ODU becomes full member of the National Institute of Aerospace

(Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Old Dominion University)
(Southside Daily/Courtesy of Old Dominion University)

NORFOLK — Old Dominion University recently joined seven other universities as full members of the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) after a unanimous vote by the group’s board of directors.

As an affiliate member since 2002, ODU has established a record of significant contributions to NIA through aerospace research and helping to manage the institute’s graduate programs.

“We are proud to join NIA as members. The upcoming launch of our student-designed CubeSat from Wallops Flight Facility demonstrates our commitment to aerospace research,” Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick said. “Membership in NIA will help us better prepare the next generation of engineers and scientists to work in the public and private sectors.”

The CubeSat satellites are part of the Virginia CubeSat Constellation mission, a collaborative project of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) and four of its member universities: ODU, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Hampton. Three nanosatellites, each about 4 inches cubed and weighing approximately 3 pounds, have been developed and instrumented (one each at ODU, Virginia Tech and Virginia) to obtain measurements of the properties of the Earth’s atmosphere.

As part of ODU’s membership, Paul Olsen, executive director of programs and partnerships for the University’s Office of Research, will serve on NIA’s board of directors.

The National Institute of Aerospace is a recognized leader in aerospace research, education and outreach. Based out of Newport News, it leads and conducts research with government, academia and industrial partners. Additionally, it delivers graduate and continuing education in science and engineering.

Adding ODU to NIA’s research portfolio will facilitate further advances in areas such as data analytics, unmanned systems and graduate programs.

“Over the last few years, ODU students and faculty have benefited from involvement in NIA’s unique graduate education and research activities,” said Colin Britcher, associate chair of the University’s Mechanical Space and Aerospace Engineering program. “As full members, we can now expand further and help drive the Institute’s long-term strategy.”

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.