SPRINGFIELD, OH - Clark State College has been awarded a $1,074,831 grant from the United States Department of Education (USDE) to launch a Modeling and Simulation program and degree.
“I am excited that Clark State is once again at the forefront of innovation in our region, and this first of its kind Modeling and Simulation program builds on our academic and workforce strengths of collaborating with industry to ensure that students attain great jobs and stay in Ohio,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “The defense industry is critical our region’s growth, and Clark State is honored to play a part in accelerating this growth.”
Today’s announcement builds on long-term efforts by local, state, and federal partners to foster a robust defense economy in Ohio. Congressman Mike Turner, who represents Clark and Greene Counties in the United States House of Representatives, acknowledged the important role Clark State plays in that effort.
“Modeling and simulation analysis is a critical component of U.S. cyber infrastructure, and this grant from the Department of Education will go a long way in reinforcing Ohio’s position as a national leader in defense technology,” said Congressman Mike Turner. “Clark State College has been a key partner in developing our region’s workforce and strengthening our local defense industrial base. I look forward to seeing Clark State use this grant to expand educational opportunities for the next generation of cybersecurity experts.”
Dr. Adam Parrillo, Dean of Business and Applied Technologies said Clark State is ecstatic for the ability to develop new programs supporting the ongoing success and strength of the surrounding communities and industry partners.
“This program will continue to build upon the college's other innovative programs, from short-term certificates, to associate degrees, to bachelor degrees,” he said.
Parrillo said while this degree will be new, it builds upon knowledge and skills in Applied Engineering and Information Technologies. It will be designed to serve both students new to the field and incumbent workers looking to upskill.
“This program falls within the general domain of the ‘Digital Transformation’ for production and maintenance which seeks to create and manage resources more efficiently and effectively through creating highly accurate digital models and precise simulation criteria,” he said. “This progress is especially important for managing fleets from a military defense standpoint and enhance commercial manufacturing and maintenance in many areas.”
The grant will enable Clark State to acquire the physical and human resources to build this program. The college is developing short-term, foundational curriculum pathways and hope to have sequences of the new program ready for students in the 2024 fall semester.
Clark State’s modeling and simulation programs will be a technician-focused program. Most currently existing programs are for a bachelor’s degree or higher, or are a certificate meant to be paired with another degree. Clark State will offer an associate degree.
Epsilon C5I Systems advised Clark State on the high demand for modeling and simulation personnel in the Dayton region and the impact of limited staffing.
“This skill set is critical to National security mission needs, current and emerging threats,” said Mike Ronayne, Director of Intelligence Services at Epsilon C5I Systems. “There are many customers in the Government and industry who will benefit from an increase in work force availability.”
Ronayne said Epsilon will provide subject matter experts to advise and mentor Clark State on academic course development.
“In addition, we will encourage employee participation, and support tuition payment through our employee education benefit program,” he said.
In 2022 Clark State and Infinity Labs entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing on the importance of regional workforce development, student professional development, and curriculum development related to Modeling and Simulation.
"We’re honored to be industry partners in this effort and demonstrates our mutual commitment to innovation and education enshrined our MOU signed last year,” Nick Marquart, Co-Founder and Chief Analytics Officer at Infinity Labs. “This grant will provide critical skills for developing our regional workforce to meet the urgent needs of our national security and keep Ohio at the forefront of innovation."
Infinity Labs was founded to reinvent the very nature of innovation. Infinity Labs is driven to provide revolutionary advances in the ability to analyze and solve complex problems in an ever-evolving, systems-driven world.
“The demand signal for multi-fidelity modeling and simulation expertise is an ever-growing requirement in our world of digital engineering solutions,” said Jason Molnar, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Infinity Labs. “Simply stated, there is more work than there are technically trained and qualified people to complete it.”
Molnar said as part of its core values and commitment to national security, Infinity Labs sought out an academic partner to help build the great Miami Valley’s digital workforce for our region’s sustained benefit.
“Clark State leadership supported the plan and vision from the onset,” he said. “Together, we’ll be growing highly technical talent for immediate employment in, at or around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH and doing our part in keeping Ohio the #1 state for military and federal missions.”
Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/HK0yx-rNOeE