KINGSVILLE — Faculty in the mechanical engineering department at Texas A&M University-Kingsville were recent recipients of a grant from the Office of Naval Research that will help produce engineering graduates that will qualify for U.S. Navy-related research and advanced technology as a career option.
The TAMUK group will receive more than $600,000 for the next three years, 2018-21.
As part of the project, Texas A&M-Kingsville engineering faculty will redesign the curriculum in existing courses to introduce and strengthen naval relevance in presentations, projects and applications.
“The South Texas Naval Pathway is important because it could potentially provide engineering graduates that meet urgent naval workforce needs,” said Dr. Xue Yang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the principal investigator for the grant. “The shortage of qualified STEM workforce in naval areas, both military and civilian, is one of the major challenges and it must be addressed through this project.
“This will create a STEM workforce with diverse backgrounds but familiar with engineering applications in naval fields,” he said.
With naval air stations at Kingsville and Corpus Christi close to the university, staff members from both locations will be able to take classes at Texas A&M-Kingsville either on campus or online.
“In addition, we will be collaborating with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to put Navy researchers in touch with graduate students,” Yang said.
“The research collaboration will couple Texas A&M-Kingsville engineering faculty members with either NAS engineers or NRL researchers to co-design and co-advise various undergraduate and graduate-level research programs, such as senior design and service learning.
“This collaboration will not only enrich the educational experience for the students and motivate them to consider Navy-related research and advanced technology as a career option in the short run, but also will foster a joint research platform between Texas A&M-Kingsville and NRL in the front run to benefit future students,” Yang said.