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MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES HELP BUILD THE FUTURE THROUGH INNOVATION, TECHNOLOGY

11/12/2021 - Jackson, Miss.

Robotic technology, automation and virtual reality are just a few advancements that Mississippians have begun integrating into their daily lives to increase efficiency, make daily tasks easier, improve sustainability or provide entertainment. Mississippians depend on innovations and technological advancements made at Mississippi Public Universities to improve their lives and solve problems.

Research housed at Mississippi Public Universities is making great strides in the tech space, while academic programs prepare students to enter fields where they will continue to make advancements over the course of their careers and support the businesses and industries that fuel Mississippi's economy.

The University of Mississippi's Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) offers academic and hands-on courses that teach accountancy, engineering, business, communications and continuous improvement through the lens of manufacturing. CME's LEED-certified facility includes a 12,000-square-foot manufacturing floor where students learn the importance of safety in the industrial environment, the value of teamwork and how to turn their ideas into tangible products.

Beyond the classroom, CME immerses students in real world opportunities with industry partners through internships, co-ops, and experiential learning courses. Co-ops or internships have taken place with industry leaders such as ExxonMobil, Tesla, Toyota, Trane and more. Experiential learning courses have been held at ADP Products, Blue Delta Jeans, GE Aviation, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Nissan, Toyota, Viking Range and more. With a job placement rate consistently at or near 100 percent, CME graduates possess the academic knowledge and industry experience needed to embark on successful careers in advanced manufacturing.

A University of Mississippi chemistry professor is exploring novel materials that could unlock a future sunlight-driven energy infrastructure. Supported by a recent National Science Foundation award, Jared Delcamp, UM associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is teaming with researchers from Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama to examine how new types of certain materials can be applied to turn the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into a usable fuel primarily using sunlight.

The research involves metal catalysts, or materials that speed up chemical reactions to allow practical access to fuel. Ideally, the exhaust from cars and electric production plants and such carbon dioxide generators could be used directly with a catalyst and sunlight to generate a fuel. The researchers hope their exploration will lead to the production of solar fuels from a greenhouse gas in a carbon-neutral fashion. The project includes training of 10 to 15 undergraduate and graduate students.

Insight Park is a 19-acre dynamic research and business park adjacent to the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford where businesses can take full advantage of opportunities for collaborative research, academic resources and more, including a 62,000-square foot Innovation Hub.

The Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law is the nation's leading - and only - ABA-accredited law school that offers a concentration in Air and Space Law.

The University of Southern Mississippi-led Gulf Blue innovation initiative is bringing Big Ideas Out of the Blue and positioning the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a global leader in ocean and maritime technologies. The Gulf Blue initiative pools the knowledge of research scientists, federal agencies, industry partners, and entrepreneurs to further develop the Gulf Coast region into a global leader in blue technology.

The University of Southern Mississippi has been strategically investing in coast-wide maritime infrastructure that positions Mississippi to advance technology in an initial set of six blue tech innovation clusters. Today, the University is charting the path forward by leading the region to the next chapter of growth focused on discoveries, advanced innovations, and new practices for blue economy commerce.

A few big ideas related to the blue economy include maximizing existing, world-class ocean research capabilities; connecting entrepreneurs and startups with federal agencies and capital investments; and promoting the unique qualities of the Mississippi Gulf Coast to attract and retain both talent and industry. Collaborations with private blue tech companies, including Ocean Aero, focused on developing intelligent autonomous underwater vehicles; AI Control Technologies Inc., focused on developing automation for the aquaculture industry; and SeaAhead, a blue tech startup platform; are also key to the success of the Gulf Blue initiative.

The University of Southern Mississippi is continuing to develop specialized operations that elevate innovation and research across the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast, through facilities like the Marine Research Center and the future Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise, both located at the Port of Gulfport. These facilities help to address needs relate to the blue tech economy and serve as the centerpiece of research and development in the Gulf of Mexico.

The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymer Science and Engineering is nationally and internationally recognized for the achievements of faculty, its level of research excellence, and the quality of its students. Polymer materials are ubiquitous in almost every aspect of modern life, and advances in the field enable scientific and technological breakthroughs in a wide range of technical applications. At the heart of the success of USM's School of Polymer Science and Engineering is cutting edge, relevant research. Each faculty member has developed an innovative and vigorous research program that attracts governmental and industrial funding. Internal and external collaborations continue to expand the scope and recognition of USM's polymer research into new and exciting frontiers.

