TUSKEGEE, Alabama — The U.S. Department of Defense has launched an Aerospace Education Research and Innovation Center (AERIC) at Alabama’s Tuskegee University, enhancing research in critical areas and expanding the future technical talent pipeline for the industry.
In an announcement, the DOD said Tuskegee’s AERIC will support two-year research projects in the areas of fatigue damage tolerance, experimental aerodynamics, and the performance of materials and components under extreme environmental conditions.
The research center is being established at an institution that was home to the celebrated Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces. The DOD also noted that Tuskegee University is the No. 1 producer of Black aerospace engineers in the nation.
The program is being established by the DOD’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)). It’s made possible by $2 million in funding sponsored by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.