIT as part of the U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program.
“CSU and AFIT faculty have complementary strengths that can be leveraged for regional STEM workforce development and research projects of interest to the Air Force,” said Dr. Heidi Ries, AFIT Interim Chief Academic Officer and Dean for Research. “This visit was a valuable first step in identifying new opportunities.”
While at AFIT, the CSU team toured laboratory facilities to learn of the current research efforts within the Graduate School of Engineering and Management. Tour stops included the Autonomy and Navigation Technology Center to learn about cutting-edge research on non-GPS precision navigation. The team also visited the Additive Manufacturing Lab to see the state-of-the-art metal additive manufacturing system that enables AFIT faculty and students to digitally fabricate aerospace metal parts.
“The 1890 Land Grant designation of CSU brings unique opportunities for AFIT to leverage our technical capabilities in diverse STEM areas to partner with CSU in mutual pursuit of economic development programs fitting the ideals of a land grant institution,” said Dr. Adedeji Badiru, Dean of AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management.
“I am delighted that we have a renewed opportunity to further strengthen AFIT’s collaborative alliances with Central State University. It is through partnership that both institutions can advance the strategic pathway of excellence in interdisciplinary teaching and research,” said Badiru.
Dr. Jack Thomas, President, Central State University, left, and Dr. Adedeji Badiru, Dean, Graduate School of Engineering and Management, Air Force Institute of Technology, talk about a test aircraft inside AFIT’s Autonomy and Navigation Technology Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on Sept. 16, 2020. CSU administrators toured the campus and discussed joint educational programs with AFIT leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)
U.S. Air Force Major Ryan Kemnitz, left, assistant professor, Air Force Institute of Technology, describes a satellite bus manufactured in the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Additive Manufacturing Lab to administrators from Central State University at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on Sept. 16, 2020. CSU President Jack Thomas and his team toured the campus and discussed joint educational programs with AFIT leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)