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A brand new partnership goals to present college students with real-world coaching whereas strengthening University of Hawaiʻi’s analysis enterprise as a significant financial and mental driver for the state.

UH has teamed up with the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) to assist construct innovators who generate new options to national safety issues within the U.S. UH joined 25 instructional establishments nationwide taking part in this system, an inventory that features engineering powerhouses such because the Georgia Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley.

NSIN Hacking for Defense program

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has recognized engineering-related points which are being solved by UH Mānoa College of Engineering college students via a program referred to as “Hacking for Defense” (H4D). The spring 2021 course is taught by Marvin Young, a UH Mānoa mechanical engineering adjunct professor; and Denise McKenzie, an adjunct professor with the National Science Foundation I-Corps program. Students are growing minimal viable merchandise to deal with current points in national safety. If profitable, early prototypes could be designated for additional analysis and growth. The inaugural class has 11 college students.

“Our goals for ‘ME 491: Hacking for Defense: Solving the Nation’s Foreign Policy Issues Utilizing the Lean Launchpad Methodology’ are: solve real-world problems, create technology solutions, understand the stakeholders and costs, deliver viable products and produce a repeatable model,” Young mentioned.

“With today’s constantly evolving threat environment to our national security, NSIN’s Hacking for Defense program to tap the young and innovative minds of our students makes a lot of sense,” mentioned UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka. “This new partnership also represents the continued expansion of our long-standing working relationships with numerous DoD entities, both on the local and national levels.”

Plans are being made to develop the H4D program right into a multidisciplinary course in fall 2021 that can embody the UH Mānoa Department of Information and Computer Sciences and Shidler College of Business.

NSIN X-Force program

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Lauren Ward

The NSIN X-Force Fellowship program is a chance for technologists and entrepreneurs to resolve real-world national safety issues in collaboration with the army. The program is a full-time, in-person paid summer season program at a army set up or army sponsor location. Fellows are paid a stipend of round $2,500 monthly and have a small price range for supplies and different bills. Seven UH college students participated within the inaugural 2020 X-Force program, together with UH Mānoa Earth sciences PhD pupil Lauren Ward, who partnered with a staff to develop a 3D mapping object detection and integration prototype for the U.S. Army. Applications for the summer season 2022 program will probably be accepted in late 2021.

“My experience with the X-Force program was very positive. I would recommend the program to any student looking to gain work experience outside academia before they graduate. Along with the opportunity to work on cutting edge real-world problems that the U.S. military faces, the program is very focused on networking and future career opportunities,” Ward mentioned.

New NSIN college program director

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Gloria Choo

As a part of its dedication to UH, NSIN has introduced the number of its inaugural college program director at UH. Gloria Choo, a UH Mānoa alumna, brings greater than 15 years of expertise from the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to leverage the abilities and abilities at UH to assist resolve DoD’s most urgent issues. Choo will handle defense-related innovation outreach and ecosystem growth for UH and the state of Hawaiʻi.

“Being from Hawaiʻi I am excited to show students and faculty the opportunities the Department of Defense brings in terms of careers, fellowships and entrepreneurship,” Choo mentioned. “UH Mānoa has tremendous strengths in many areas relevant to DoD priorities, and NSIN enhances these opportunities. NSIN programs allow students to connect with real world DoD problems through sponsors and mentors and to learn the value of looking at all facets of a problem and effectively reaching a solution.”

“As NSIN expands its problem-solving network on behalf of the Department of Defense, UH‘s incredible talent and deep commitment to national security will be tremendous assets,” mentioned Jesse Gipe, NSIN Pacific-South Regional Director. “Situated near some of our nation’s most strategic military commands, UH, in partnership with Gloria, will work together to build more rapid problem-solving capacity to address our military’s pressing problems.”

Other alternatives

The NSIN program is housed within the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) and is one among a number of applications designed to elevate the analysis, innovation and entrepreneurship created all through the 10-campus UH System. OIC helps UH researchers, workers, college and college students: establish, defend and commercialize progressive mental property; foster innovation and entrepreneurship via its applications; and enhance entry to strategic grants. In addition, OIC is dedicated to growing and fostering long-term public-private partnerships. Other applications embody: Hacking 4 Recovery, Hacking 4 Oceans, Innovation Impact Challenge, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, Hawaiʻi Tech Bridge, (K)new Futures and Medical Innovation and Design (MIND) Hawaiʻi.

“The NSIN programs along with the others from OIC, are all part of UH’s strategy of identifying, protecting and commercializing innovative intellectual property; fostering innovation and entrepreneurship; and building the pipeline of dual use, high growth and deep technology ventures” mentioned UH OIC Interim Director Steve Auerbach. “What we hope to achieve is the creation of more local businesses and more jobs that will lead to a more resilient, sustainable and diversified economy for Hawaiʻi.”

For extra info, visit OIC’s website.

This effort is an instance of UH Mānoa’s purpose of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one among 4 objectives recognized within the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), up to date in December 2020.

—By Marc Arakaki



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