Mississippi State University 

AFRL ML-RCP Partner Institution Strengths & Capabilities


Contact Information

Name: Dr. Peter Ryan

Title: Executive Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate School

Email: ryan@provost.msstate.edu


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


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:


Additional Centers/Institutes:



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/




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:

Chemistry Department:

28 wet research labs, 3 computational labs, 5 instrumentation labs



Biology Department:

21 wet labs (includes one computational area) for individual labs, 8 common equipment shared facility areas, one greenhouse plus adjacent head house.



Physics Department:

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?


8. Has your institution collaborated with Department of Defense in the past?


9. Is your institution involved in any federal STEM funding efforts?


Research Administration and Compliance

10. Is your institution registered with the US State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls?


11. Does your institution currently perform Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI/NIST 800-171 compliant) research?


12. Does your institution currently perform research subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations?


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.