Joins MIT, Georgia Tech, Others in Working
to Advance Space Science and Technology
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech was recently elected a member of the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), the 50-year-old nonprofit research corporation that utilizes in-house and university-based expertise to advance space science and technology.
The Council of Institutions at USRA, the Columbia, Maryland-based non-profit organization, unanimously elected Florida Tech at USRA’s annual meeting April 23.
“Given our space heritage, STEM focus and ongoing student and faculty success in tackling the most important space and technology challenges before us, we are excited and honored to join an organization that will help us achieve even more, together,” said Florida Tech Senior Vice President for Research Gisele Bennett, Ph.D.
USRA was founded in 1969, driven by the vision of James Webb, the NASA administrator from 1961 to 1968, and Frederick Seitz, the president of the National Academy of Sciences from 1962 to 1969. They recognized that the technical challenges of space exploration would require an ongoing and strong collaboration between NASA and the university research community.
“Congratulations to Florida Institute of Technology on joining the 110 other universities which are members of USRA,” said Jeffrey A. Isaacson, Ph.D., president and chief executive at USRA. “We are delighted that Florida Tech is now part of our association and we look forward to working together to advance space-related sciences and engineering.”
USRA’s university members provide faculty and students to support government sponsors in four key areas: Science; Technology Research and Development; Science Facility Management and Operations; and Educational & Workforce Development.
In 2018, USRA was involved with 1,038 research engagements at 340 research organizations, including universities and other entities.
Universities apply to USRA by submitting a description of their space science- and/or aerospace-related research and facilities, a listing of recent graduate students in these areas with their advisors and thesis topics, and academic information on relevant faculty. Universities also include plans over the next five years for significant new research areas and facilities.
Along with American universities, USRA has a global membership that includes institutions from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and China.