Future of Aeronautics: A Virtual Forum

Hosted by the University of Cincinnati Space Research Institute of Discovery and Exploration

UC's Aerospace Engineering faculty and student body is primed to educate the next generation of researchers and leaders in this field. Capitalizing on its rich history, including Neil Armstrong's tenure here, strengthening the mutually-beneficial collaboration with NASA is a logical step

On March 19, 2021, the UC Space Research Institute for Discovery and Exploration hosted a virtual forum with the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). This event showcased the interests and opportunities for NASA to work closely with academia in a wide variety of areas. The focus of this event was to align and strategize how UC's academic prowess in aeronautics and aerospace engineering could be applied through collaborations with NASA's aeronautics efforts. Serving as the event moderator, Institute Director Professor Charles Doarn, introduced a wide variety of speakers, including UC's Provost, Kristi Nelson; NASA's acting administrator, Steve Jurczyk; the NASA GRC Director, Marla Perez-Davis; and a number of political figures, including US Representative Anthony Gonzales (16th district), US Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, and Lt Governor Jon Husted. Each provided taped remarks about the importance of NASA's aerospace role in Ohio and the emerging collaborations with UC. Full video can be found here and the slide decks and presentations can be found here

NASA's Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, Robert Pearce provided the keynote address, describing a vision for changing the face of aviation and setting the stage for events focusing on aeronautics and partnerships. He outlined NASA's priorities and goals for transformations for sustainability, higher mobility, and economic growth. NASA is investing in research technologies for ultra-efficient transport, high-speed commercial flight, advanced air mobility, and future airspace operations and safety. The main part of the forum included the following topics (1) Technology Development and Sharing Opportunities; (2) Research and Programmatic Collaboration; and (3) six breakout sessions, which were led by both NASA and UC experts. Each of these sessions were aligned with the earlier general sessions. 

Additional speakers included UC's Vice President for Research, Patrick Limbach; Director of NASA GRC Office of Technology Incubation and Innovation, Mary Lobo; and Managing Director, Military and Federal Sector, JobsOhio, Elaine Bryant.

Registration for the event exceeded 300 with a peak attendance of 215 from government, academia and industry. Each person who presented, attended and/or participated walked away with a greater understanding of needs, capabilities and opportunities for collaboration. 

In the coming weeks and months, UC and NASA will continue develop collaborations with faculty, students and industry partners. The information shared and connections made during this event will undoubtedly lead to new partnerships.