Khalifa University of Science and Technology (Khalifa University), and Lockheed Martin, a U.S.-based global aerospace, security and technology leader, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to collaborate on research and academic initiatives that will advance technology and human capital development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dr. Steven H. Walker, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Lockheed Martin, and Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, signed the agreement virtually, which identifies areas of mutual interest in support of Lockheed Martin’s research endeavors and the development of a knowledge-based economy as outlined by UAE Vision 2021.
This is the first of several planned formal agreements between Lockheed Martin and Khalifa University to increase the pipeline of highly skilled aerospace, defense, technology and security engineers in the region, Emirates news agency WAM reported.
“At Lockheed Martin, we are committed to working together with colleges and universities to advance the strategic priorities of our customers,” said Dr. Walker, who recently joined the Khalifa University Board of Trustees, succeeding Lockheed Martin’s Executive Chairman Marillyn A. Hewson.
“As a well-respected research institution and a leading contributor to the UAE’s vision to shape a knowledge-based economy, Khalifa University is an obvious partner. We are confident that our collaboration will help advance STEM careers, evolve the country’s research ecosystem and provide unique opportunities for research and development activities,” he added.
Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin and Khalifa University will explore opportunities for cooperation, led by the university’s faculty, in areas including machine intelligence, autonomy, microelectronics, structural and thermal materials, and air vehicle research. The publication of research, along with development and assessment of academic course material, will also add to knowledge sharing through the MoU.
Dr. Al Hammadi said: “As a research-intensive educational institution that seeks to produce world leaders and critical thinkers in applied science and engineering, we are delighted to partner with Lockheed Martin to focus more on advanced research areas. The MoU with a globally leading aerospace and advanced technologies company will not only help develop talent locally through STEM collaborations, but also offer us access to Lockheed Martin’s technological capabilities.”
“We believe equipping the youth in the UAE and building new capacities in areas including aerospace will benefit the country, contributing to catalyzing the growth of the rapidly developing knowledge-economy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE,” he added.
Lockheed Martin works with leading universities worldwide to sponsor research and perform collaborative research for government customers. The company’s Center for Innovation and Security Solutions, CISS, based in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, has hosted merit-based summer internship programs for top-performing UAE engineering students every year since 2017.
This summer, 16 talented students from leading institutions, including Khalifa University, are interning virtually at the CISS to comply with distance learning measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.
With 19 research centers focusing on various economic sectors that are considered strategic to the UAE, Khalifa University drives innovation and scientific exploration in advanced technology areas such as aerospace, nuclear engineering, advanced materials, oil and gas, and clean energy. Each year, the University adds a sizable number of patents to the intellectual property basket of the UAE. At present, Khalifa University has 126 issued patents, with 343 patent applications pending, and more than 400 invention disclosures.