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A Strategic Alliance Between Regional Universities And Industry At A National Laboratory

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Perceived Quality of Graduate Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.110.1 - 7.110.9

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Paper Authors

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Richard Jacobsen

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Gautam Pillay

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Fred Gunnerson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Fred S. Gunnerson, Ph.D., Richard T Jacobsen, P. E., Ph.D. Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory

Gautam Pillay, Ph.D. Inland Northwest Research Alliance


This paper presents a unique partnership between academia, industry, and government to manage and operate the multi-purpose Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) for the United States Department of Energy (DOE). This partnership provides novel opportunities and strengths in research and education for laboratory staff, university faculty, and students.

This paper describes the novel structure in which collaboration between the regional universities and the INEEL delivers graduate degree programs and continuing education courses to support the laboratory’s research and development (R&D) missions. Research and development activities and innovative educational programs and collaborations in both research and instructional activities are detailed. Examples of collaboration include joint proposals for scientific and engineering research and joint supervisory committees for doctoral and masters degrees offered to students at INEEL and on the university campuses by the various institutions. Structures are presented for delivering advanced science and engineering degrees on location at INEEL, and for distance education initiating at INEEL or at one of the participating universities.

The alliance strengthens the research culture at the laboratory and universities by creating virtual faculties and departments consisting of qualified laboratory staff and university professors in areas of mutual interest at distributed locations within the region. It provides the opportunity to create nationally competitive research groups with both breadth and depth at minimal cost, and encourages the use of the Internet and video-conferencing for collaboration in research and in educational programs.

The Alliance

In 1999, seven universities in the northwestern United States formed the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA). An eighth university joined the partnership in 2001. Together with Bechtel and BWX Technologies, a dynamic partnership was formed that successfully competed for the government contract to manage and operate the INEEL.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Jacobsen, R., & Pillay, G., & Gunnerson, F. (2002, June), A Strategic Alliance Between Regional Universities And Industry At A National Laboratory Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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