The Geospatial Center at Delta State University is globally recognized as a center of excellence in the geosciences. Geospatial Information Technologies (GIT) encompasses the use of geographic information systems, remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), spatial analysis techniques and similar approaches to understand problems from a geographic perspective. Use of the innovative technical approaches offered by GIT are not just theoretical, they help government agencies, private businesses and non-profit organizations increasingly employ to understand problems and make informed decisions.

Both graduate and undergraduate GIT programs at Delta State offer unique online experiences where students must apply what is learned in class to real-world problem sets via capstone coursework. Along the way, students demonstrating academic excellence are provided with the opportunity to work as paid technicians and technical managers for contracted projects with partners such as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Hexagon Federal, Delta Wildlife, local E-911 offices, and similar. Graduates are highly sought after with nearly 100 percent of those graduating obtaining employment offers 4 or more months before commencement and at salaries as high as $85,000 per year.

Jackson State University's Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CIEED) leverages the best of JSU's STEM, business, and entrepreneurial capabilities, as well as collaborative potential in addressing some of society's most pressing problems (via university-industry partnerships). The CIEED takes advantage of expertise co-location and facilitates the intersection of widely disparate learning and idea generation: a place for constant learning, common vision, as well as creativity and innovation. The CIEED pairs entrepreneurs, designers, and businesses with subject matter experts. The elements of Research, Education, and Corporate Partnership will be uniquely interwoven to drive creativity and innovation, while accelerating technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and economic development. Primarily, the CIEED focuses on supporting the innovative activities of JSU faculty, staff, and students, and extending such capabilities to the Mississippi community, and other industry partners.

The Division of Research and Economic Development manages the technology transfer, licensing, and commercialization process at Jackson State University. The Tech Transfer Unit assists faculty, staff, and students in identifying research with potential commercial interests and help to develop strategies for how to exploit these interests. Strategies may include patenting, copyrighting, and trademarking; seeking licensing opportunities; and promoting startups.

Mississippi State University's Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology prepares students for supervisory and management positions in the production, automation, maintenance or logistics areas of industry. Students receive an excellent background in the practical use of both manual and automated machinery and associated tools, as well as knowledge of industrial manufacturing processes, materials, design, human relations and logistics, with an emphasis towards hands-on laboratory experiences. This is combined with relevant applied science and mathematics courses. Industrial technology graduates are in high demand from industry due to their practical skills and knowledge.

With five quadrillion computations per second, MSU's Orion system is the nation's fifth fastest academic supercomputer site. Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Orion is the result of a decades-long legacy the university has built for solving real-world problems through advanced technology and ingenuity. For example, NASA conferred with MSU to resolve safety concerns with Sen. John Glenn's 1998 space mission. When the Navy needed a better submarine, Mississippi State students and faculty aided in the design. Mississippi State has also helped build a better, safer engine cradle for Chevrolet's Corvette, assisted Homeland Security with cyber strategies, administered supercomputing programs at the Department of Defense and tracked weather and climate patterns for NOAA.

The National Science Foundation ranks Mississippi State among the nation's Top 100 research institutions and the Magnolia State's leading research university. MSU researchers are working with students on worldwide challenges such as food security, solutions to human diseases, social and economic disparity, and cybersecurity. The university is home to centers and institutes that are leaders in areas such as aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, unmanned aircraft systems, agriculture, data analytics, and social sciences, among other areas.

MSU researchers are advancing off-road, self-driving technology through MSU's Autonomous Vehicle Simulator, providing a virtual proving ground for autonomy developers. The simulator allows autonomy developers to test and debug algorithms in early stages and resolve flaws that could potentially lead to injury or vehicle and equipment damage during field testing. MSU researchers also have access to a physical proving ground — a 50-acre property located near the CAVS facility where they test autonomous algorithms on real vehicles interacting with real environments. MAVS is powered by Mississippi State's expansive expertise in vehicle dynamics, engineering, robotics, computational physics, high-performance computing and related sciences, as well as a culture of interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration.

Mississippi State's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic is using virtual reality to simulate real-world experiences aimed to improve communication skills in children with autism.

Robotic technology pioneered by MSU computer engineers brings healing to children and adults recovering from abusive situations or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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