The University of North Carolina System has signed a new collaborative agreement with the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps, which is based at Fort Bragg.
It will give the 18 Corps units – like the 82nd Airborne Division – access to engineering and science students and faculty. They’re exploring things like innovative ways the troops can make use of advances in 3D printing, and developing wearable technologies to improve soldiers’ performance on the battlefield.
“So, long term, the army is looking at trying to get more creative minds thinking about their problems in innovative ways,” said Kathie Sidner, the director of defense and military partnerships for the UNC System.
The agreement aims to build on the UNC System’s long-standing ties with the military by boosting science and engineering education.
“We're trying to get more of our students and faculty engaged in solving problems for the paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division and 18th Airborne Corps,” Sidner said. “But it really is more about encouraging STEM education.”
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
The efforts of the UNC System also can indirectly help the military by training scientists and engineers for its civilian workforce.
The university system has been working with the Special Operations community at Fort Bragg for more than a decade but is now wants to build on that experience to do more with conventional units, like the 82nd Airborne Division.