The University of South Florida is officially joining forces with MacDill Air Force Base to increase opportunities for collaboration that will benefit both entities. With education at the forefront, the overall goal is to encourage and enhance the study of a variety of fields, including science, technology, engineering and math.
“USF is experiencing an incredible upward trajectory, and that is in part because of our robust relationships within the community — including our connection to MacDill Air Force Base,” USF President Rhea Law said. “Our university has a lot to offer through our faculty expertise, cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art facilities, and MacDill Air Force Base has a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide to us as well. This expanded partnership will create a symbiotic relationship between the two groups in support of the Tampa Bay area’s students, researchers and the greater military community.”
Based on the agreement, USF students will have access to new, high-impact opportunities – such as internships and research projects -- guest speakers, mentoring resources and other engagement opportunities in various fields. In turn, MacDill will promote the education of future mathematicians, scientists and engineers, as well as provide educational opportunities not otherwise available to USF faculty, students, and other participating employees. This includes making laboratory personnel available to teach science courses and developing a program where students may be given academic credit for work on defense laboratory research projects.
In addition to the educational partnership, the USF Institute of Applied Engineering was also just awarded a $10 million agreement to support various requirements with the 6th Air Refueling Wing and U.S. Central Command, based at MacDill. The agreement will further educational opportunities by providing operations research, data science, wargaming, human dynamics modeling, rapid prototyping, subject matter expertise and conference support.
“This partnership is exactly the type of collaboration we need to maintain superiority over near-peer adversaries around the globe,” said Col. Adam Bingham, Commander, 6th Air Refueling Wing. “This agreement will allow us to innovate and provide custom resources to the MacDill warrior.”
Both agreements further advance the university’s strategic focus with the newly formed Global and National Security Institute, which addresses critical issues facing the nation in sectors such as defense, economic and political security, health and human security and infrastructure and environmental security.
The educational agreement runs for a total of three years and the $10 million agreement runs for a total of five years and both take effect immediately.