WEST BETHESDA, Md. —
Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division signed an Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) with George Mason University this year, giving each organization reciprocal resources. Capt. Cedric McNeal, Carderock commanding officer and Larry Tarasek, technical director, met with the Dr. Kenneth Ball, Dean of Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University, as well as Dr. Oscar Barton and Dr. Leigh McCue on Nov. 1 to celebrate the signing of the EPA. There were also students from the school of engineering in attendance.
“George Mason is the largest public and most diverse university in Virginia. This relationship with Carderock will provide fantastic opportunities for our students and the many veterans who enroll at our school. We take the role we can play in supporting our military, specifically the fleet, very seriously and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to do so,” Ball said. “It is important to a lot of our students to serve their nation, and this is one way that they can, as well as potentially getting a great job. I’m personally delighted to be able to encourage students to take advantage of Carderock being in our backyard, gaining engineering and computer science experience and serving their nation at the same time.”
Once signed, the EPA stays in effect for five years. The signing of an EPA is an agreement between two organizations entrusting years of partnership, collaboration and the promotion of practical, real-world applications of STEM programs and education.
“This is just another great day at Carderock, another opportunity for us to engage with local academia and build upon these valuable relationships,” McNeal said. “We also want to consider job opportunities for those coming from George Mason into our workforce and build upon our capabilities and advancements in technologies. We want to leverage the intellectual property that they have at George Mason and partner that with that of Carderock’s, all in the name of advancing the technological capabilities in defense of our nation.”
Under this EPA, Carderock will provide George Mason students with access to U.S. Navy technology and surplus materials, in addition to mentorship from Carderock engineers and other personnel. In return, George Mason students will help Carderock engineers with research; Carderock engineers will be given the chance to guest lecture and some students may go on to join the Naval Research Enterprise Interns Program (NREIP).
Already, the partnership is underway. Carderock’s Center for Innovation in Ship Design (CISD) is reaching out to collaborate on a naval architecture and engineering course, primarily working with McCue, a former summer faculty professor at Carderock. Trisha Shields, a Carderock engineer in the Sea-Based Aviation and Aerospace Branch (Code 882), co-hosted a data analytics workshop and has been a guest-lecturer at George Mason. Many students have also worked with Carderock engineers researching for their capstone projects about corrosion science.
“Carderock has a lot of opportunities for us to learn about naval shipbuilding here and around the United States. Today, we were able to learn more about shipbuilding, the different divisions, how they play a role in government, the materials that go into building these ships and how it fits into the Navy,” mechanical engineering student Sydney Slayton said. Slayton was one of several George Mason mechanical engineering students who came to Carderock for the EPA signing. They were also given a tour of the base and
“We did not know much about Carderock before this event, even though it is so close to our school. This partnership is going to allow us, as students, to continue to learn how this Warfare Center works, as well as how engineering plays an important role into shipbuilding. The exposure of seeing the day-to-day work of engineers is good to see, so that we get an idea of what the future has in store for us.”