University of South Florida


Jing Wang, professor of electrical engineering, and Ugur Guneroglu, graduate student, working on micromachined on-chip microwave acoustic resonators and filters for integrated RF and microwave front end systems.

Jing Wang, professor of electrical engineering, and graduate student Ugur Guneroglu conduct research in the USF Center for Wireless and Microwave Information Systems [Photos by Torie Doll, University Communications and Marketing]

New partnership will allow USF to advance U.S. Army innovation, bolster talent pipeline

By Tina Meketa, University Communications and Marketing

Sylvia Thomas and Adam Rawlett

Adam Rawlett, senior research scientist for the Army Research Laboratory, and Sylvia Thomas, USF vice president for research and innovation [Photo courtesy of USF Research and Innovation]

The University of South Florida is broadening its collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense through a formalized agreement with the U.S. Army. 

The five-year educational partnership agreement coalesces faculty from throughout the university to conduct critical defense research and provides student internships – helping broaden the talent pipeline for future military needs.

“This new partnership with the U.S. Army Research Lab demonstrates USF’s commitment to research and innovation focused on global and national security,” said Sylvia Thomas, USF vice president for research and innovation. “It will provide tremendous research opportunities for our faculty and great hands-on learning experiences and workforce development for our students.  USF embraces this opportunity to strategically collaborate with ARL experts to strengthen U.S. competitiveness.”

USF researchers will be working with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. It’s the Army’s foundational research laboratory dedicated to scientific discovery and technological innovation, helping strengthen the armed forces. 

“DEVCOM ARL's educational partnership agreement with the University of South Florida provides a unique opportunity to engage faculty and students to advance ARL's mission to operationalize science, build a preeminent workforce and transition innovation for the Army,” said Adam Rawlett, senior research scientist for DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory.

  • Jing Wang, professor of electrical engineering, and graduate student Ruoke Liu

  • Doctoral students Shivani Sharma and Tasin Nusrat work with electrical engineering Assistant Professor Stavros Vakalis in the Center for Wireless and Microwave Information Systems

  • (L-R) Tansel Yucelen, associate professor of mechanical engineering, doctoral students Emre Yildirim, Deniz Kurtoglu and Rebecca Harrison and undergraduate student Samuel Carrara

  • Undergraduate student Samuel Carrara, doctoral student Deniz Kurtoglu and associate professor of mechanical engineering Tansel Yucelen work on autonomous control of unmanned aerial systems

  • Doctoral student Thomas Ranstrom and Gokhan Mumcu, professor of electrical engineering

The new partnership will add to the university’s longstanding working relationship with the U.S. Army, which is evidenced by USF researchers conducting 114 Army-funded research projects worth $150 million over the last 20 years. The Laboratory for Autonomy, Control and Information Systems (LACIS) and the Center for Wireless and Microwave Information Systems (WAMI) recently received $3.5 million in funding from the DEVCOM Army Research Lab to lead six projects. They include the development of autonomous control algorithms for unmanned aerial systems, the creation of advanced antenna technology that can change the shape and focus of radio waves in super high frequency range, new technology with defense mechanisms that can be integrated into wireless devices using machine-learning algorithms and radar systems that can detect challenging targets.

“This partnership will pave the way for the safe integration of unmanned aerial systems into our national airspace, leveraging cutting-edge autonomous control algorithms,” said Tansel Yucelen, USF associate professor of mechanical engineering and LACIS director, who has led more than $4.5 million in research from Department of Defense agencies. 

USF professors of electrical engineering and WAMI center members Gokhan Mumcu, Stavros Vakalis and co-director Jing Wang also plan to leverage this new partnership to expand their wireless research efforts. They collectively have $7 million in federal grants, more than half awarded by agencies in the Department of Defense.  

In addition to USF serving as subject matter experts, DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory will provide USF with cutting-edge laboratory equipment and access to its own advanced research facilities. It will also provide students with internship opportunities through DEVCOM, making them more competitive in securing challenging careers such as in the aerospace and industrial engineering fields. 

While this agreement represents the start of a formal relationship between USF and DEVCOM, both sides agree that it will likely grow to become a similar partnership as what USF has with MacDill Air Force Base, where there are multiple projects being conducted over the course of several years.

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