College of Engineering Signs Educational Partnership Agreement with NAVAIR

Just a few days before Veteran’s Day 2011, the College of Engineering signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), whose mission “is to provide full life-cycle support of naval aviation aircraft.” Through this agreement, established on November 9, faculty and students will have access to the expertise of NAVAIR personnel and their advanced systems, facilities, and technologies, while NAVAIR will gain access to the next generation of future Navy engineers.

The signing ceremony featured remarks from the Rev. Peter M. Donohue; OSA, PhD, ’75 A&S; Dr. Gary Gabriele, Drosdick Endowed Dean of Engineering; RDML Randolph L. Mahr, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command; and Kathleen Donnelly ChE ’84, Director, Support Equipment and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment, Department of Naval Air Systems Command.

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Gabriele recognized the efforts of Dr. C. Nataraj, Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who has built a positive, productive relationship with NAVAIR over several years, which laid the foundation for nearly 40 student immersion experiences with the organization. He also expressed excitement at the possibilities offered by formalizing this already successful partnership.

Father Peter remarked on the College’s longstanding history of educating officers and leaders within the U.S. Navy. He and RDML Mahr also called on those involved in the partnership to harness the discoveries made in collaboration to contribute to a more peaceful world. Donnelly, the highest ranking civilian at NAVAIR’s Lakehurst, N.J., location, shared insights into her personal career journey and urged the students in attendance to build close relationships with their faculty advisors and to keep an open, trusting mind when offered advice.

The signed Educational Partnership Agreement establishes that its purpose is to:

  • Aid in the educational experience of Villanova’s students and faculty by providing a mechanism by which those students and faculty can benefit from the staff expertise, unique facilities, and equipment related to naval warfare systems and technologies available from NAVAIR, Lakehurst
  • Provide access to NAVAIR’s hardware, personnel, and facilities to provide a unique opportunity for Villanova’s students to become aware of and collaborate in the many disciplines associated with all aspects of aircraft systems and sub-systems from concept, to integration, through testing, which would not otherwise be available in a school environment
  • Facilitate student interest and expertise in science, mathematics, and engineering, particularly as these fields relate to the real-world technical applications required by the U.S. Navy
  • Provide Villanova’s students and faculty access to state-of-the-art and new, innovative technological methods relating to solving existing technical problems
  • Facilitate the training and recruitment of potential future NAVAIR employees
  • Encourage and facilitate early interest in the sciences and engineering by young people at all stages of their academic careers
  • Facilitate the identification of other mutually beneficial partnership opportunities
Rev. Peter M. Donohue; OSA, PhD, ’75 A&S, and RDML Randolph L. Mahr, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering
Rev. Peter M. Donohue; OSA, PhD, ’75 A&S, and RDML Randolph L. Mahr, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command, sign the official Educational Partnership Agreement.