University Park, Pa. — Penn State is a founding member of a new consortium centered on training naval systems engineers for the Navy's civilian acquisition, engineering and science workforce.
Established by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) through a five-year, $7.5 million contract, the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC) comprises 15 colleges and universities, along with the American Society of Naval Engineers and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
Heading Penn State's effort is Dean Capone, associate professor of acoustics and senior research associate with the Applied Research Laboratory.
According to a NAVSEA press release, the NEEC is designed to increase the number of students graduating with an accredited degree; provide faculty specializing in naval engineering; coordinate employee development opportunities to retain naval engineering talent for the Navy; and increase the availability of naval engineering education programs and courses across universities and colleges.
NEEC will use project-based education to provide naval engineering experience to students. Project teams from universities, along with a NAVSEA engineer or scientist assigned to the team, will tackle current and future technical challenges, including alternative energy sources, energy conservation, total ownership cost reduction, unmanned vehicles, advanced ship design methods and maintenance reduction. Students will also have the opportunity for hands-on naval engineering experience through NAVSEA internships and at-sea work on Navy ships. Plans also call for a K-12 outreach program to encourage students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
The consortium is led by the University of Michigan and includes Penn State, Virginia Tech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, Webb Institute, Florida State University, Florida Atlantic University, Old Dominion University, Tennessee State University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of New Orleans, University of Iowa, University of Texas-San Antonio and the University of Washington.