The University of Maryland is one of several Washington-area academic institutions that are forging links with both business and the federal government to strengthen major research programs in advanced technology.
The engineering schools of seven of these institutions are working with industry and government in a wide range of rapidly developing fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, aeronautics, biomedical engineering, laser technology and hydrodynamics, according to a report released last week by the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association.
The schools operate programs with total annual research funding of more than $23 million, the association's report shows. The report, a directory of local engineering resources, includes several examples of advanced-technology research and collaboration:
*Research at Catholic University's Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics includes work on the control of flexible spacecraft structures, automated manufacturing, and perception and cognition studies. The engineering school's partners include NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Naval Research Lab.
*George Mason University's Center for Super Computer Applications is working with Boeing Computer Services on a project focusing on university use of Cray supercomputers for campus research.
*George Washington University's Institute for Reliability and Risk Analysis has received research support from the U.S. Army, the Office of Naval Research and the Los Alamos Scientific Research Laboratories.
*Howard University's engineering school includes programs in aerospace systems, biomedical engineering and solid-state electronics. The school's partners include Bell Laboratories, the U.S. Air Force and Exxon Corp.
*Johns Hopkins University's engineering activities include laser generation and detection of acoustic waves, dynamic thermal imagery and signal processing. Its partners include Fairchild Industries, Martin Marietta Corp. and the Naval Surface Weapons Center.
*The United States Naval Academy's programs include a hydrodynamics laboratory that studies the engineering problems of marine vehicles and ocean structures. The academy's research partners include the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard and various naval agencies.
The regional association's report, which lists the research specialties and partners of the seven major engineering schools, is designed to call attention to the area's high-tech academic resources, said executives of the regional association.
Luther H. Hodges, chairman of both the regional association and the National Bank of Washington, said the directory should "serve as an effective tool for economic development, matching industry needs to the engineering resources and research specialties available at area institutions."