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Columbia Business Monthly

UofSC Announces $2 Million Aerospace Research Endowment

Dec 19, 2017 02:27PM ● By Emily Stevenson
The University of South Carolina (USC) announced that the S.C. Department of Commerce (S.C. Commerce) has established a $2 million aerospace research endowment at USC’s College of Engineering and Computing. The endowment will enhance the university’s ongoing partnership with Boeing and the shared commitment to advance aerospace innovation in South Carolina.

“Boeing continues to demonstrate a deep commitment to South Carolina and to the University of South Carolina,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Collaborative efforts, like this one, between the public sector, private industry and academia are critical as we seek to promote continued growth in our aerospace cluster and beyond.”

The Boeing Endowment, named for the state’s largest private-sector aerospace company, will support practice‐based innovative teaching and research in material architecture and integrated intelligent manufacturing systems. The grant will be used to bring Boeing professionals into the college as “professors of the practice” and to facilitate USC faculty working directly with Boeing engineers on research projects.

Since 2015, Boeing and the University of South Carolina have worked together on key areas of aerospace research and development. In August of that year, the two announced a research agreement through the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research featuring an investment from Boeing of up to $5 million.

 “We’re thrilled about our relationship with Boeing, which is a model partnership between industry and a major research university,” said USC President Harris Pastides. “The Boeing Endowment is a significant step forward in that relationship, demonstrating the trust that the pre-eminent aerospace industry leader has in our faculty and their research expertise.”

”S.C. Commerce’s decision to fund this endowment speaks to the state’s commitment of advancing the aerospace sector in South Carolina. Boeing is committed to continuing our successful research collaboration with the University of South Carolina, which has the potential to revolutionize the aerospace industry in South Carolina and around the world,” said Lane Ballard, vice president of materials and manufacturing technology at Boeing’s Research & Technology Center in South Carolina.

“With this new phase in our partnership, we’ll be able to work more closely with Boeing on groundbreaking aerospace research,” said Dean Hossein Haj-Hariri, USC College of Engineering and Computing. “Our students will benefit from this enhanced relationship as they will be able to conduct research side by side with Boeing engineers, a unique opportunity to benefit from the deep experience of some of the leading practitioners working in the aerospace industry.”