Nebraska launches defense research initiative


Ashley Washburn, December 1, 2017

Nebraska launches defense research initiative

As the University of Nebraska-Lincoln strives to reach Chancellor Ronnie Green’s ambitious goal to increase total research expenditures, boosting the university’s competitiveness for defense and national security funding is key.

To support Nebraska researchers in reaching that goal, the Office of Research and Economic Development is leading a new initiative, Nebraska Growing University Activity for Research in Defense, or NGUARD. The initiative’s aim is to boost participation across disciplines to solve complex, multifaceted defense and national security issues that federal agencies seek to address.

Steve Goddard, interim vice chancellor for research and economic development, said Nebraska is uniquely positioned for success, thanks to its partnership with the University of Nebraska’s National Strategic Research Institute, cutting-edge research facilities and culture of collaboration. NSRI is one of 13 U.S. Department of Defense University Affiliated Research Centers.

Goddard introduced the NGUARD effort during the fall Research Fair, Nov. 6-10, where a panel of three Nebraska faculty who have successfully completed defense and national security projects discussed their experiences. More success stories are featured on the NGUARD website.

Nebraska already has a strong track record of securing defense funding in physics, engineering and computer science, Goddard said. However, the ever-changing technological and social landscape requires knowledge from researchers in political science, medicine, behavioral sciences, ecology and sociology.

Competing for awards from defense agencies and the Department of Homeland Security requires a different approach than most federal agencies faculty are accustomed to working with, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. NGUARD brings together ORED experts from Sponsored Programs, Proposal Development and Export Control to help faculty successfully prepare proposals and review and manage projects. Visit the NGUARD website for detailed information on how ORED units can help.

Researchers also are encouraged to subscribe to the weekly Funding Announcements email in NUgrant or to update their preferences to include defense opportunities.

“Together, we can grow Nebraska research in this critical sector,” Goddard said.

Christopher Bohn joins Nebraska

Lt. Col. Christopher Bohn joined ORED in September as coordinator of defense research initiatives. Bohn is leading efforts to grow Nebraska’s defense research portfolio and working with faculty to develop funded research programs that support national defense.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Bohn has extensive experience in operations, scientific research and engineering, and leading research and education teams. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, a master’s degree in space studies from the University of North Dakota, a master’s in computer engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a doctorate in computer science and engineering from Ohio State University.

For more information about NGUARD, contact Bohn at 402-472-1803.

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