UMass Dartmouth gets $4.6 million grant for marine tech research

Feb 10, 2020

The United States Navy has awarded a grant to UMass Dartmouth to the tune of $4,576,764 million — the largest research award in the university’s history.

On February 10, UMass Dartmouth announced the receipt of the grant, which will fund research projects in conjunction with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) and other institutions of higher education. 

The recently established Marine and UnderSea Technology research program (MUST) at UMass Dartmouth will administer the grant funding. The MUST program was formed to address the needs of the United States Navy in developing a highly trained workforce, with research and training in undersea technologies focused on acoustics, signal processing, sensing, communications, and autonomous underwater vehicles.

“This award highlights the research, talent, and expertise of the exceptional people at UMass Dartmouth,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson. “This funding will strengthen our relationship with the Navy and bolster workforce development in the marine science and technology industries that are the backbone of the Blue Economy in southern New England.”

Johnson continued, “This would not have happened without Congressman Bill Keating, a leader in Washington D.C. that understands how this research university can support the Navy’s undersea technology needs and support a region’s economic revitalization.”

“Southeastern New England is the hub of the Blue Economy and UMass Dartmouth is unquestionably a preeminent leader in this field,” said Congressman William R. Keating. “With the funding, UMass Dartmouth will not only be providing critical naval research but also creating the highly skilled workforce needed as we move this project  and those like it  forward. This award is a perfect example of how federal grants are supposed to work.”

Since 2015, UMass Dartmouth has secured 19 awards from the Navy, with a cumulative investment of nearly $5 million prior to the 2020 funding.

UMass Dartmouth is the second leading supplier of workforce talent to NUWC.

“This unique opportunity leverages UMass Dartmouth’s long-standing strengths in marine technologies within three colleges to expand cutting-edge research and developing highly-skilled scientists and engineers in areas of critical needs for the Navy. UMass Dartmouth and the Navy has long enjoyed a great synergistic partnership. I look forward to taking it to the next level,” said Associate Provost and MUST program leader Ramprasad Balasubramanian.

“The Navy’s investment in its partnership with the Marine and UnderSea Technology research program is a testament to the Commonwealth’s ongoing leadership in research and technology,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “This new funding will allow UMass Dartmouth students and faculty to expand on their integral role in undersea research.”

Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III said, “Students and researchers at UMass Dartmouth are not only building a Blue Economy for the South Coast and our Commonwealth but using their knowledge and expertise to strengthen our national security. With this well-earned grant, the MUST program will bring new opportunities for our next generation workforce.”

Learn more about UMass Dartmouth’s Marine and UnderSea Technology (MUST) research program at