ORNL: ORNL to partner with University of Oklahoma

Creative problem-solving at a global scale requires multidisciplinary collaboration and diverse perspectives. For the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, that means seeking out accomplished research partners to cultivate innovation, speed technologies to market and increase the lab’s economic impact.

ORNL and the University of Oklahoma, known as OU, recently executed a memorandum of understanding to officially recognize their partnership in pursuing shared research and development goals. ORNL, the nation’s largest multi-program science and technology laboratory, is home to a number of one-of-a-kind facilities, state-of-the-art tools and deep scientific expertise in a range of disciplines. OU is designated by the Carnegie Foundation as a Highest Research Activity institution, placing it in the highest tier of comprehensive research universities in the nation.

Through the partnership, ORNL scientists and OU students and faculty will explore new opportunities through a range of shared institutional strengths.

“ORNL and the University of Oklahoma are teaming together to support the development of advanced materials and manufacturing technologies for the U.S. Air Force and to advance the nation’s hydrogen economy in support of the nation’s drive toward net-zero emissions,” said Moe Khaleel, interim deputy director for science and technology at ORNL.

“This agreement with ORNL adds significant value to our faculty and students working on topics ranging from advanced energy to materials and manufacturing and many others; in particular, this partnership will be instrumental in advancing our Air Force sustainment research,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, OU vice president for research and partnerships. “High-impact research collaborations and partnerships such as this help us maximize the impact of OU research on important problems.”

Building on its legacy in aerospace and defense research and its excellence in radar innovation, OU recently announced the creation of the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Innovation Institute to grow the university’s capabilities to address challenges in aerospace, defense and global security. For more than 70 years, the state has been home to some of the largest military and commercial aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul centers in the world including Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City and American Airlines Technical Operations in Tulsa. To contribute to military sustainment and modernization, the university also is planning to expand its graduate studies offerings in advanced materials.

Additionally, OU was selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to host the Cooperative Institute for Severe and High­Impact Weather Research and Operations, or CIWRO. This cooperative institute seeks to improve the understanding of severe and high-impact weather and to help produce better forecasts and warnings.