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OSU Launches Oklahoma Aerospace Institute

Oklahoma State University announced the creation of a new institute aimed at supporting aerospace industry growth in Oklahoma and beyond."Our mission is to drive cross-industry collaborations and innovation, which is exactly what brings us together today," said OSU President Kayse Shrum. "Oklahoma State University offers a complete turnkey solution for Oklahoma's aerospace industry needs. From K-12 enrichment and workforce development, through faculty and graduate research to groundbreaking innovations in industry partnerships, we are leading the state to advance this important economic engine."Today, we're announcing the formation of the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education. Oklahoma State University is the clear leader in aerospace within our state. We've had a partnership with NASA for more than 50 years. We've been training pilots for more than 80 years. Our depth and breadth of knowledge, faculty and research investments cannot be matched. We're so proud of this very long history in aerospace and aviation excellence."The Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) will bring the state's aerospace innovation economy together under one umbrella. OAIRE will support ongoing and future partnerships between university, commercial, military and government agencies, becoming a valuable resource for developing Oklahoma's aerospace ecosystem. That includes generating high-tech jobs and cutting-edge research that brings commercial enterprise and military sustainment support to the state.The comprehensive scope of OAIRE also includes K-12 outreach programs focused on STEM connections, building the Oklahoma aerospace workforce pipeline and promoting community involvement.Dr. Shrum said OAIRE will allow OSU to connect seamlessly with industry and K-12 partners to elevate OSU's leadership role in Oklahoma aerospace, inspiring the next generation of aviators and engineers while enhancing opportunities for industry and defense partners in Oklahoma.Due to industry demand, aviation is one of the fastest-growing programs in the OSU's College of Education and Human Sciences. To reach OSU constituents across the state, OAIRE will expand OSU aerospace research and course offerings in Oklahoma City at OSU DISCOVERY and in Tulsa at the Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center. This will allow students greater access to OSU's undergraduate and graduate programs, which will be tailored to meet the needs of the aerospace sector in the surrounding area.For K-12 schools, programming will include technical training, career placement and entrepreneurial opportunities for student engagement and retention. OSU will prioritize outreach to Native American and other underrepresented K-12 students with the goal of developing and retaining the talent pipeline for Oklahoma-based companies.Paul Tikalsky, dean of OSU's College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, said OSU will have more than $80 million under contract this year related to aerospace and aerospace education, from its world class facilities in Stillwater, to the OSU Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center in Tulsa and the new OSU DISCOVERY building in the heart of the OKC Innovation District. "OSU is the first aerospace program in the state and twice the size of any other," said Tikalsky. "We continue to expand our faculty and research operations and are now teaching more than 500 undergraduates in just aerospace engineering and another 1,000 in related fields. OSU brings expertise to industry partners in everything from advanced propulsion systems to avionics, unmanned systems, aerostructures, cybersecurity, re-engineering, airfield design, human factors, pilot training and much more. The Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education is part of the next generation of OSU and Oklahoma's growing economy."
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