MELBOURNE, Fla., Feb. 17, 2009 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is investing in the next generation of engineers and scientists, with an eye toward inspiring student innovation and strengthening America's global competitiveness. The aerospace industry leader today presented the Florida Institute of Technology with a $1 million gift to support the university's annual engineering and science student design competition. A ceremony was held on the Melbourne, Fla., campus in honor of National Engineers Week.
The Northrop Grumman donation underwrites the newly named Northrop Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase, a spring competition where students design and build original projects from robots to rockets. For more than four decades, Florida Tech engineering and science students have been required to complete a hands-on, detailed senior project before graduation.
"We're honored to establish a $1 million endowment at the Florida Institute of Technology to support the annual student showcase. This endowment is a natural extension of Northrop Grumman's commitment to getting young people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. It is vital to our success as companies, and as a country, that young people have the opportunity for hands-on learning experiences," said Tom Vice, sector vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
"From its inception, Florida Tech has challenged students to acquire experiences in their major that are both theoretical and practical," said Florida Tech president Anthony J. Catanese. "This commitment is demonstrated as early as the freshman year, where first-year engineering students are already taking courses in their major field of study as well as getting hands-on experience in the laboratory and on projects."
"We appreciate Northrop Grumman's generosity in this important area," Catanese added. "This support is critical to inspiring innovation in a very important area of our curriculum."
"Whether it is a simple project like an emergency mobile traffic light that runs on batteries, or a large team building race cars or launching rockets, the students gain engineering experiences that immerse them in design and application," said Thomas Waite, dean of the College of Engineering at Florida Tech. "Employers who hire Florida Tech students have commented that they need far less training because they have a clearer understanding of what it take to build and complete a project."
"In the past, students have raised money by doing simple fundraisers like raffles and car washes," Waite said. "With this support from Northrop Grumman, students can focus their attention where it should be -- on their design projects."
Florida Tech's student design projects have a track record of success. In 1990, Florida Tech's Sunshine Special entered the GM solar car race from Disney to Detroit, placing 25th overall. In 2006, Florida Tech entered the first SAE Hybrid Formula One race. Their Racing Electric Vehicle (REV) won "Best Hybrid in Progress."
This year's Northrop Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase at Florida Tech is scheduled for April 3.
Founded at the dawn of the Space Race 50 years ago, Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast. With 6,400 students enrolled on main campus, extended campuses and online, Florida Tech has been named a Barron's Guide "Best Buy" in College Education, listed among America's best colleges in U.S. News & World Report, and ranked in 2009 as one of the nation's top 18 engineering technical institutes by the Fiske Guide to Colleges. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. Fields of study include science, engineering, aeronautics, business, humanities, mathematics, psychology, communication and education. Additional information is available online at www.fit.edu .
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Dianne Baumert-Moyik Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (516) 754-2645 firstname.lastname@example.org