MSU, ERDC partner on $7.8 million research project to advance military engineering

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Mississippi State University is leading a $7.8 million U.S. Department of Defense project to advance military engineering capabilities.

The multidisciplinary project is led by MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and funded through the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. Utilizing a wide range of university research expertise, the three-year project focuses on remote sensing, developing the next generation of materials for force protection, force projection technologies and mobility modeling and simulation.

“MSU is proud to once again partner with ERDC on impactful research that will pay dividends for the U.S. military,” said MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan. “CAVS and the center’s collaborators across campus have a strong track record of cutting-edge research in the areas of remote sensing, modeling and simulation, off-road autonomous vehicles and advanced materials, all of which will help make this project a success.”

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The research conducted at MSU aims to develop new technologies to enhance ERDC’s military engineering and force protection capabilities in support of national defense. Technical focus areas include sensor analytics and remote sensing, as well as the use of geo-materials, advanced, high-strength steels and future technologies for force protection and projection. MSU researchers will develop advanced materials and systems, garnering new insights into the protection capabilities of next-generation materials used in military efforts. They also will conduct autonomous vehicle modeling and simulation for navigation in cold environments.

“Our researchers really excel in developing the models and algorithms necessary to determine how different materials, objects and systems will respond in any given situation, which is a vital part of military engineering and planning,” said CAVS Executive Director Clay Walden.

“In addition to some common research interests, MSU and ERDC both have extensive high-performance computing capabilities, which helps us advance our work. Any time we can collaborate with ERDC on projects like this, it’s a win-win for Mississippi because of the innovation and opportunities created by these partnerships,” Walden said.

In addition to CAVS personnel, principal investigators on the project represent multiple departments in MSU’s James Worth Bagley College of Engineering, as well as its Advanced Composites Institute.

Based in Vicksburg, ERDC is the research unit of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is one of the premier engineering and scientific research organizations in the world. MSU and ERDC have a long-standing research relationship and have collaborated on dozens of projects. In 2014, the two partnered to create the Institute for Systems Engineering Research, also housed in Vicksburg.

“Our ERDC team is excited to continue this long-standing partnership with MSU to advance new materials, manufacturing, mobility, and modeling and simulation capabilities in support of ERDC’s military engineering R&D area. These partnerships have and will continue to transition advanced technologies in support of the Army’s modernization priorities. I’d like to extend my thanks to the MSU team and look forward to continuing this partnership under this new 3-year program,” said ERDC Senior Scientific Technical Manager Robert Moser.

CAVS is an interdisciplinary research center that uses state-of-the-art technology to address engineering challenges facing U.S. mobility industries. The center broadens its impact by supporting economic development and outreach activities throughout Mississippi. For more, visit

ERDC, a diverse research organization with approximately 2,100 employees, is headquartered in Vicksburg, Mississippi, along with four of its seven laboratories: the Coastal and Hydraulics; Geotechnical and Structures; Environmental; and Information Technology laboratories. Additional laboratories include the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois; Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire; and the Geospatial Research Laboratory in Alexandria, Virginia. Its annual program exceeds $1 billion as it supports the Department of Defense and other agencies in military and civilian projects. For more, visit