Mississippi State University
AFRL ML-RCP Partner Institution Strengths & Capabilities
Name: Dr. Peter Ryan
Title: Executive Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate School
Institution: Mississippi State University
1. Please select the research areas in which your institution currently engages.
a. Structural materials
b. Support for operations
c. Radio frequency sensing
Information Processing and Sensing Lab (IMPRESS Lab): http://impress.ece.msstate.edu/
d. Spectrum warfare
e. High speed systems
f. Rocket propulsion
Autonomous System Research Laboratory https://www.ae.msstate.edu/research/asrl
g. Aerospace vehicles
h. Bio effects
i. Functional materials & applications
j. Manufacturing technology
k. Electro-optical sensing
l. Layered sending exploitation & enabling sensor devices/components
m. Control, power, & thermal management systems
MSU Computational Simulation and Design Center (SimCenter): Heejin Cho/Aaron Smith
Materials Working Group: Rooban Venkatesh K.G. Thirumalai
Electrical and Computer Engineering: Chanyeop Park/Samee Khan
n. Turbine engines
o. Human centered intelligence surveillance & reconnaissance
p. Training & decision making
All of the above given the majority of our work supports DoD and federal agencies with applied research. The results provide valuable information to key decision makers which allows them to accelerate capabilities. It also helps to advance technology into the commercial sector which requires training to develop a technologically advanced workforce.
2. Of these areas of research, please provide a faculty contact for each area.
3. Please note, in detail, any research areas of strength not listed above. This may include fundamental sciences (e.g. math, physics, biology, etc.).
https://www.gri.msstate.edu/ and https://www.northerngulfinstitute.org/
4. Are there any emerging areas of research your institution is actively seeking to develop?
MSU is a recognized leader in numerous areas. We continue to support a wide variety of DOD and federal agency customers as well as industry leaders in these areas: Autonomous systems, materials, cyber security, computational modeling, weather and climate modeling, multi-domain autonomy, and propulsion.
5. Does your institution have any internal research centers or participate in any research consortia?
Yes, there are several research centers and institutes as noted at this URL with a description of each center/institute: https://www.research.msstate.edu/centers-institutes
University level centers include the following:
Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE): Director, Lux Luxion
Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems: Director, Clay Walden
Center for Cyber Innovation: Director, Reed Mosher (Interim)
High Performance Computing Collaboratory: Director, Trey Breckenridge
Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies: Director, Zach Rowland
Marvin B. Dow Advanced Composites Institute: Director, Chris Bounds
Mississippi State Chemical Lab: Director, Darrell Sparks (Interim)
National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center: Director, Steve Grice
Raspet Flight Research Laboratory: Director, Tom Brooks
Research and Curriculum Unit: Director, Betsey Smith
Social Science Research Center: Director, Devon Brenner (Interim)
Mississippi State University is a member of several consortia that have specific missions as described at the link below: http://www.catalog.msstate.edu/graduate/other-information/consortia/
Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE): http://www.assureuas.org/
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (M-ASGC)
Mississippi Research Consortium (MRC): http://www.mississippiresearch.org/
Oak Ridge Associate Universities (ORAU)
The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA)
University Space Research Alliance (USRA)
Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
6. Please provide a list of relevant facilities and equipment. You may enter in the box below or upload here.
College of Arts and Sciences:
28 wet research labs, 3 computational labs, 5 instrumentation labs
21 wet labs (includes one computational area) for individual labs, 8 common equipment shared facility areas, one greenhouse plus adjacent head house.
6 research labs, 7 teaching laboratory rooms, 4 shop rooms, observatory dome, telescope mount slab and associated open space 1 computer lab.
7. Does your institution have a relationship with any other academic institution or research organization(s) that enables your access to their facilities and equipment?
Yes. Depending on the contract type and the customer, MSU has numerous contracts with DoD and federal agencies which allows shared facilities and instrumentation.
8. Has your institution collaborated with Department of Defense in the past?
Yes, multiple funding efforts have occurred between MSU and DoD. MSU’s FY2021 external funding was $246.2M with over $37.8M attributed to the 40 DOD contracts.
9. Is your institution involved in any federal STEM funding efforts?
Yes, a large number of federal STEM funding efforts take place at MSU. In FY21, MSU secured 332 federal projects totaling $124.5M in support of federal STEM initiatives. (STEM defined using NSF HERD High-Level Disciplines identified at the time of the award).
Research Administration and Compliance
10. Is your institution registered with the US State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls?
Yes, Registrant Code: M20934
11. Does your institution currently perform Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI/NIST 800-171 compliant) research?
Yes, we have a NIST compliant network at our High Performance Computing Collaboratory.
12. Does your institution currently perform research subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations?
Yes, MSU has several ITAR contracts. Research is conducted in ITAR approved labs and data is stored on the NIST compliant network. All ITAR is managed with a Technology Control Plan as well.
13. Does your institution have a DoD Facility Security Clearance (FCL)? Yes
a. What is the FCL’s classification level? Top Secret
b. What is the FCL’s authorized safeguarding level? Secret
c. How many safeguarding-approved spaces do you manage? 1
d. What is your facility’s CAGE Code(s)? 4E756
14. The objective of the AFRL ML-RCP is to enable and enhance the research capabilities of the HBCU’s/MSIs through collaborative research efforts with AFRL. What would be necessary for you to receive to meet this objective?
MSU has several partnerships with HBCU/MSIs in-state and out-of-state. A difficulty that we experience is that many HBCU and MSI faculty members have a very heavy teaching load leaving very little time for research. Therefore, there are limitations as to the types of collaborative research that can be conducted where the HBCU or MSI is the lead institution vs. that of an IHL such as MSU. Given that the funding is directed to an HBCU/MSI, funding agencies do not look favorably on a non-HBCU/MSI leading the effort, even when it can be documented that a majority of the funds will be expended at the HBCU/MSI. And vice-versa, funding agencies do not want an HBCU/MSI to sub-award an IHL a large part of the funding (even though the work is being done at the IHL) when the money is targeted for an HBCU/MSI. This is unfortunate because for the smaller HBCU/MSIs, this is a good opportunity for mentoring and collaboration between a larger IHL and a HBCU/MSI so that future funding can be secured by and led by the HBCU/MSI.
Large research universities such as MSU can play a valuable role in mentoring HBCU/MSIs and help them develop capabilities and capacities to enhance their research programs. MSU has the most diverse student body based on ethnicity, college readiness, and social economic status in the Southeastern conference (SEC). It would be beneficial to HBCUs to partner with large universities with diverse populations to help generate current and future opportunities for building a solid foundation in establishing their own stand-alone programs.