U.S. Representatives Steve Stivers (OH-15th) and Mike Turner (OH-10th) visited the Ohio University Russ Research Center (RRC) in Beavercreek, OH on September 11 as part of a continued push by the Russ College of Engineering and Technology to engage federal legislators in the college’s research and education plans.
Mei Wei, dean of the Russ College, and Joseph Shields, OHIO’s vice president for Research and Creative Activity, acknowledged the strong partnership between the university and its congressional delegation.
“We really appreciate the great support from Congressmen Stivers and Turner,” says Wei, who met with the congressmen on Capitol Hill in February. “RRC serves as a bridge that closely connects Russ faculty and students with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and industry in the Dayton area. These partnerships will make a strong impact to both Athens and Dayton areas in terms of increasing research activities and broadening educational pathways for students and employees.”
Founded in 1955 by Fritz L. and Dolores H. Russ as Systems Research Laboratory, a private firm that provided aerospace, medical, and computing research, the 75-acre Russ Research Center today is home to leading defense, engineering, and research firms. The Russ Research Center is located near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, home to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.
Dean Wei and Russ College leadership discussed with the congressmen plans for the center to serve as a new model for integrated research and teaching.
“Wright-Patterson is the innovation engine that drives Ohio’s economy,” says Scott Miller, associate dean for industry partnerships. “Every significant program in the Air Force starts with the pioneering research at the Research Lab and is purchased and sustained by the professionals at the Life Cycle Management Center. The industry that supports this ecosystem is extremely important for our national defense, and the Russ College is now a trusted member of this community.”
Though Turner has regularly visited the center, which is located in Ohio’s 10th Congressional District, this visit marked the first for Stivers.
Southwestern Ohio consistently garners federal funding for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and higher education institutions like Wright State University, the University of Dayton, and Sinclair Community College. However, those dollars are rarely dispersed to other areas of the state, specifically southeastern Ohio, something the Russ College and OHIO hope to remedy by engaging Stivers.
“It is clear from meeting with Congressmen Stivers and Tuner that their focus is on creating jobs and establishing Ohio as the leader in cutting-edge industrial digital engineering,” says Neil Littell, associate professor of engineering technology and management and Kraft Family Scholar. “We are proud to be partnered with them through our efforts in Dayton as we work together to create for good.”