AFRL, AVC collaborate on Educational Partnership Agreement to enhance study of engineering

AFRL and the Antelope Valley College District Board of Trustees signed an Educational Partnership Agreement Feb 10, 2020. Edward Knudsen, President of Antelope Valley College, (right) signed the agreement. AFRL Education Outreach Manager at the Rocket Propulsion Division, Kriss Vanderhyde, and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Leslie Uhazy, (Left) all collaborated after the board meeting. (Courtesy photograph)

The Air Force Research Laboratory and Antelope Valley College have signed a six-year Educational Partnership Agreement to encourage and enhance the study of engineering.

The Educational Partnership Agreement, finalized Feb. 10, focuses on enabling Antelope Valley College to educate engineering students in the local area. This is to increase students who may not have chosen engineering or science due to relocation or commuting costs, helping to solve the shortage of scientists and engineers available to support the nation’s military over the next 20 years.

Members from AFRL’s Rocket Propulsion Division at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Antelope Valley College are collaborating to bring multiple opportunities into the Antelope Valley. AFRL and AVC will look at opportunities to develop new courses in Propulsion and Engineering. 

AFRL and AVC will also partner to build an accompanying innovation center. The new center will link AFRL, aerospace commercial industry, engineering designers and AVC college students to explore hands-on emerging technology. The collaboration will be designed for creating experimental prototypes and demonstrable articles to enhance the curriculum of the AVC students. The innovation center will be located in AVC’s new Palmdale Center and be overseen by the California Aerospace Technology Institute of Excellence.

The California Aerospace Technology Institute of Excellence has combined AFRL and AVC to expand local university research by taking technical problems from local aerospace industries and finding university partners that research solutions to those problems.

“Antelope Valley College offers a full range of aviation programs from an intensive eight-week program for immediate entry-level job placement, to certificate programs, two-year degree programs, and a baccalaureate degree program and is excited to be working with AFRL in this new endeavor,” said Dr. Leslie Uhazy, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Antelope Valley College.

AFRL and AVC are paving the way for the next-generation to obtain high quality education in the antelope Valley to promote Engineering and Science undergraduate level programs and classes. 

Kriss Vanderhyde, the Education Outreach Manager from AFRL’s Rocket Propulsion Division here, stated, “This is another step in trying to find ways for students to get engineering degrees and opportunities in this unique area that we call the Aerospace Valley.”

Antelope Valley College is “a public institution of higher education, and provides a quality, comprehensive education to a diverse population of learners. We are committed to student success offering value and opportunity, in service to our community,” according to the college website.

The AFRL Rocket Propulsion Division has played a key role in advancing rocket engine technologies for the nation since 1952. AFRL encourages the study of science, mathematics, and engineering at all levels of education for the future growth of research and development.

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the United States Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development.

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