Florida Institute of Technology

Capt. Tim Hill, left, commanding officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, along with Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay, signed an education partnership agreement on July 30 at a ceremony in the university’s Hartley Room.

BREVARD COUNTY — Education is a tool in which to sharpen young minds for a successful future, no matter what field students decide to pursue.

An educational partnership between Florida Institute of Technology and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), which is co-located in the Orlando/Florida High Tech Corridor region, will benefit the high-ranking university and the United States Navy.

“The benefits will be in shared knowledge, expertise, facilities and equipment,” said Monica Baloga, Florida Tech’s senior vice president for academic administration. “Specifics have not yet been nailed down.”

The agreement was signed by Florida Tech’s President Dr. Dwayne McCay and the Orlando-based Naval Air Warfare Center’s Capt. Tim Hill on July 30 in a ceremony at the university’s Hartley Room.

In this educational partnership, both parties have agreed to share labs and equipment, partner on research, and bolster collaborations in simulation and training, data science, artificial intelligence and other critical fields, a press release stated.

“The draft agreement was first presented to me by Dr. Richard Griffith, a professor in our College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, who already has a relationship with NAWCTSD,” Dr. Baloga said. “He currently has a graduate student working there as well. Rob Salonen [Florida Tech’s director of government affairs and strategic partnerships] did most of the ‘heavy-lifting’ to get the agreement reviewed and to arrange a formal signing ceremony.”

Moreover to the benefits of shared research, officials added that collaboration between the two respected organizations could include flight simulation, the psychology of teamwork, augmented and virtual reality, advanced manufacturing, and Florida Tech’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design.

Dr. Baloga further pointed out that Florida Tech’s Reserve Officer Training Corps is renowned and celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

Florida Tech, which was founded in 1958, offered its first classes in facilities that housed the Naval Air Station Melbourne, in what was then known as the Melbourne Municipal Airport.

“Some of our students do join the military after graduation, in multiple capacities and across the branches,” Dr. Baloga said.

While the partnership is still in its early stages, those interested in learning more can email Florida Tech's Director of Communications Adam Lowenstein at adam@fit.edu.

Associate Managing Editor

I have been a Viera resident for 14 years and a writer my whole life. I love to travel when the opportunity presents itself, as well as try new things.

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