HOUSTON, Texas — The U.S. Space Force and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez signed an agreement Sept. 9, 2022, making them the 14th member of the service’s University Partnership Program.
Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond joined UPRM Chancellor Dr. Rullán at the Johnson Center in Houston, Texas, to finalize the agreement and to learn more about the university’s space initiatives and capabilities.
This partnership will leverage the space and technical prowess to: enhance and encourage collaboration on science, technology, engineering and mathematic fields, build solutions for current and future research projects that further national security objectives in the space domain, and grow and develop a qualified, diverse, and inclusive workforce.
“The Space Force needs highly educated Guardians with STEM expertise to operate and develop advanced space systems,” Raymond said. “We need partners like the University of Puerto Rico because: space is hard! We need the best minds in the nation to help us solve problems, build solutions, and operate some of the most sophisticated platforms, systems, and networks anywhere on Earth.
“If we are going to keep our advantage in space and ensure space remains open for science and discovery, we need partners like the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.”
Among other areas, the university’s College of Engineering conducts research in satellite photography that tracks various earth phenomena, which directly supports the Space Force’s mission.
UPRM has graduates have made a significant impact in various STEM career fields – including Orlando Figueora, the Director of Mars Exploration at NASA, as well as William Navas, Jr., a former Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
The University Partnership Program seeks to recruit, educate and develop subject matter experts that engage in world-class research and technology developments to secure the nation’s interests and maintain an advantage in space.
The UPP’s four goals are to establish opportunities for world-class research, advanced academic degrees, and workforce and leadership development for Guardians; identify and pursue areas of mutual interest with member universities, individually and collectively; establish scholarship, internship and mentorship opportunities for university students and ROTC cadets; and recruit and develop diverse officer, enlisted, and civilian Guardians with a particular focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
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