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University Partnerships

Scientific researcher

In an era of global integration of academic, government and scientific resources, ORAU is uniquely positioned to leverage, through its consortium of 105 sponsoring institutions, the expertise of major research universities. By staying abreast of our members’ capabilities, ORAU’s University Partnerships Office is able to provide access to and facilitate collaborations with major research universities to develop integrated solutions that incorporate state-of-the-art science and technology for government and private sector needs.

Community Involvement

Scientific researcher

Just as our nation faces significant challenges in preparing the future scientific and technical workforce, meeting growing health care demands, and fostering economic development, so do our local and regional communities. In 2012, ORAU demonstrated a strong commitment to strengthening our communities through investment and participation in local and regional education, economic development and other outreach activities.

Expertise and Impact

At ORAU, we have a deep-rooted history of success in integrating our expertise, skills and resources to provide comprehensive solutions to support customers’ needs. In 2012, this had a positive impact not only on advancing the scientific mission, but also addressing needs in education, health, the environment and national security.

Tennessee STEM Leadership AcademyHelping teachers get hands-on with STEM education in Tennessee

Provided through $1.4M in Tennessee Race to the Top funds, the inaugural Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy was developed by ORAU in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education.

Joint Science and Technology InstituteExpanding STEM opportunities with inaugural Joint Science and Technology Institute

ORAU and its partners hosted the inaugural Joint Science and Technology Institute where 23 high school students and six teachers from Maryland and Virginia spent two weeks participating in cutting-edge science projects.

Justin VadasStudent explores the use of magnets to cut cooling costs

Earlham College undergraduate Justin Vadas researched how to replace conventional air conditioning systems with magnetic regeneration air conditioning as part of his participation in DOE’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program, managed by ORAU.

Carl StephanForensic anthropologist uses radiological methods to identify fallen soldiers

Carl Stephan, Ph.D., is a forensic anthropologist and postdoctoral researcher developing methods using chest radiography superimposition and craniofacial research to help identify the U.S. soldiers that were killed in the Korean War and other U.S. conflicts.

Nuclear plantMaking nuclear power plants safer with emergency preparedness tool

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, ORAU developed Exercise Builder Nuclear, the first Web-based application designed to help nuclear power producers conduct more comprehensive emergency preparedness drills and exercises.

Maritime shipEnsuring radiological safety of humanitarian aid ships after Japan disaster

In summer 2012, ORAU characterized six maritime ships that may have sailed through airborne radioactive materials leaking from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant as they delivered aid to areas affected by the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Environmental characterizationIdentifying contamination for efficient cleanup of Georgia Tech Neely Research Center

ORAU’s environmental assessment team completed a characterization survey of the Georgia Tech Neely Research Center, a structure that was once connected to the school’s five-megawatt, heavy-water-cooled research reactor.

HealthCommWorksHelping health communicators develop effective messages through specialized online tools

Working with the CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control through ORISE, ORAU is developing the HealthCommWorks suite of free online tools to help health communicators create and disseminate effective messages.

Health advisory posterImproving messaging on flu prevention at U.S.-Mexico border

In April 2012, ORAU health communication experts helped the CDC Travelers’ Health Branch test the effectiveness of seasonal flu prevention posters through surveys conducted at the U.S.-Mexico border, specifically at the San Ysidro Port of Entry by San Diego, Calif.

Environmental assessmentHelping Kazakhstan universities improve faculty research through peer review

To assist Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University (NU) on its goal of cultivatating the next generation of scientists and engineers, ORAU is reviewing more than 100 NU faculty research proposals as well as advising the university on the development of its own internationally accepted peer review process.

Partnering with DOE to impact the U.S. scientific mission through ORISE

Students explore science

ORAU and DOE have built a lasting partnership with an unwavering commitment to addressing critical national needs in science as well as health, the environment, and national security. Through this long-standing relationship with DOE, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and supports DOE’s mission accomplishment in:

  • Strengthening the U.S. scientific research and education enterprise, particularly in energy and the STEM fields, to enhance global competiveness
  • Building public trust and confidence in the management of worker and public health and environmental cleanup initiatives
  • Enhancing our nation’s preparedness to respond to emergencies related to terrorist incidents, natural disasters, and other health and security threats

Read more about how ORAU and ORISE have positively impacted the U.S. scientific mission in FY12.

Impacting the scientific mission through robust STEM education programs

Students explore science

To advance the science education mission of DOE’s Office of Science and support the U.S. global competitiveness effort, ORAU manages an array of science education and workforce development programs and events for students, recent graduates, faculty, teachers, and postdoctoral researchers through DOE’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and ORAU’s Center for Science Education. Through these, ORAU is helping DOE, and other government and private entities, develop the next generation of scientists and engineers and strengthen our nation’s ability to compete globally, specifically in STEM-related fields. Read more about how ORAU and ORISE have advanced science education at all levels in FY12.