TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama and Airbus will partner in an effort to enhance engineering education and research, according to an agreement signed between representatives from the two organizations.
Airbus, with headquarters in Toulouse, France, and a manufacturing facility in Mobile, will assist UA in purchasing equipment in the areas of additive manufacturing and aerodynamic velocity measurements as well as a variety of student engagement activities.
Dr. Carl A. Pinkert, UA vice president for research and economic development, signed the agreement at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Airbus Global University Partner Programme, or AGUPP, in Toulouse in April.
Pinkert was one of nearly 30 representatives from 20 Airbus partner universities around the world who met with some 70 Airbus employees at the event.
“To advance technology and tackle engineering challenges, the University has to collaborate with industry in an exchange of ideas to improve the education of our students,” said Pinkert. “We are proud to partner with Airbus and continue our efforts to support an innovative, diverse workforce for the aerospace industry.”
AGUPP is a strategic Airbus initiative connecting a global network of universities and engineering schools to develop high-tech talents of the future. Activities include the development of strategic competencies in technical and soft skills, the development of training courses, with a specific focus on Innovation, and support for universities to encourage diversity among engineering students and graduates.
This year’s event focused on how universities and industry can work together to define and develop competencies that meet the rapidly changing needs of the aerospace industry. The meeting was also an opportunity for Airbus to formally set new partnerships with two universities in Germany, another in France and UA.
As part of the activities, students in the UA chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, or AIAA, will have the opportunity to visit Airbus’ facility in Mobile and network with AIAA members from Airbus and supporting companies. Airbus personnel from Mobile will also visit Tuscaloosa as part of the agreement.
The agreement also provides for an Airbus Seminar series in the College of Engineering that will bring speakers, possibly Airbus officials, to campus to talk to students and faculty about research and development from the aerospace industry.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.