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OSU's CEAT partners with Air Force

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tinker air force base

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey King (left) and Kenneth Sewell (right) sign an agreement between the Air Force and CEAT. Courtesty of OSU.

OSU has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Tinker Air Force Base.

CRADA’s technology will have a direct impact on the readiness of the United States Air Force. 

OSU students, faculty and staff will work alongside engineers and technicians at Tinker Air Force Base to research, develop and utilize technology that will provide maintenance and upgrade existing and new aircraft in a faster, safer, higher-quality and more cost effective way. 

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey King, commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base, said this partnership will allow research to help improve maintenance operations in the depot to advance the readiness of the Air Force. 

“These aircraft provide no support sitting in the depot,” King said. “The faster we can accomplish maintenance on each aircraft, the faster we can get them back in operation for our men and women serving around the world.”

CRADA is part of a larger educational partnership agreement and addresses Tinker Air Force Base’s immediate need. It will provide OSU CEAT students and faculty an opportunity to directly impact the nation’s armed forces; specifically, this research opportunity will facilitate technology insertion and process improvement for removing the many and various aircraft and engine fasteners, an essential step in depot operations.

Kenneth Sewell, OSU’s vice president for research, said this CRADA puts a real-world problem in the hands of students and provides them with experiential research training that they wouldn’t experience under normal circumstances.

“This agreement gives us a real-world, impactful way to exercise our research expertise in a way that benefits society almost immediately,” Sewell said.

The research conducted under this CRADA will supplement each participating student’s educational experience and create a more knowledgeable, experienced graduate that is better prepared to enter the workforce and address the growing engineering needs of Oklahoma and the nation.

Kurt Rouser, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is serving as the University Technical Point of Contact for the CRADA. Rouser said students benefit from understanding the engineering challenges facing the Air Force in sustaining aircraft and engines.

“This opportunity will enhance a pipeline of talent uniquely prepared for the aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul industry that has a national hub situated at the crossroads here in Oklahoma,” Rouser said.

The CRADA, as well as addressing a specific and immediate need, will provide a foundation for partnership among OSU, Tinker Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force. OSU leaders believe this partnership is their obligation.

“We, as a university, see it as our role to contribute, not only to our local community and our state, but to our nation, as part of our land-grant mission,” Sewell said.