Workforce Development

The University of Connecticut (UConn) and the University of Rhode Island (URI) are major public universities that, in addition to conducting extensive research for the Navy, contribute hundreds of graduates to the Navy and naval industries. As of 2017, UConn and URI have approximately 1400 active alumni working at Electric Boat (EB) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, annually provide approximately 125 engineers and 75 interns to EB. Naval science and technology workforce development opportunities for engineers are being made available by NIUVT to meet the naval workforce demands of Southeast New England and the Navy.

Workforce Development Opportunities

NIUVT provides a range of opportunities to educate and train engineers for the naval workforce: from offering a minor for undergraduate engineering students as part of the Southeast New England Naval STEM Coalition designed to train students in naval technologies and to transition them to naval careers; to facilitating opportunities for current employees at EB and supply chain companies to pursue a M.S. or Ph.D. in areas directly applicable to their work. Please click on the links below to view more details about these rewarding education opportunities.

  • Recognizing the region’s need to scale up the naval science and engineering workforce, UConn and URI have teamed up to create a major regional workforce initiative directed to undergraduate engineering students. The Southeast New England Naval STEM Coalition leverages resources at the two campuses and draws on industry and navy partners to deliver naval-relevant training.This Undergraduate Navy Crew will receive mentoring by Navy professionals and naval industry engineers, be exposed to the naval industry through a three semester seminar course, and conduct meaningful work in a year-long Senior Design Project at the direction of navel industries.

  • Each year, senior design projects at UConn and URI can be sponsored by the Navy and naval industry to address a real-world technical or design challenge. The year-long projects are required of all engineering seniors at both UConn and URI, and teams of 2-4 seniors are mentored by university professors and by professionals from the sponsor organizations.
  • Graduate-level masters degrees for working professionals in the Navy and naval industries are available at UConn through the Masters of Engineering (MENG) program and at URI through non-thesis MS programs for industry and a special MS program for Electric Boat employees.

    The Master of Engineering (MENG) degree is a part-time 30 credit graduate degree at UConn with both technical engineering courses and professional development classes. The NIUVT Master of Engineering program is focused on improving professional communications and project management skills as well as developing broad technical skills specific to naval applications. Students concentrate in mechanical, electrical, materials science or civil engineering or an interdisciplinary theme (with approval of the NIUVT faculty advisor) and complete and defend a final project related to a practical naval problem. The MENG program offers classes in an online/blended format in the evening to provide flexibility for working professionals so that they may pursue a masters-level degree in engineering concentrations to improve skills and develop knowledge in areas tailored to the needs of their employer.

    At URI, the Ocean Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering offer non-thesis MS programs, full-time and part-time study, for industry people and a special MS program for Electric Boat. URI was the first institution in the US to establish M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in ocean engineering. Areas of study include acoustics, geomechanics, hydrodynamics, ocean instrumentation, and water wave mechanics.

  • Any innovation ecosystem is only as strong as the relationships of professionals in it. This network of people is the very fabric of any community that is setting the pace in any advanced technology area, and the undersea domain is no different. What is special however about the Undersea Vehicle Technology ecosystem in Southern New England, is the incredible density of relevant government, industry and academic institutions in such a small geographic location.

    The NIUVT fellowship is a development opportunity for organizations in this geographically close and technologically overlapping undersea technology ecosystem to deliberately develop mid-career professionals on a path to senior leadership positions. The fellowship is a 12-month experience for applicants from academia, government, and industry to rotate into a different sector and work inside a different organization while participating with the cohort of fellows in monthly networking and broadening experiences. The ecosystem is geographically small enough that we can provide this opportunity without relocating people and do it at no cost to participants or organizations involved. Applicants must have the support of their leadership in order to apply.

    As a group, fellows will visit with the strategic leadership of every participating organization in addition to a few others. They will also participate in ongoing in NIUVT activities and research throughout the course of the year. This fellowship is an opportunity to mix the ecosystem, create stronger networks, and bring perspectives from government academia and industry directly into organizations and opposing sectors. After one year, fellows return to their employer with a different perspective, a stronger network, and reinvigorated to tackle the challenges of the undersea vehicle technology community. Not only will the fellow benefit, but each organization taking in a fellow with a different perspective will stand to benefit from their different experience, perspective, and network as well.

    Participating Organizations
    Participating organizations commit to supporting their applicant by maintaining their pay and benefits for the period of 12 months while they work at another organization in a different sector (government, academia, industry). Additionally, each organization agrees to take on a different NIUVT Fellow for the same 12-month period, at no cost, to provide them a broadening experience inside their organization that leverages their background and experience. Fellows may be used in a position that leverages their particular technical skillset or puts them in a position that exposes them to the strategic operations of an organization. Organizations will have the opportunity to interview, and approve or decline the incoming fellow who is recommended to be placed at their organization.

    Applicants
    Competitive applicants should have at least 10 years of professional experience and a master’s degree or commensurate experience. Applicants will need to submit a resume, cover letter, and an endorsement letter from their organization’s leadership by email to mike.shelton@niuvt.us by March 30th. Please list “NIUVT Fellowship 2020” in the subject line.

    Selection Process
    NIUVT leadership will judge applications, interview finalists, and select a cohort of 9 fellows for a mid-summer 2020 start time. NIUVT will also place fellows and take into consideration their background, experience, desires, and commuting location when placing fellows and while they may not be provided their first choice, they will have the option of declining a placement.

    Questions
    Contact Erik Brine at erik.brine@niuvt.us or (843)469-0234

  • NIUVT researchers are continuously engaged in research funded by the Navy. Whether it be new projects looking for qualified graduate students, or existing projects entering a new phase and requiring additional student researchers, there are many opportunities within NIUVT for highly qualified students to receive stipend and tuition benefits toward getting a M.S. or Ph.D on a Navy-related topic. Current opportunities include:

    • Ph.D. Student: ONR-sponsored project: Glider-based measurements of acoustic tomography signals, Lora Van Uffelen
    • Ph.D. Student: Uncertainty Analysis in Real-Time Hybrid Substructuring <<email: Richard.christenson@UCONN.edu>>

Southeast New England Naval STEM Coalition

Two undergraduate students from URI's Department of Ocean Engineering test a small remotely operated underwater vehicle on board the Research Vessel Endeavor. Research experiences like this one are offered to students participating in the Naval STEM Coalition, which prepares students to transition to naval careers after graduation.

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