Robins, Georgia Tech partner for the future

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  • Robins Public Affairs

Robins Air Force Base and the Georgia Institute of Technology mutually entered into an Educational Partnership Agreement on Sept 29, 2017. Georgia Tech also took the opportunity to welcome Team Robins as members into their Manufacturing Institute Industrial Partners program.

Those two trailblazing actions, which are the result of many months of discussion and cooperation, will create avenues to greatly increase collaboration and synergistically merge each organization’s unique resources.

“The documents we’re signing today are the fruits of these ongoing collaborations,” Dr. G.P. ‘Bud’ Peterson, Georgia Tech president, said of  the partnership between the base and the university.

“This agreement affords Georgia Tech students the opportunity to participate in solving significant problems … while interacting on a one-on-one basis with the engineers, technicians and facilities at Robins,” he said. “It also gives the personnel at Robins the opportunity to see some of the technologies and talents at Georgia Tech.”

Separated by only 100 miles, Georgia Tech and Robins now have new opportunities to solve technological problems better, faster and cheaper than otherwise possible.

Under the agreements, Georgia Tech students and faculty will be able to gain access to the base to work on projects under joint supervision using unique and tremendous base assets.

Team Robins employees will be able to consult and train with the world-class experts and facilities at Georgia Tech at a speed and continuity not previously possible as summarized by Thomas Fischer, Director of Engineering and Technical Management for the Air Force Sustainment Center.

“The relationship between Georgia Tech and Robins Air Force Base goes back to the beginning of the base and the Air Force and today about 300 Georgia Tech engineering graduates are currently employed at Robins,” he said. “As one of the premier engineering institutions in the nation, these new partnerships offer the Air Force and Robins the unique opportunity to take on even bigger challenges facing the Air Force.

“The pace of change in manufacturing is rapid, and we now have the means to accelerate manufacturing innovations to the logistics complex shop floor,” he added. “The other major benefit is to expose Georgia Tech engineering students to the Air Force mission and let them research solutions to difficult manufacturing problems.

Fischer added that the competition for engineering talent is great in Georgia and the U.S. 

“If we are to compete, we must have a strong engineering brand,” he said. “The more we expose Georgia Tech students to the Air Force, the stronger brand we have and the greater potential for students interested in a career with the Air Force.”

University students will have the chance to innovate on industry problems as they work towards their degree requirements. It allows them to gain valuable experience with every level of aircraft maintenance from shop floor support to technical data development to engineering decisions, an opportunity not previously available to them.

Through its membership in the Manufacturing Institute, Robins will have the chance to collaborate with and learn from industry leaders from the aerospace sector in an open environment.

According to Brig. Gen. John Kubinec, Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex commander, by not leveraging the knowledge and capabilities at Robins and Georgia Tech, both entities would be negligent.

“The more we can do together, the better off we are,” he said. “The better we can further the goals of Georgia Tech, the better we can further the goals of the Air Force and our national security, and that’s what it’s all about in our world.”

Editor’s note: Jonathan Bell, Robins Public Affairs command information specialist, contributed to this article.