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The Invisible Contribution of ODTÜ in Defence Industry Projects

H. Nevzat Özgüven Vice President and Professor of Mechanical Engineering  Middle East Technical University

Issue 59

Direct and indirect contributions of ODTÜ to industry in general, and to the defence industry in particular, can be in several different ways. Amongst these, the one that is least noticed by the industry is the contribution through the graduate theses that are conducted by the students working in those companies and supervised by academics at ODTÜ without the support of the related organizations. Rather than finding solutions to the immediate problems associated with ongoing projects, these studies generally include research that will contribute to the future projects of the industrial enterprises. However, the industry is usually unwilling to invest in such research work unless it is unavoidable.  Therefore, it is the university that identifies the research topic in such graduate theses with the foresight that it will contribute to the enterprise in medium term, and only in few cases the research topic is determined jointly with the industrial organization. 

In this article, examples are provided from three graduate theses the outcomes of which are utilized in different defence industry projects and were carried out by my former graduate students employed in defence industry. The significance and critical role of these studies for defence industry are also stated. Furthermore, brief information about a recently completed, as well as an ongoing graduate study and their implementation potentials are presented. None of these graduate theses were financially supported by either the related industrial organization or the project they contributed to. Some were conducted independent of the related establishment, since they did not show any interest at that stage. These graduate studies are good examples which, on one side, scientifically contributed to their fields and their results were published in international journals/conference proceedings, and on the other side, were either used or have the potential to be used in important defence industry projects. 

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