Top-performing Emirati interns at Lockheed Martin, the US-based global technology leader, recently showcased their work on advanced technology projects to senior UAE defense industry officials.
Presenting the outcomes of their summer internships at Lockheed Martin’s Center for Innovation and Security Solutions (CISS) in Masdar City, the UAE university students demonstrated real-world aerospace solutions they created to leaders from Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun), the UAE’s defense and security industry enabler, and EDGE, the advanced technology group for defense and beyond.
Interns from the summer program’s artificial intelligence (AI)team, which drew students from Tawazun’s SEEDS (Sustain & Enhance Emiratization in Defense and Security) initiative, showcased a breakthrough solution for enhanced aircraft inspection that was developed remotely with mentors from Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics division in Fort Worth, Texas, in the United States. The students created an AI neural network to detect paint and primer defects on aircraft for use on crawler drones that carry out inspections on platforms such as theC-130 and the F-16. The solution will deliver significant time and cost savings compared to an otherwise lengthy process of inspecting defects on aircraft wings and fuselages by hand.
Matar Al Romaithi, Chief Economic Development Officer at Tawazun, said: “At Tawazun, we aim to support the development of essential, qualified human capital for the benefit of the defense and technology industries. This summer, Tawazun is very proud to have partnered with Lockheed Martin in shaping this defense and technology specialist summer internship program in tandem with our SEEDS initiative. We look forward to strengthening this collaboration and to achieving many more successful outcomes in the years to come.”
He added, “Tawazun has implemented many initiatives in cooperation with local and international strategic partners to support and enhance human capital and supply this vital sector with trained national energies and capabilities qualified in various technical and engineering disciplines”.
Khalid Al Breiki, President – Mission Support, EDGE, who interacted with the interns at length, said: “As a nation, we have invested significantly in technological innovation and advancement. Yet, it is the competences and capabilities of people to develop and operate new technologies that matter the most. We are delighted to see the performance and applied innovation of our country’s young talent at Lockheed Martin’s CISS and commend the company’s contributions in building a strong ecosystem of skilled young local professionals.”
Bob Harward, Chief Executive for Lockheed Martin Middle East, added: “At Lockheed Martin, we challenge students to apply their learning practically to solve real-life problems. Our commitment to building the capacity of the UAE’s local workforce remains as strong as ever, and we look forward to working more closely with Tawazun and EDGE to continue to nurture Emirati talent in the aerospace and defense sector moving forward.”
Lockheed Martin’s CISS has hosted merit-based internship programs since 2017 and has implemented a series of technology development programs for Emirati engineers and industry professionals. This year, the program saw 16 students receive specialist training in artificial intelligence development and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle design, defense simulation exercises, business administration skills, and IT systems management, working on real-world projects that will positively impact the UAE’s aerospace and defense industry.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 110,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.