Around The Region – June 2024

Around The Region – June 2024

Published On: July 9, 2024Categories: Uncategorized
June 2024 EDITION

IEEE-USA IWRC in South Dakota

Thank you to the organizers of the IEEE-USA Innovation, Workforce, and Research Conference (IWRC) in Sioux Falls, SD, for hosting an engaging, insightful event! We appreciated connecting with current and potential partners throughout the Dakotas and look forward to future collaborations.

The event included an evening reception followed by a day-long workshop, bringing together stakeholders from academia, government, and industry to bridge the gap between research and commercially viable products. Experts from the region and across the country discussed research grants, technology transfer programs, start-up funding, intellectual property, and a host of other topics related to inspiring and empowering true innovation in the Dakotas and the Midwest.

A special thank you to Faye Kann, Melissa Carl, Russell Harrison, and Matt Francis for helping to make our outreach in North Dakota and South Dakota possible. Also, congratulations to Faye on receiving the IEEE-USA Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award!

America’s Seed Fund Road Tour: Great Lakes
America's Seed Fund road tour
America’s Seed Fund Road Tour introduces innovators and entrepreneurs to funding opportunities offered through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. This July, the road tour is coming to the Midwest, and we will have a representative at each stop to meet with small businesses and entrepreneurs. The goal is to educate innovators in each city about how the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest can help them advance their research and technology efforts.

America’s Seed Fund will stop at the following locations:

  • July 15: East Lansing, MI; hosted by BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting, Michigan Catalyst Advantage Network
  • July 16: Indianapolis, IN; hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • July 17: Urbana-Champaign, IL; hosted by Research Park at the University of Illinois, EnterpriseWorks
  • July 18: Madison, WI; hosted by the Center for Technology Commercialization
  • July 19: Minneapolis, MN; hosted by MNSBIR, Inc.
Learn more and RSVP here

Awardee Success Story

One of our funded projects, “High-speed Aircraft Leading Edge Thermal Protection,” which is led by Azimuth Corporation with AFRL Sensors Directorate and Purdue University as partners, is in the process of transitioning technology that creates a thermal protection barrier for high-speed aircraft leading edges that is light, oxidation-resistant, and non-ablative.

To create this barrier, the team has developed a process to help manipulate a metal oxide that has been formerly difficult and expensive to work with. With this process, the metal oxide can be quickly and efficiently melted into a viscous liquid that can then be applied to a vehicle’s leading edge and cured in air at relatively low temperatures.

An oxidation-resistant and non-ablating coating is crucial for high-speed aircraft as it will withstand multiple uses and, if necessary, can be quickly and economically reapplied. The coating also lends itself to space operations, as it is radiation hardened and can withstand the harsh environment of space.

Congratulations to the Azimuth team on this great accomplishment!

Partner Spotlight

Employment Opportunities

Space Products and Innovation (SPiN), an AFRL Regional Network – Midwest affiliate partner, is hiring for several positions: software developer, junior space system engineer, senior space system engineer, and senior software engineer.

SPiN, located in Albuquerque, NM, is a leading provider of modularity solutions for the space sector, offering satellite integration solutions to transform satellites to modular systems, empowering satellite manufacturers to spend high-value time and money where it counts: pursuing new ventures. In addition to MA61C, an intelligent plug and play data node to integrate satellite components off the shelf without user intervention, SPiN provides a service to design satellites in a flexible concept using model based system engineering methodology.

Learn more about each opportunity

Upcoming Events

  • July 15-18, 2024: IEEE NAECON. Dayton, OH.
  • July 15, 2024: America’s Seed Fund Road Tour. East Lansing, MI.
  • July 16, 2024: America’s Seed Fund Road Tour. Indianapolis, IN.
  • July 17, 2024: America’s Seed Fund Road Tour. Urbana-Champaign, IL.
  • July 18, 2024: America’s Seed Fund Road Tour. Madison, WI.
  • July 19, 2024: America’s Seed Fund Road Tour. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Sept. 16-18, 2024: Air, Space, Cyber Symposium. National Harbor, MD.
  • Oct. 13, 2024: ACS Midwest Regional Meeting. Omaha, NE.
  • Oct. 21-22, 2024: Iowa State University CoMFRE Annual Meeting. Ames, IA.
  • Dec. 8-9, 2024: North American Space Summit. Cape Canaveral, FL.

If you will be attending any of these events and would like an opportunity to meet, please email us at We’d be happy to schedule dedicated time to meet with you!

Click here for more upcoming event information.

Get Involved in Your Network!

AFRL Regional Network - Midwest logo with three stock photos of people collaborating
We have several opportunities for members to make an impact on the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest.

Translational Council:

  • Objectively evaluate and inform on technology translation efforts
  • Commitment: Once per year in the Fall

Workforce Development Council:

  • Objectively evaluate and inform on workforce efforts
  • Commitment: Once per year in the Spring


  • Host an AFRL S&E at your organization for an opportunity to learn about you, your institution, and its systems and practices
  • Commitment: 2-3 days to 2 weeks

Community Portal Moderator:

  • Serve as a moderator for a topical area in the new online portal
  • Commitment: Six months

Review Panel:

  • Perform topical evaluations of our proposals, enabling an essential function of the Network’s mission.
  • Commitment: 0.5-1.5 hours per review
Fill out this survey to get involved
YouTube logo
Four stills from videos on the AFRL Regional Network - Midwest YouTube page
AFRL Regional Network YouTube Channel!

Have you checked out the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest YouTube Channel? On this platform, partners have access to a variety of video content that includes:

  • Funded project video reports
  • Network promo videos
  • Informative and instructional videos

Stay tuned to all of our social media channels as new content will be added frequently!

Tech Connect

Partner with Us

The AFRL Regional Network – Midwest is a unique opportunity to partner with the Air Force Research Lab. If you are interested in becoming a partner, please visit our Join Page for more information!

AFRL Regional Hub Network Hosted By Purdue University

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