On November 8 and 9, the University of Maryland hosted the 4th Annual Lockheed Martin/University of Maryland Innovation Conference. The event helped to demonstrate the strategic relationship between Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMCO) and the University of Maryland.
The conference featured presentations from Lockheed Martin business units and leadership, as well as UMD students, faculty and researchers. School of Public Policy graduate students Ahmad Abdullah and Jeremy Waldron presented their current research project, which looks at modernizing the F-16 aircraft. Their research is being funded by LMCO.
“One of the largest issues is that operations and maintenance is taking a larger and larger portion of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) budget,” Abdullah said. “And this problem is only expected to become worse. So, the challenge that the DoD faces is how to adapt to this new budget environment. One solution may be in modernization, where we can extend existing and old weapons systems and weapons platforms, increasing their capability to meet the needs of today and in the future.”
“The purpose of our work is to look at the case study analysis of modernization, and we would like to answer three specific questions,” he said. “Can we extend service life through modernization? Can we do it in a cost-effective manner? What are the best practices attributed to a successful modernization pathway?”
At the conference, SPP’s Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise (CPPPE) Director of Research William Lucyshyn participated in a panel discussion on innovation for operations. He presented the Center’s research findings and report about how recent changes at the U.S. Department of Defense will impact acquisition planning, processes and strategies.
“We wanted to look at the existing [acquisitions] process and make suggestions to alleviate the problems,” he said. After showing a chart outlining the current acquisitions process, Lucyshyn added, “The complexity of the process leaves much to be desired.”
As part of the innovation for operations panel, Ron Richburg, senior manager of logistics and sustainment for Lockheed Martin, said LMCO wants to “drive innovation and deliver proven technology into the hands of the war fighter.”
During the conference, CPPPE’s Director of Outreach and Administration Dawn Pulliam discussed the SPP acquisition specialization and certificate program during the Science & Technology Collaboration with Academia for Technology and Talent Development panel.
You can view photos from the conference on the School of Public Policy’s Flickr account.