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Lockheed Martin, Rowan announce partnership to further research, development of defense technology

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Rowan University announced a partnership with Lockheed Martin today that they hope will further research and development of next-gen radar technology critical to national defense and civilian applications.  Pictured, Ali A. Houshmand, Rowan University president.
Rowan University announced a partnership with Lockheed Martin today that they hope will further research and development of next-gen radar technology critical to national defense and civilian applications. Pictured, Ali A. Houshmand, Rowan University president. - ()

Lockheed Martin and Rowan University announced a partnership today that they hope will further research and development of next-generation radar technologies critical to national defense and civilian applications.

The groups said in a release that they will work together on radar component prototyping and analysis, system performance test and evaluation, radar engineering curriculum and educational program development, and supportability and sustainable innovation models.

The research will be conducted at the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University in Mantua Township, which is about a mile from Rowan's main campus in Glassboro.

"We are excited to prepare for this next step in our partnership with Rowan University to collaborate on the next generation of products and services for our customers," Carmen Valentino, vice president of Naval Radar and Future Systems at Lockheed Martin's business in Moorestown, said in the release. "Together we can create the innovative and affordable technologies for our customers, while developing the talented individuals, who will work on them for many years to come."

Shreekanth Mandayan, the vice president for research and the executive director of the South Jersey Technology Park, said the collaboration is just the latest example of Rowan and Lockheed Martin working together.

"We particularly studied and continue to research creating more user-friendly displays to update radar and defense technology currently out in the field," Mandayan said.

Research has already begun to generate millions of dollars at the South Jersey Technology Park, currently home to sixteen sponsored College of Engineering research labs. Job migration is even expected to increase as this sort of "technology centricity" further contributes to the economic development of South Jersey.

Lockheed Martin has been instrumental in developing the curriculum for the Rowan College of Engineering, supplying the university with tools, and training potential future employees. Lockheed Martin is the largest employer of Rowan College of Engineering students in the region.

Good thing, too — defense and aviation have become one of New Jersey's most targeted industries due to its network of military bases and ample airspace. A report by PlanSmart NJ, a Trenton-based advocacy group, found defense and aerospace industries generated some $5.4 billion in 2010 revenue for the state.

In addition, the FAA recently designated New Jersey as a testing site for drones under the federal government's plan to commercialize unmanned aircraft over the next several years. The state's network of aerospace businesses and research institutions, such as Rowan University, are expected to play a significant role.

"It is my hope that this is just the first in a series of new relationships that will be formed as more companies recognize the value of our State's research institutions and turn to them for their research and development needs," Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks said in a recent press release.

While Lockheed Martin may have started as a humble aeronautics project a hundred years ago, it has since developed into a global, multibillion dollar aerospace and defense company specializing in research, manufacturing and integration of aviation, energy, weapons and defense industry products and services.

Lockheed Martin employs over 3,600 people at its Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors business unit in Moorestown, located a mere thirty-minute drive from Rowan University's College of Engineering.

Rowan, a state-designated public research institution with over 14,000 students, often conducts research with major corporations, generating significant growth potential for future partnerships with industry and government agencies.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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