Partnership Creates Connections

Penn State's continued focus on economic development is exemplified through a multidimensional relationship with Lockheed Martin.

Penn State’s Master Research contract with Lockheed Martin is creating opportunities for groundbreaking research collaboration, an enhanced recruiting relationship, and increased engagement in Penn State programs.

The Master Research contract, which was signed in November 2016, supports Penn State’s ongoing commitment to economic development and interdisciplinary partnerships. It follows Penn State’s Open Innovation Model, which allows for academia to propose solutions to industry challenges without needing to renegotiate contracts.

“Advancing university-industry partnerships such as this one with Lockheed exemplifies Penn State’s renewed emphasis on economic development and job creation and adds to our growing reputation as the go-to industry-friendly university,” said Neil Sharkey, vice president for research at Penn State.

The partnership includes a framework that guides future research projects focused in areas including computer science, cybersecurity, supply chain, and aerospace engineering. As part of this framework, Penn State faculty members meet regularly with Lockheed Martin executives to discuss new science and technology that may be relevant to the Lockheed Martin business and to develop new project ideas.

“Advancing university-industry partnerships such as this one with Lockheed exemplifies Penn State’s renewed emphasis on economic development and job creation..."

Lockheed Martin executives engage directly with students and a variety of student organizations to continue to build on the existing, robust recruiting relationship with Penn State, identifying opportunities for jobs and internships. Lockheed Martin executives have met with specific student organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers, the Penn State chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to discuss additional methods of support.

Over the past seven years, Lockheed Martin has supported dozens of Penn State research programs totaling more than $6.2 million. In spring 2016, Lockheed Martin also tasked students in Introduction to Design Engineering to leverage additive manufacturing—3D printing—to solve new problems or redesign existing solutions for its unique areas of expertise. Some of the areas of design or redesign involved heat exchangers, shock absorbers, wire connectors and USB hub mounting brackets.

“Industry-academic partnerships drive innovation, and together with Penn State, we have uncovered solutions to help solve some of our industry’s most interesting challenges,” said Lockheed Martin Vice President for Technology Strategy and Innovation, Robie I. Samanta Roy. “Lockheed Martin is focused on creating generation-after-next technologies, and this new research agreement ensures that we can collaborate with Penn State faculty and students who lead in research that will shape our future and benefit our customers.”

While students benefit from the long-term strategic commitment through access to talent recruitment opportunities, Lockheed Martin employees also benefit from Penn State’s online master’s programs for electrical engineering and engineering leadership and management.

“As our technological demands increase, so do our needs for world-class talent,” said Lockheed Martin Vice President of Engineering & Technology Dan Heller. “This agreement is an ideal opportunity for Penn State students to work alongside Lockheed Martin engineers and scientists on the challenges we face today and those we anticipate will emerge in the future.”