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DOD’s Hypersonic Career Opportunities, Partnerships with Academia, Continue to Grow

DOD’s Hypersonic Career Opportunities, Partnerships with Academia, Continue to Grow

The Department of Defense's strong partnerships with the academic community expand opportunities to co-research and- develop efforts within the defense innovation ecosystem, including for hypersonics, one of the 14 critical technology areas for the DoD.

DOD Joint Hypersonics Transition Office director, Mark Glenn, recently met with the University of Alabama College of Engineering faculty, staff and students to discuss emerging career opportunities for students as a part of the College of Engineering Eminent Scholars and Leaders seminar program last fall. Glenn spoke about the role hypersonics technology plays in helping keep Americans safe and the opportunities available to students. Engagements like these build a strong science and technology pipeline that supports the Department’s technological priorities.

Dr. Clifford L. Henderson, Dean of the College of Engineering, co-hosted the program in conjunction with Michael Johns, Senior Vice President, Kratos SRE, who also serves as a Senior Research Advisor for the College of Engineering. While on campus, Glenn met with other University of Alabama leaders, including the university president, Dr. Stuart Bell and university provost, Dr. James Dalton, where he emphasized opportunities for hypersonic research and encouraging students to join the hypersonics workforce.

“Having someone like Mr. Glenn on campus to speak about a critical technology such as hypersonics is important for our national defense and security,” said Dr. Henderson. “This program helps educate our students about the opportunities that lie ahead for them in such an area while also informing our faculty and research students about how to get more involved in this critical area of work.

The JHTO coordinates with the Principal Director for Hypersonics and the Services to accelerate hypersonics technology and develop the hypersonics workforce to transition technologies into operational capabilities. During this visit, Glenn discussed the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics, which has multiple projects across 45 universities in 23 states and Australia.


“It was great to have the opportunity to engage with students and faculty within the College of Engineering at the University of Alabama,” said Glenn. “The University of Alabama’s research facilities have significantly grown the past several years, and I look forward to seeing more involvement from the university with hypersonics. The UCAH continues to lay the groundwork for a collaborative community of hypersonic students as well as providing ample opportunities for professional development. Student interest in hypersonic technologies is key to maintaining our military advantage.

“Partnerships with academic institutions and industry experts are vital to the DoD for long-term success,” Glenn added.

“It was an honor to co-host Mark Glenn at the University of Alabama and hear about the many collaboration opportunities available for universities with the Department of Defense’s Joint Hypersonics Transition Office,” said Johns. “These collaborations are critical to build our nation’s technical workforce of the future and develop a pipeline of research programs and U.S. citizen students who are interested in hypersonics.”

Glenn’s visits included walkthroughs of laboratories within the College of Engineering that focused on aerodynamics and remote sensing.

The university also has plans to expand facilities and infrastructure to further enable the ability to collaborate with DOD on applied research.

“Collaboration and research opportunities with universities are an integral piece of the national effort to field hypersonic weapons for our troops,” said Glenn. “I look forward to future partnerships with this university and others focused on the future of hypersonics.”

Next spring UCAH will host a Spring Technical Exchange in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University. The Technical Exchange will be represented by more than 100 universities, industries, Federally Funded Research, and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and University Affiliated Research Center (UARCs) and government. Students who are interested will have the opportunity to network and attend the job fair. For information on how to join UCAH visit:

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense,
Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E))
3030 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3030