July 01, 2013

Collaboration connects Aerojet Rocketdyne with ASU engineering faculty, students

Posted: July 01, 2013
ASU-Aerojet Rocketdyne
Key officials of Arizona State University and Aerojet Rocketdyne attended the recent signing of a long-term collaborative agreement between ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the leading aerospace and defense technology company. From left to right are: Warren M. Boley, Jr., Aerojet Rocketdyne president; Sethuraman Panchanathan, senior vice president of ASU's Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development; Hal Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne vice president of supply chain material management; and Paul Johnson, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
Photo by: Rosie Gochnour/ASU

Long-term collaborations spanning a range of research and education efforts, engineering projects, workforce development and philanthropic activities are among goals set forth in an agreement between Arizona State University and Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of GenCorp, to take effect July 1.

The agreement seeks to establish working relationships partnering Aerojet Rocketdyne with faculty and students of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

California-based GenCorp is a major technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense systems and products. Aerojet Rocketdyne is an aerospace industry leader in technologies to support strategic missile and armament defense systems and space exploration.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering has an enrollment of about 9,000 students and more than 230 faculty members teaching and pursuing research across a full spectrum of engineering disciplines.

Under the agreement, the engineering schools will provide continuing education and professional development opportunities for Aerojet Rocketdyne employees. Some of the training may be provided through the Supply Chain Management program, a collaboration of ASU’s engineering schools and W. P. Carey School of Business.

The agreement also provides for ASU to serve as a source for new employees and student interns for the company, and to provide access to research by faculty and graduate students in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s areas of interest.

The two parties are to team in efforts to develop proposals for funding of research projects and to share information through active membership on advisory boards of various university and company programs.

Aerojet Rocketdyne will also collaborate with the Fulton Schools’ Engineering Career Center to support students. The company will participate in the center’s career fairs and develop and implement an Aerojet Rocketdyne Student Co-op Program. It will also sponsor student scholarships and fellowships.

Company employees will serve as advisers and judges for senior engineering students’ capstone design projects and mentor students involved in ASU’s Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS) program.

Aerojet Rocketdyne will sponsor the student Daedalus Aeronautics rocketry club and participate in online and video classes and advanced degree programs.

The agreement details plans for collaborative industry research projects. ASU engineering faculty members and Aerojet Rocketdyne employees will team on research in computer software and electronics, combustion and computational fluid dynamics, control systems and analysis, and materials engineering. More research projects may be developed.

“ASU is an incredibly innovative university and our new partnership has the potential to redefine corporate-university collaboration,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne president Warren M. Boley, Jr.

“Our industry-defining leaders and engineers plan to engage with students and faculty members on all levels to wholly support the student rocket club, provide leadership on advisory boards and actively recruit ASU’s high-caliber interns and graduates,” Boley said. “In turn, we look forward to taking full advantage of ASU’s unique research and technology capabilities, and its professional development opportunities for our employees. This truly is a mutually beneficial relationship we anticipate sustaining over the long-term.”

“We are excited to be launching this comprehensive partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne,” said Paul Johnson, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “They are rapidly evolving, they have dynamic and visionary leadership and their future success requires an innovative and entrepreneurial workforce. They develop and provide technology and systems that are critical to the security of the United States. It is a company many of our graduates will be attracted to and proud to work for, and our faculty will enjoy collaborating with the company’s technology leaders.”

Johnson said the collaboration agreement establishes “an especially powerful partnership founded on the credibility earned by our faculty through previous interactions with Aerojet Rocketdyne and the complementary alignment of our aspirations. We look forward to the deepening of the relationship and the joint pursuit of new opportunities.”

The relationship will extend beyond ASU’s engineering schools to include at least one joint engineering/business program in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

"ASU’s Supply Chain Management program is ranked number three in the country and we will continue to utilize both the school of business and the engineering schools to provide our employees specialized training in operational excellence," said Aerojet Rocketdyne’s vice president of supply chain materiel management Hal Martin, who was instrumental in forging the new ASU-Aerojet Rocketdyne partnership. Martin helped ASU develop its current supply chain management curriculum in 2001.

ASU and Aerojet Rocketdyne signed the partnership agreement on June 27 at the university’s Tempe campus.

Media contacts:

Joe Kullman, joe.kullman@asu.edu

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

(480) 965-8122

Glenn Mahone, Glenn.Mahone@Rocket.com

Aerojet Rocketdyne

(202) 302-9941

Kristen Conner, Kristin.Conner@Rocket.com

Aerojet Rocketdyne

(916) 355-2143