From August 6-7, 20 University of Kentucky College of Engineering faculty members representing five departments, as well as staff from the Kentucky Transportation Center, participated in a research retreat funded by Office of the Vice President for Research.
The retreat, which was held at Cumberland Falls State Park in Corbin, Kentucky, focused on developing, connecting and focusing UK’s existing research strengths in the area of autonomous systems across multiple technical areas and domain applications. The goal was for individual faculty attendees to develop initial proposal concepts that extend existing research directions or develop new ones able to fit into that strategy.
Breakout sessions challenged tasked participants with brainstorming potential teams, identifying key technology gaps and even planning multiple $1 million and $10 million research projects.
“I was so impressed with the focus, openness and collaborative spirit exhibited during the retreat,” said Suzanne Weaver Smith, Donald and Gertrude Lester Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “I am looking forward to seeing the amazing opportunities and successes that come from this.”
Earlier this month, the Kentucky Aerospace Industry Consortium (KAIC) announced the establishment of the “Elevate Kentucky Initiative,” which has as its goal is to “establish the Commonwealth of Kentucky as an autonomous vehicle testing hotbed.”
In July, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued a proclamation declaring Kentucky “will work to open its airways, waterways, and roadways open to autonomous vehicle development and testing.”