UCCS on Tuesday joined an elite group of universities that will partner with Northrop Grumman Corporation to create an improved pipeline for current and future engineering students and faculty research and development opportunities.
At a 10 a.m. announcement in the University Center, Northrop Grumman officials named UCCS a Core University Partner, a designation extended to only 52 other universities across the nation. The designation means financial support from Northrop Grumman for science, technology, engineering and math programs, expanded internship opportunities for UCCS students, Northrop Grumman-sponsored campus lectures, opportunities for faculty and Northrop engineers to collaborate, career fairs for students, and support for UCCS efforts to encourage youth to consider science-related college majors.
Russ Anarde, corporate lead executive, Northrop Grumman, announced details of the program following a campus tour and meetings with faculty in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
“Today’s announcement is about tomorrow,” Anarde told a group of mostly College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty and students in the University Center.
In their comments, Anarde and Veronica Nelson, career pathways program manager, Northrop Grumman, emphasized a looming shortage of workers in STEM fields and the need to improve student interest in science-related fields to eventually fill industry and defense-related jobs. About 50 percent of U.S. engineers are nearing retirement, pushing the company to explore new ways to recruit top students. NG employs 1,000 in Colorado Springs and 2,200 people in Colorado.
Nelson emphasized the rigorous examination that led to the Core University Partners designation and praised UCCS for its efforts to encourage undergraduate research experiences and overall student engagement.
“What you do here is a model for universities across the country,” Nelson said.
R. “Dan” Dandapani, dean, College of Engineering and Applied Science, and Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak thanked Northrop Grumman for its support. Shockley-Zalabak cited early efforts by David Packard to form UCCS as an example of the importance of corporate and university partnerships.
In a pre-recorded video message, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia also praised the partnership between UCCS and Northrop Grumman.