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USI, NSWC Crane sign agreement to conduct research on chemical reactions

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | Oct. 23, 2018

CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) and the University of Southern Indiana (USI) are strengthening their research and development (R&D) partnership through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). NSWC Crane and USI will use the CRADA to study chemical reactions. A formal CRADA signing ceremony took place October 22 at Crane.


The CRADA between NSWC Crane and USI allows both entities to leverage each other’s subject matter experts, laboratory space, and high-tech equipment.


“We are excited to embark on this latest chapter of our partnership with NSWC Crane,” said Dr. Ronald Rochon, USI president. “It’s this kind of research and project that showcases the breadth of knowledge and talent that our faculty and students have to offer here at USI. We are honored to be part of a project that not only has a regional impact, but the potential to impact the well-being of individuals on a global scale.”


Dr. Jonathan Dilger, the Director of Research for NSWC Crane and the Principle Investigator for this CRADA, says this research comes from a military need to study the chemical outputs of special munitions and pyrotechnic reactions.


“We noticed there was research surrounding the sustainable reformulation of special munition and pyrotechnic compositions,” says Dilger, “But there wasn’t much understanding about the toxic chemical reaction byproducts those devices create. We wanted to research the potential harmful effects these chemical reactions could have on the environment and Warfighters themselves.”


Dilger says the experts and capabilities at USI were complimentary to conducting this research. “With their expertise, we are able to relate data from rigorous testing performed at the laboratory-scale to large-scale munition assessments. The partnership is a great fit for both USI and Crane that gets us one step closer to understanding the potential toxicity of these chemical reactions.”


“The safe, small-scale characterization of chemical emissions from pyrotechnics should greatly aid in the formulation of next-generation devices that are more environmentally-friendly and sustainable,” said Dr. Brian Bohrer, USI assistant professor of chemistry. “I’m excited for the opportunities this collaboration provides for the USI community, including faculty and students, to contribute to this critical field of research.”


Brooke Pyne, the Technology Transfer and Small Business Innovation Research Manager at NSWC Crane, says the ongoing partnership with USI continues to grow and impact the region. “This CRADA further expands the R&D climate within the regional ecosystem. Not only do USI and Crane directly benefit by partnering on a critical tech area, the region gains expertise and technology advances that could have a lasting economic impact.”


The CRADA is the latest collaboration between USI and NSWC Crane and is part of a relationship that has grown over the last decade. One effort includes the creation of the Innovation Discovery Events (IDE) process that has been adopted by the Department of Defense (DoD) as an Intellectual Property (IP) extraction best practice. This process led to the creation of the USI Technology Commercialization Academy which allows USI students the opportunity to take Crane intellectual property through an exploratory commercialization process.


NSWC Crane's Technology Transfer (T2) Program helps link federal research and development to academic institutions and businesses in the private sector. A CRADA provides the formal mechanism between the federal laboratory and partner collaborator. The NSWC Crane T2 program has partnerships with more than 100 businesses, individuals and universities. Currently, there are 64 active CRADAs and 192 active agreements.


NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.


Founded in 1965, the University of Southern Indiana enrolls more than 11,000 dual credit, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in more than 100 areas of study. A public higher education institution, located on a beautiful 1,400-acre campus in Evansville, Indiana, USI offers programs through the College of Liberal Arts, Romain College of Business, College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education. USI is a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University and offers continuing education and special programs to more than 16,000 participants annually through Outreach and Engagement. USI is online at www.usi.edu.