Rowan Engineering signs agreement with Naval Surface Warfare Center

Rowan Engineering signs agreement with Naval Surface Warfare Center


The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) and Rowan University entered into a formal Education Partnership Agreement (EPA).  A formal signing ceremony recently was held with NSWCPD and representatives from the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering at Rowan University.

The EPA with Rowan University allows NSWCPD to make its scientific, engineering, technology assets and subject matter experts available to University faculty to enhance both their research activities and the educational experience of Rowan students. In turn, NSWCPD is able to involve Rowan faculty and students in U.S. Navy research projects underway at the Philadelphia Division. 

“We are excited to see our partnership grow, to be a part of the impressive growth of NAVSEA here in Philadelphia, and we are proud to support your mission, which ensures that our nation’s naval fleet is unparalleled across the globe,” said Dr. Anthony Lowman, dean. “We know that NAVSEA has extensive partnerships with academic institutions, but few work with them under formal Educational Partnership Agreements, and we are beyond proud to be one of the exclusive few.”

Before the formal signing of the agreement, NSWCPD’s Commanding Officer Capt. Francis Spencer III asked the audience who had graduated from Rowan University. With a large number of alumni present, Spencer noted that the Command has hired 61 Rowan engineers during the past three years.

“It is appropriate to honor that fact as we sign the Education Partnership Agreement this morning,” Spencer said. “[NSWCPD] is a growing organization, and Rowan will be very important in that.”

“In the last half hour I learned of all the great things our students have done [at NSWCPD],” said Dr. Steven Chin, vice dean. Speaking directly to the alumni in the room he continued, “Our students are our ambassadors, and I want to thank you all for the great job you have done.”

The EPA enables NSWCPD to loan unique and specialized hardware to the University to collaboratively address Navy-specific challenges of the research partnerships. NSWCPD’s subject matter experts will now have the opportunity to develop and assist in teaching science and engineering courses at Rowan University. The EPA is a dynamic agreement that can be modified to meet the evolving needs of the either organization. The agreement also protects intellectual property such as proprietary information, data and inventions.

This is the sixth EPA between NSWCPD and colleges around the country. In addition to Rowan University, NSWCPD currently has partnership agreements with Villanova University, Drexel University, University of Texas Arlington, Morgan State University and Texas A&M University at Galveston. 

Rowan University faculty and students already are partnering with NSWCPD through the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC). The NEEC is a Warfare Center-wide initiative providing students with hands-on research experience together with University faculty to address specific Navy technology needs. Rowan is currently in the second year of a three-year NEEC grant funded by NSWCPD.

“What makes the Rowan University NEEC effort unique is that the research directly supports a technology need in the Philadelphia Division's development of large-scale naval applications of superconductivity by making the research part of the senior capstone project,” said Dr. Michael Golda, NSWCPD’s chief technologist. “This provides a greater number of students with an awareness of what the Philadelphia Division does for the Navy -- thereby increasing the opportunity for us to recruit highly qualified young engineers.”

NSWCPD Applied Superconductivity Team Leader Dr. Jacob Kephart offered details on the project. “Rowan University’s NEEC project focuses on developing ‘Nanocomposite Enhanced Polymers with Enhanced Dielectric Strength for Superconducting Cables,’ which involves a large multidisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate researchers who are actively being exposed to unique challenges associated with using superconductors in Naval applications,” explained Kephart. “This gelling of basic and applied research along with cryogenically compatible dielectric material development is a step towards providing future power system designers additional flexibility in architectures enabled through the development of high-ampacity and lightweight superconducting cable solutions.”

At the conclusion of the first year of the Rowan University NEEC project, five of the 12 graduating students accepted job opportunities with NSWCPD. Two others accepted offers from other Department of Defense organizations.

NSWCPD provides the Navy's primary technical expertise for naval machinery research and development and in-service engineering, as well as machinery cybersecurity and lifecycle engineering.