ERDC Day at MSU highlights economic development and collaborative partnerships

Published 11:00 am Friday, April 22, 2022

STARKVILLE — On April 14, a team of U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) leaders visited Mississippi State University (MSU).

The event — designated as ERDC Day — consisted of classroom presentations, an exhibit/student intern showcase and a public affairs panel to link MSU students to ERDC.

“Our mission is to promote the economic development of our state, our region and our nation, and I can think of no better strategic partner than ERDC,” said Dr. Jason Keith, Dean of the MSU Bagley College of Engineering. “We have a really strong partnership with the ERDC facility in Vicksburg; it is one of our top employers every year, and this is a way to showcase how to expand the partnership that we have.”

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ERDC Day featured ERDC researchers and other staff who presented numerous employment options to the students. About 600 students attended the 12 classroom sessions, which covered varying subjects of interest. During the morning, there was an informal exhibit offering opportunities for ERDC and MSU employees to network and for students and ERDC employees to discuss research collaborations, internships, full-time employment and other matters of mutual interest. In the afternoon, a panel of MSU and ERDC senior leaders discussed the impact of the partnership on Mississippi’s prosperity and economy and the worldwide value of the partnership.

“An important aspect of this event is the great partnership that we have with the university leading the Nation’s combined research in military engineering, data analytics and high-performance computing,” said Dr. Bart Durst, director of the ERDC Geotechnical & Structures Laboratory and an MSU alumnus. “These last two areas are a part of our military engineering world and are becoming more and more a part of what we do in civil works for the Nation. We are solving some of the nation’s toughest challenges.”

“The ERDC/MSU relationship has been very longstanding,” said Dr. David Horner, director of the Information Technology Laboratory. “MSU’s commitment to high-end computing allows the state of Mississippi to blossom in supercomputing.”

“ERDC is one of our longest-standing and strongest partners,” said Dr. Issac L. Howard of the Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MSU. “We work with ERDC on a variety of different matters from research to engagement with students and outreach services. There is really no part of our mission that ERDC doesn’t touch in some way.”

As one of the most diverse engineering and scientific research organizations in the world, ERDC helps solve the nation’s most challenging problems in civil and military engineering, geospatial sciences, water resources and environmental sciences for the Army, Department of Defense, civilian agencies and the public. ERDC, headquartered in Vicksburg, operates seven laboratories in four states with more than 2,447 employees and a $1 billion annual research program.