U-M’s Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME) enters partnership with one of the nation’s most innovative research & technology firms, Navatek LLC, to advance research in the area of data-model fusion for future naval platform design and operation.
Navatek, a leading contractor focused on technology research for U.S. government agencies such as the Department of Defense and NASA, has been awarded a $4.8m contract from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and has partnered with U-M to conduct research in the emerging area of data-model fusion for U.S. Navy ships, small craft and machinery. To that end, Navatek has opened new offices in Ann Arbor (located in Domino’s Farms) to allow for closer collaboration with U-M research partners.
This research effort will provide a framework for new concepts such as digital-twins and artificial intelligence (AI), to naval research and engineering, in addition to developing tools to support data-driven design and operation of autonomous naval systems.
The program advances research in the area of data-model fusion for future naval platform design and operation, culminating in software, procedures, and training protocols to for U.S. Navy manned, unmanned, and autonomous ships. This new research will create a unified approach using physics-based models and machine learning ocean models to improve platform motions, operations, and sensor & weapon system performance.
This multi-disciplinary project will combine the academic expertise of several U-M NAME faculty with ongoing Navatek efforts with the goal of tackling critical issues for the future U.S. Navy. Key faculty members helping to conduct the tasking for this research include Dr. Matthew Collette, who will be working on developing a generic framework for naval Digital Twins; Dr. Kevin Maki and Dr. Yin Lu (Julie) Young who will be developing unified models for small craft noise and marine propulsion systems, respectively; Dr. Timothy McCoy who will be leading the research into autonomous machinery; and Dr. David Singer who will be leading the study of how to design for autonomy.
“Michigan Engineering has been exploring algorithms to enhance the capabilities of digital naval engineering. Through this partnership with Navatek, we are thrilled to accelerate and expand this cutting-edge research and welcome an innovative company nearby where our grads can find good-paying jobs,” said Dr. Matthew Collette, Associate Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, University of Michigan.
“Navatek is thrilled to open an office in Ann Arbor, Michigan to collaborate more closely with our research partners at the University of Michigan, and also to recruit their outstanding graduates,” said Martin Kao, chief executive officer, Navatek. “Under this research, Navatek’s strengths in naval engineering research coupled with the unique expertise at the University of Michigan will leverage new digital technologies to change the way ships are operated and designed, from old paradigms toward the Navy’s new ‘digital fleet’. We thank the Michigan congressional delegation, particularly Sen. Peters, Sen. Stabenow, and Rep. Dingell, for their tremendous support of this exciting partnership.”
Navatek is a leading provider of innovative research and development services for the Department of Defense, NASA, and other government agencies. Historically a provider of naval architecture and modeling and simulation services, its portfolio has diversified to encompass digital twins, power and energy systems, cyber security, unmanned vehicles, robotics, autonomy, AI/ML, data science, inflatables, composites, and additive manufacturing. Since its founding in Hawaii in 1979, Navatek has grown to open offices in Rhode Island, Maine, Virginia, Michigan, South Carolina, and Oklahoma. (Note: Navatek will be changing its name to Martin Defense Group in September 2020).
About the University of Michigan College of Engineering
Michigan Engineering is home to top-ranked departments that collaborate within the nation’s No 1. public research institution —the University of Michigan. College faculty provide educational, scientific and technological leadership to the world, advancing the frontiers of fields as diverse as data and computing, robotics, advanced materials, energy and sustainability, health, and security. They are involved in spacecraft missions across the solar system, and they’re working to transform mobility. An alumni base of more than 85,000 Michigan Engineers spans the globe.