OSU, drone contractor launch internship program

Published: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 By: Oklahoma Department of Commerce Source: Staff Reports
Aerospace Engineering, instructing both graduate and undergraduate aerospace engineering students while also helping to develop a first-of-its-kind graduate engineering option for UAS.

Ambrose (US Navy Commander/retired) was an adjunct instructor in OSU’s Aviation Education Department as well as the deputy director of USRI. Both will hold adjunct positions at OSU going forward as they continue to help develop young engineers through OSU’s Aerospace Engineering program. This will help to maintain a strong collaboration with research faculty at OSU, as well as to develop a recruiting pipeline to keep the best and brightest students in Stillwater doing research and development on unmanned systems.

“This strategic partnership between Navatek and OSU is one of our most important university relationships to date. We see nothing but growth for the future of Navatek and USRI,” said Martin Kao, Navatek chief executive officer. Navatek has already hired five employees at its new Stillwater office, committing over $2 million in investment in Stillwater, with plans on hiring up to eight more employees by the end of the year.

“This partnership between Navatek and Oklahoma State University is great for both of them — but it is also a win for Oklahoma. These internships provide a pathway for career development, keeping Oklahoma’s best and brightest working in the state and growing our economy. I applaud both Navatek and OSU for their longstanding work to advance our state’s economic potential in the aviation and aerospace fields,” said Senator Jim Inhofe.

Gov. Kevin Stitt called it a phenomenal opportunity for the interns that also highlights the opportunities available to companies when they collaborate with our state’s universities.

“Oklahoma is committed to growing workforce development and availability in the state as they are key drivers to recruiting business,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “I am excited to watch this partnership between Navatek and OSU develop.”

Building on this, Rep. Tom Cole added, “I’m pleased that Navatek is supporting OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute internships. This is a great opportunity for both college and high school students to not only have the chance to assist OSU with research, but to get hands on experience and prepare them for jobs in the future. Initiatives like these will greatly strengthen our workforce for years to come.”

Rep. Kendra Horn praised Navatek’s investment in Oklahoma’s students.

“Their generous scholarships provide OSU students the opportunity to work on innovative and cutting-edge unmanned aircraft systems and other projects through the EXCELSIOR Lab. The students and professors at OSU are leading the nation in advancing this unmanned aircraft technology and these scholarships will help continue this important work. I am excited to see this investment in the next generation of STEM professionals,” said Horn.

Rep. Frank Lucas added, “These UAV research internships are the latest sign that Navatek is here for Oklahoma and here to stay. It’s been exciting to follow the work being done in Stillwater between Navatek and Oklahoma State’s UAV research program. Navatek is bringing years of industry-leading experience and a pro-growth mindset to their Stillwater venture, and these 12 students will be fortunate to be on the cutting edge of this work.

“If we want high quality STEM jobs in Oklahoma we have to continually develop the pipeline from the classroom to industry. I appreciate Navatek leading this effort in Stillwater and look forward to supporting them as they grow their office and nurture their relationship with OSU.”

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