NEW: Auburn gets largest research contract in university history

Iron Bowl
Auburn University. (Nathan Watson / The Bama Buzz)

Another big win for Auburn! (Did you see that they just won the Metallica Marching Band Competition?) On January 10, 2024, Auburn University announced they’d been selected for an important U.S. Army contract. Here are the details.

The largest research contract in Auburn’s history

Auburn Us Army Contract
(Auburn University)

“Lightweight, Advanced Manufacturing of Metallic, Polymer and Composite Structures for Aviation and Missile Weapon Systems.” That’s the name of the huge new three-year project awarded to Auburn University—their single largest prime research contract ever, in fact. 

In a press release, Auburn University writer Jeremy Henderson opened with, “How much is Auburn University’s advanced manufacturing expertise worth to the U.S. Army? Up to $50 million.”

This project is designed to help the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center bolster its efforts toward modernization. 

“Our main objective is to enable the Army to incorporate advanced manufacturing materials and methods into existing and future aviation and missile systems.

To do that, we’ll develop prototype advanced manufacturing processes required to analyze, design, develop, test, integrate and sustain qualified components for existing and future aviation and missile systems. The advanced manufacturing materials we’re considering include alloys, polymers and composites. The methods will include everything from machine learning to material properties characterization.”

Robert Dowling, Director of Research Development, AUARI

A ‘historic award’ for Auburn

Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President of Research and Economic Development at Auburn University, shared his thoughts on this milestone for Auburn University and their Applied Research Institute (AUARI):

“It goes without saying, but this is a significant accomplishment for Auburn’s research enterprise and our Applied Research Institute.

But it also speaks volumes about how our Army partners in Huntsville, and beyond, are placing significant value on Auburn’s work in advanced manufacturing, which is a key research focus area for our Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. To say it’s paying off is an understatement.” 

Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President, Research and Economic Development, Auburn University

Dowling highlighted the project’s importance to Auburn’s Huntsville presence and future opportunities for growth there;

“With this award, we’ve demonstrated the significant opportunities that can be created for faculty and students when we combine our core research expertise with customer proximity and knowledge.

AUARI’s proximity to Redstone Arsenal and familiarity with Army customers and missions enabled the AUARI team to develop a highly responsive proposal representing a broad spectrum of Auburn’s research capabilities both on-campus and in Huntsville.”

Robert Dowling, Director of Research Development, AUARI

Taylor stressed just how significant this award is for the future of Auburn University as a whole:

“President Roberts’ vision for Auburn is built around dreaming bigger, being bolder and pushing our research endeavors to the next level. This historic award does exactly that.”

Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President, Research and Economic Development, Auburn University

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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