Boeing, University of South Carolina strike aerospace research deal

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina and Boeing on Thursday announced a $5.5 million agreement to perform advanced research projects aimed at delivering the aerospace giant’s next generation of aerospace technology.

The research will be carried out the McNair Aerospace Center on the USC campus and marks the first formal partnership between USC and Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company. Boeing has its eyes on up to 12 research projects to be carried out at the center that the company said could improve Boeing products.

USC, the state’s flagship research university, is home to the state’s only university-based aerospace research center. The McNair Center is named for former NASA astronaut Ronald McNair, who died in 1986 when the Challenger space shuttle exploded shortly after takeoff.

McNair’s widow, who came to the center Thursday from Houston for the announcement, said she and her late husband had always planned to return the Palmetto State after the Challenger mission, and McNair had planned to teach at the university.

“The partnership with Boeing puts the University of South Carolina on the forefront of research that will lead to exciting new discoveries in the aerospace field,” said USC president Harris Pastides.

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