USRA Collaborates with the U.S. Space Force and Air Force Research Laboratory to Support Student Research

USRA | March 22, 2022

On March 21st, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) announced that it has joined forces with the U.S. Space Force and the Air Force Research Laboratory to support scientific and technical research at seven selected universities. The partnership is called the University Consortium Research Opportunity (UCRO) and illustrates the significant partnership that connects academic research and government organization.

 "UCRO represents an incredibly unique opportunity for USRA to support the research efforts of an array of institutions, that will effectively advance the scientific and technical prowess of both USSF and AFRL. Importantly, these established partnerships will also engage a diverse group of students and postdoctoral fellows in research that contributes to an increased understanding and appreciation for STEM workforce opportunities within both agencies."

- Bernard Seery, Senior Vice President, USRA Technology Research and Development,

This workforce development program will leverage USRA’s proven record in STEM academics and administration.

"USRA's role administering UCRO will enable institutions to generate pertinent research critical to both USSF and AFRL. The research yielded will unquestionably support the mission of both agencies and will encourage interest in USSF and AFRL among the next generation of STEM professionals."

- Dr. Amanda Smith Hackler, USRA Director of Education

The principal investigators, their institutions, and proposals selected for this program include:
  • Dr. Michael Kinzel, University of Florida"Industrial-Aero Optimization for Agile Rocket Cargo Delivery"
  • Dr. Anthony Torres, Texas State University"Understanding the Effect of Vibration on the Crystallization of ZBLAN"
  • Dr. Anouck Girard, University of Michigan"Safe Learning in Space for Proximity and Rendezvous Operations"
  • Dr. Siamak Farhad, The University of Akron"On-Orbit and In-Situ Inspection and Repair of Spacecraft"
  • Dr. Marek Osiński, University of New Mexico"Designer Nanoparticles for Quantum Sensing of Location and Electric Field"
  • Dr. Brandon Jones, The University of Texas at Austin"Information Theoretic Detection and Tracking for Rapid IOD"
  • Dr. Miguel Velez-Reyes, The University of Texas at El Paso"Innovative Analysis of Spectra-Temporal Signatures Using Machine Learning for Ground-Based Remote Sensing of Unresolved Resident Space Objects"


This jointly delivered talk by Dr. Thomas Newpher and undergraduate Ben Thier highlights how they are striving to make education a team-based, data-driven practice. They delve into novel research they have conducted on team-based learning, course structure, and classroom dynamics.


This jointly delivered talk by Dr. Thomas Newpher and undergraduate Ben Thier highlights how they are striving to make education a team-based, data-driven practice. They delve into novel research they have conducted on team-based learning, course structure, and classroom dynamics.

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