May 9—Virginia Union University (VUU) has a new Center for Technology and Innovation where students will engage in research on sustainable aerospace transportation technologies, the university announced last week.
According to a news release from the university, the center was launched in partnership with Paragon VTOL Aerospace, a hybrid-electric passenger aircraft company specializing in advanced air mobility for commercial use. The news release said the center, housed under the university's Union National Research Institute, will challenge students to help develop safe and efficient transportation methods for vital medical resources, such as vaccines and organisms, and determine the feasibility of using drones for product transportation.
"We are excited to form this partnership with Paragon VTOL Aerospace to take a hands-on, innovative approach to meeting the transportation needs of our evolving world," Hakim Lucas, president and CEO of the university, said in a public statement. "We have committed to this partnership with Paragon VTOL to further the opportunities for VUU within the Paragon universe through various channels."
The announcement said the center will open this summer. Students will begin research with Paragon VTOL and faculty in the fall.
"Through our partnership with Paragon VTOL, our students will have the opportunity to research and study the use of urban air mobility," Linda Jackson, the university's assistant vice president for sponsored research, programs and scholarly initiatives, said in a public statement. "Technology is transforming the way we transport goods, and we want to provide our students with the experiences and knowledge they need to be at the forefront of this evolution."
According to the news release, Paragon VTOL plans to implement an executive leadership career pathway for students at the HBCU.
"In order for the fourth industrial revolution to become viable, we will need to create sustainable jobs by developing educational partnerships within all communities, especially the underserved and underrepresented," Dwight Smith, executive chairman and chief visionary officer of Paragon VTOL Aerospace, said in a statement. "We are pleased to partner with VUU, to implement sustainable initiatives for the future of our planet along with the commitment to implement the research component with VUU students and faculty."
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