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ODU Engineering Plays Host to Delegation from NNS

Newport News Shipbuilding VisitEngineering student Syed Reza (right) demonstrates technology at the ODU Vision Lab to senior officials of Newport News Shipbuilding. Pictured are (from left) John Shifflett, director of leadership, professional and technical development; Barry Fletcher, vice president, nuclear propulsion; and Jennifer Boykin, Vice President, Engineering & Design

Three distinguished visitors from Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) received a crash course in Old Dominion University engineering during a visit to campus on Monday, Nov. 25.

John Shifflett, director of leadership, professional and technical development; Barry Fletcher, vice president, nuclear propulsion; and Jennifer Boykin, vice president, engineering and design, received a tour of several key cogs of ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology.

The tour, a return visit from a trip taken to NNS by ODU engineering faculty and staff in May, was designed to showcase the mutually beneficial opportunities for the company and engineering school.

"Old Dominion University and Newport News Shipbuilding share Hampton Roads as their home," said Batten College Dean Oktay Baysal in a comprehensive introduction for the visitors. "It's the local relationship that works so that our region is one that we can all be proud of."

In his address to the senior NNS executives, Baysal pointed out that 1,200 ODU graduates work for the company, including 800 engineers, by far the largest total from any school.

Baysal said the relationship between ODU and NNS can be beneficial for the company in three ways - by providing continuing education resources for the current workforce; by providing partnerships for funded research and development; and by continuing to provide a pool of qualified candidates for highly skilled jobs at NNS.

Baysal said the ODU engineers were also interested in hearing what the needs of NNS are, both now and in the future. "We hope to better understand what your educational and research requirements are, so we can work on developing more opportunities to be helpful to each other."

After Baysal's introduction, the visitors saw for themselves some of the opportunities for collaboration present at ODU.

The delegation was given a tour of the ODU Vision Lab, led by director Khan Iftekharuddin, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and a tour of the Modeling and Simulation Lab, led by Rick McKenzie, chair of the Department of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering.

During lunch, other presentations from ODU engineering projects in line with the goals of NNS were made to the delegation.