New Auburn research center in Huntsville advancing space exploration and homeland security

AUBURN – Auburn President Jay Gogue and university officials met Wednesday with Huntsville business and community leaders and also toured Redstone Arsenal for a first-hand view of national security research activities and needs.

The university’s new Huntsville Research Center is already working closely with area industry and federal agencies, including plans to develop cyber security technologies designed to protect U.S. soldiers and information systems on the battlefield.

(l-r) John Mason, vice president for research, Rodney Robertson, director of Auburn's Huntsville Research Center, and Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University
(l-r) John Mason, vice president for research, Rodney Robertson, director of Auburn's Huntsville Research Center, and Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University

“Our goal is to work in partnership with the Huntsville community to expand the region’s role in the national research agenda, bring new ideas and products to government, industry and consumers, and help create economic opportunity,” Gogue said.

The Auburn Center opened July 1 and is headed by Rodney Robertson, former director of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s technical center. It will concentrate on projects in defense, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, biotechnology, information technology and other federal and state government priorities.

Each year, more than $30 billion in federal funding flows though the Huntsville area in government contracts. Collaboration among scientists, whether they work in universities, government or industry, is essential to solve today’s complex research challenges, according to Robertson.

“Bringing the best minds and ideas together enables us to tackle the nation’s most difficult problems,” said Robertson. “Auburn researchers are passionate about discovery and innovation. We’re eager to bring our capabilities and resources to the table with our Huntsville colleagues to deliver the best results for Alabama and the nation.”

Robertson said Auburn researchers will work closely with scientists at Alabama A&M University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

“We look forward to building on the Alabama A&M and Auburn partnership with new research initiatives that are vital for the Huntsville community,” said Alabama A&M President Andrew Hugine.

“UAHuntsville plays a crucial role in the intellectual development of Huntsville, and these collaborations, particularly with other state institutions, are one of the most effective ways that we can respond to the challenges facing our community, state and nation,” UAH President David Williams said.

AU's Huntsville Research Center dinner
September 29, 2010

Auburn’s work in cyber security and information assurance includes training wounded soldiers. Training that occurred last month in Huntsville prepared them for cyber positions in government and industry.

Contact: Brian Keeter, (334) 844-4650 (bck0001@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)