UMass Dartmouth announces $4.2 million grant from US Navy

Oct 28, 2020

UMass Dartmouth will be funding new marine technology research projects after announcing a $4.2 million grant from the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research on Oct. 28.

The latest award follows a $4.6 million grant from the Office of Naval Research awarded in February 2020  the largest research grant in UMass Dartmouth history, according to a university spokesperson. 

Since 2015, the Navy has awarded the university with 21 grants worth nearly $14 million in investment.

The university’s Marine and UnderSea Technology research program (MUST) will lead the project in partnership with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport.

According to a UMass Dartmouth press release, the new projects will address problems related to batteries, acoustics, ocean dynamics modeling, biofouling, composite materials, machine learning, and marine robotics, among others.

“With this latest award from the U.S. Navy, UMass Dartmouth has once again proven its leadership in research and development for the marine technology sector,” said UMass Dartmouth Acting Chancellor Mark Preble. “A special thanks to Congressman Bill Keating, who understands the practical importance of UMass Dartmouth’s marine science and technology research to our region’s economic health and our country’s defense needs.”

“This $4.25 million grant from the Office of Naval Research reaffirms what we already know: that UMass Dartmouth is uniquely positioned to lead the region forward as a blue economy hub,” said Congressman Bill Keating. “The cutting-edge research undertaken at UMass Dartmouth will assist the Navy and sailors stationed throughout the world, and that is something our region should be proud of.”

To respond to the needs of the Navy, MUST will focus on areas of study including increasing the battery life of autonomous underwater vehicles, as well as the use of undersea acoustics for communications and sensing technologies.

“UMass Dartmouth is the public research university for the South Coast of Massachusetts and a crucial driver of the state’s blue economy,” said Senator Edward Markey. “This robust and consistent federal investment in UMass Dartmouth’s MUST Research Program is a testament to the strong partnerships and future collaborations being developed between the Navy and the UMass Dartmouth community.”

“MUST provides a wellspring of talent and technologies to the U.S. Navy and the companies they partner with, while further cementing the university’s role in the regional marine science and technology innovation economy,”  said research program leader and UMass Dartmouth Associate Provost Ramprasad Balasubramanian.

The full announcement can be viewed online here.

For more information about the Marine and UnderSea Technology (MUST) research program at UMass Dartmouth, click here.