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Purdue and Lockheed Martin announce hypersonics research partnership

Purdue University Bell Tower. (Photo Provided/Purdue University)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Purdue University has signed a master research agreement with Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) to further expand the university’s research in the field of hypersonics. Purdue says collaboration will grow the research of aircraft and missiles surpassing Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

Purdue says the MRA will help advance research and development of key technologies while also allowing for opportunities for Purdue’s undergraduate and graduate talent.

“Purdue’s research infrastructure is world-class and is being strategically expanded in partnership with the defense sector,” said Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue. “The faculty, students, and staff at Purdue are delighted to move forward in this most important partnership with Lockheed Martin.”

Mayer said the agreement covers research in many areas including hypersonics, systems engineering, high-temperature materials, optics, and cybersecurity.

“We are grateful for this expanded chance to contribute to our national defense at a moment when, for the first time, America’s technological leadership is being seriously challenged, and for the opportunities Lockheed Martin will provide for our faculty and our students during and after their days at Purdue,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

The MRA builds upon already existing connections between both sides. More than 650 Purdue alumni currently work with Lockheed Martin, including Tim Cahill who is senior vice president of Lockheed.

“Purdue opened my eyes to the expansive and complex nature of aeronautical engineering and sent me on a course to design and manage a range of defense systems,” said Cahill, who received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue. “My education positioned me well for my work as a U.S. Air Force officer and a 25-year career at Lockheed Martin.”

The Lockheed Martin agreement is just the latest in a growing list of collaborations Purdue has inked in its hypersonic work.

In October, Northrup Grumman announced it was donating a hypersonic shock tunnel to Purdue.

Early last year, Purdue was awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to develop the first quiet Mach 8 quiet wind tunnel in the world.