The University Leadership Initiative (ULI) was introduced in 2015 by the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA ARMD). Put simply, this initiative invites different American universities to join forces with various industry colleagues, study the latest advancements in industry and come up with new proposals of their own as a means of advancing the technology even further, along with a desired plan and schedule to accomplish such goals. If awarded, the universities will be offered a respectable grant which will go towards fullfilling the set of goals first proposed. This program thus manages to (1) bring industry and academia much closer together thus indicating the intertwined nature of these two mammoths (2) offer a much smoother transition for any student whether undergraduate or graduate from academia to industry and (3) result in technological advances that will manage to profit both the developers and the future consumers of the final product. This initiative, in particular, seeks new, innovative ideas that can support the NASA ARMD portfolio and the U.S. aviation community. Our team with a strong existing track record of collaboration with NASA and deep knowledge of NASA ARMD’s objectives, will develop research products and technologies for safe and secure autonomy that will be transitioned to NASA and industry. By the project’s end, we will have made significant contributions to the following ARMD objectives: ARMD Mega-Driver 1: Global Growth in Demand for High Speed Mobility, NASA ARMD Strategic Research Thrust 6: Assured Autonomy for Aviation Transportation. Our developments will particularly contribute to NASA ARMD Strategic Goal 3, in particular, Performance Goal 3.2.1 (by advancing decision-making ability for improving UTM under TC1), Performance Goal 3.2.5 (by addressing safety and security issues of future aviation systems under TC2), and Performance Goal 3.2.6 (by development and validation of advanced autonomy technologies under TCs 3 and 4).

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Academic Partners

Industry Partners

  • James Paduano
  • Seyed Mehran Dibaji

  • Bruce J. Holmes

  • Neta Ezer

  • Damon Jenkins