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UMD and John Hopkins APL Partner to Advance Engineering and Science Research with a Focus on Space Technology


Melissa Andreychek


COLLEGE PARK, Md - The University of Maryland and The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create new opportunities for collaboration in research and development.

The MOU will allow the institutions to partner and undertake cutting-edge research, as well as develop opportunities for mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in technology domains such as autonomy, high-temperature materials science, battery and semiconductor technology, and related engineering and science disciplines. Initially focused on space technology, the partnership creates clear paths for APL and UMD to envision and develop enhanced capabilities, and address workforce needs related to advancing these technologies.

As part of APL’s mission to address critical challenges in defense, national security and space exploration, the Laboratory actively engages in research and technical collaborations with other Johns Hopkins divisions and world-class research institutions across the U.S. and the world.

“The combined science and technology strengths of Johns Hopkins APL and the University of Maryland can drive bold, high-impact contributions that will maintain America’s leadership in science and engineering, and expand the boundaries of space research,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “This agreement further strengthens our broad university research outreach, and we look forward to the inspired ideas this collaboration can create.”

“These are the types of partnerships we need to make progress on the grand challenges of our time,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “Both Johns Hopkins APL and the University of Maryland are world-class institutions with world-class facilities and world-class researchers. By joining together on research and technology, we exponentially expand what we could accomplish on our own.”

Through the agreement, APL and UMD staff, as well as undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, will have new opportunities for collaboration and to participate in research conducted at each other’s institutions.

APL and the University of Maryland each provide critical expertise to NASA, the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community,” said Bobby Braun, head of the Space Exploration Sector at APL. “Deepening our research ties with the state’s flagship university is a natural way for APL to continue to exceed our sponsors’ expectations and drive our nation’s future in space.”

The Applied Physics Laboratory is a not-for-profit research division of Johns Hopkins University and the nation’s largest university affiliated research center (UARC). APL solves complex research, engineering, and analytical problems that present critical challenges to our nation.

The University of Maryland (UMD) is an international leader in scientific and technological research and education with over $500 million in annual research expenditures and a leading producer of science and engineering graduates nationally.

“University partnerships are an essential tool to build foundational research that will impact space science over the next several decades,” said Betsy Congdon, chief technologist in APL’s Space Exploration Sector. “By encouraging cross-collaboration among our staff members, students, facilities and capabilities, we will leverage the strengths of both of our institutions to spark new research.”

“Accelerating the advancement of technologies related to space systems and exploration will yield new knowledge and solutions that positively impact life on Earth,” said Samuel Graham Jr., dean of UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. “In collaboration with Johns Hopkins APL, our students and faculty will help us realize the cutting-edge solutions needed for safer, longer and more challenging missions, driving scientific discovery and strategic national interests.”

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland (UMD) is the state's flagship university and a leading public research institution, propelled by a $1.3 billion joint research enterprise. Located four miles from Washington, D.C., the university is dedicated to addressing the grand challenges of our time and is the nation's first Do Good campus. It is driven by a diverse and proudly inclusive community of more than 50,000 fearless Terrapins. UMD is a top producer of Fulbright scholars and offers an unparalleled student experience with more than 300 academic programs, 25 living-learning programs and 400 study abroad programs. Spurred by a culture of innovation and creativity, UMD faculty are global leaders in their field and include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and members of the national academies. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit


Aerospace Engineering Physics

Areas of Expertise:

Aerospace Engineering Engineering Physics

Colleges and Schools:

A. James Clark School of Engineering

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