The New Mexico State University College of Engineering is creating a niche in hypersonic research and education, and the United States Department of Defense awarded NMSU a two-year, $1 million Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research or the DEPSCoR award.
NMSU’s project, “New Mexico Basic Research Center of Excellence for Hypersonic Sensor Development and Testing,” will bring significant exposure and leverage to the university’s hypersonic ambitions.
The team includes Luis Cifuentes, Vice President of Research, as Principal Investigator, and with Co-Principal Investigators Andreas Gross, Associate Professor; Fangjun Shu, D. and A. Chapman Endowed Associate Professor; and JI Frankel, Department Head and RG Myers Endowed Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
“New Mexico State has a strong, well-established history and continued interest in hypersonics,” Frankel said. “NMSU, with the only degree delivering aerospace engineering programs, must and will lead the way in providing well-prepared engineers to the state while producing cutting-edge results useful for commercial and defense-related hypersonic programs.
“We expect support for research and workforce development from a wide range of government, military and corporate sources to maintain a diverse and active research portfolio that meets the mission of the university and the needs of the country,” Frankel said.
The team hopes to acquire additional ground-based test facilities useful for basic research and workforce development, which provides additional value for NMSU research assistants and enhances the educational experience in the laboratory for NMSU students.
“Our vision is to develop a new environment based on small to medium-sized facilities that serve as a source for larger and more expensive ground test facilities,” Frankel said.
“Our team is growing and working with other universities to establish NMSU’s national and international reputation in this area,” he said. “Having a strong hypersonic program at NMSU will produce and encourage startups and help motivate business relocation to this region.”
NMSU’s winning proposal was one of only two full proposals to receive a two-year, $1 million prize in a competitive field of 37 states and territories, according to Frankel.
“The NMSU community will continue to produce well-prepared engineers through education, excitement, student-faculty interaction, and high-level research that will draw students, faculty, and staff to New Mexico. “Frankel said. “This project reinforces our envisioned program. We expect continued success through faculty dedication and vision for American interests.
To learn more about DEPSCoR grants, visit https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3030463/department-of-defense-announces-fiscal-year-2021-defense-established-program-to/.
Tiffany Acosta writes for New Mexico State University Marketing and Communications and can be reached at 575-646-3929 or [email protected].