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Defense Associated Graduate Student Innovators

We develop and support world-class graduate engineering education and research programs.

  • AFRL/DAGSI STUDENT-FACULTY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM- Government and AFRL Researchers looking to fund SOCHEInterns or DAGSI research projects
  • AFRL/DAGSI OHIO STUDENT – FACULTY COMPETITIVE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM – Competitive Fellowship Program Open to all Ohio Universities, funded by Ohio Department of Higher Education

DAGSI’s mission is to develop and support world-class graduate engineering education and research programs, thereby contributing to Ohio’s economic growth and development. DAGSI programs are designed to support several key objectives:

  • Strengthen Ohio’s academic community in engineering education and research
  • Enhance and expand graduate engineering education in Ohio
  • Encourage and support advanced research in engineering in Ohio
  • Provide skilled engineering talent to Ohio’s workforce
  • Provide financial assistance to Ohio students through fellowship programs

The DAGSI partnership effectively expands regional engineering education and research opportunities at the masters and doctoral levels. DAGSI’s ultimate objective is to support Ohio’s economic growth by strengthening the intellectual infrastructure in technology and developing engineering workforce talent.

DAGSI Graduate Success Story

Working my way through college was an interesting process. It took multiple jobs waiting tables to pay the bills while trying to stay caught up with tuition costs. I thought things would get easier when I graduated, but they didn’t. Even with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an internship to show I had experience most companies weren’t interested once I mentioned I planned on getting a master’s degree. But, without an engineering job, I couldn’t pay for a graduate degree anyway.

I asked many of the professors at a few colleges about Graduate Research Assistantships but none had funding that wasn’t already allocated. After searching for over a year I was recommended to a professor at Wright State University with a research topic funded through DAGSI. That program enabled me to do research with The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for two years on fundamental fluid mechanics in turbines for turbomachinery applications. That research has now been used in more than 10 publications. The success of that research effort led to an opportunity to do compressor research and testing for AFRL as a career immediately following my graduate work.

I am now a Mechanical Engineer with some Aerospace Engineering responsibilities for AFRL at the Compressor Research Facility (CRF). I’ve been working in that capacity for almost two years now and am loving it.
“The DAGSI program has been a great value to me during my time as a Ph.D. student. The opportunity to work at AFRL on a sustained basis complemented my experience at school (in classrooms and working closely with my advisor) by allowing me to observe how groups of researchers collaborate on scientific/engineering projects in a laboratory setting. The sponsor of this project, Christopher Woodward, has been an excellent mentor, and the opportunities to author papers with him and meet people in his network have been invaluable; several of the future opportunities I've applied to, have been through those connections. I was able to travel to and present my work at four conferences as a result of DAGSI funding, all of which were great learning experiences. Overall, I can say that my skills as a researcher have unquestionably improved since I began in the program, as a direct result of participation in it."
Luke Wirth Wright State University (PhD)
“DAGSI will forever be a program that makes dreams come true. I had longed for a fellowship to pursue my research and DAGSI granted my wish. DAGSI has created a network of scientists, researchers, academics, and students that are all bonded together by this opportunity. I very much appreciate the opportunity to focus solely on my research and studies without the distraction of worrying about how I will pay my bills or student loans. DAGSI facilitated my work in a national lab with the leading experts in my field. This DAGSI experience will make my resume stand-out among my peers.”
Katie Burzynski University of Dayton (PhD)
“Funding these students has been a key factor in my recent promotion to Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair Professor. The projects have provided ‘seed funding for big ideas and projects relating to bigger money, including a $300k Army grant for 3 years, and numerous collaborations with Penn State, The Pennsylvania University, Northwestern, and other institutions, journal articles, invited talks at international conferences, and lasting connections with graduating students in diverse areas. The DAGSI program has connected with a number of lasting collaborators at AFRL as well and had enabled me and my students to access the equipment and expertise there."
C. Muratore University of Dayton

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Councils & Committees

SOCHE is dedicated to advancing higher education through active collaboration, resource and knowledge building, and effective professional development programs. To accomplish this, SOCHE administers 16 active Councils and Committees. The purpose of a SOCHE Council or Committee is to provide an opportunity for representatives from higher education to be a resource for one another, share information and best practices, identify common challenges, and, ultimately, broaden awareness of the resources, services, and activities in higher education. SOCHE is also dependent upon the Councils and Committees for substantial input on annual professional development programs.