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University of Alabama’s Culverhouse Partners with Lockheed Martin to Create Research Lab

Imagine saving companies hundreds of thousands of dollars by having college students find cost-saving measures in bits of data as part of a class project. As a leader in business analytics education since 2002, the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce has been doing just that.

by University of Alabama
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UA President Judy Bonner signs Lockheed Martin partnership with Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president of the company.University of AlabamaNow, it’s expanding on this innovative approach by partnering with advanced technology company Lockheed Martin to combine academia and industry to create a first-of-its-kind data analytics laboratory to help companies better compete in a global economy.

The laboratory will serve as a premier research center for data analytics, providing collaboration and research across government, industry and academia to help companies anticipate and solve critical problems.

Attending an event announcing the partnership today at Culverhouse were UA President Judy Bonner,  Dr. J. Michael Hardin, dean, Culverhouse College of Commerce, and Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Lockheed Martin.

“The University of Alabama and the Culverhouse College of Commerce have become recognized leaders in business analytics and innovation,” Bonner said. “We are excited that this lab will provide research to businesses that will help them become more effective, not only locally, but globally, as well.”

The unique lab setting will augment the traditional classroom experience by focusing on the development and application of analytics technology; strengthening the analytics labor pool to meet industry needs for a diverse workforce; and providing visual, hands-on experiences that represent the foundations for analytics applications and research.

“We are using data analytics today at Lockheed Martin to study nuances in cost, schedule and performance data from across our nearly 4,000 programs and throughout our supply chain,” said Johnson. “Applying machine learning algorithms, for example, to real program data can help provide early warning to identify and eliminate risks before even an expert program manager may have discovered them.“

Johnson said Lockheed Martin chose to partner with UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce because of its expertise in data analytics, preparation of students for a global economy and proximity to key Lockheed Martin facilities.

“Our students have been using business analytics to help companies improve their bottom line with innovative solutions since 2002,” said Hardin. “Just over the past few years, our students have saved companies hundreds of thousands of dollars by using data to predict future events, solve critical problems and increase performance. This new partnership with Lockheed Martin will enhance our abilities to provide cutting-edge services to all types of businesses around the world.”

The laboratory will be housed in Bidgood Hall and is in the design stages. Red Square, based in Mobile, generated the idea for the lab and provided the 3D renderings for its design.

Culverhouse will work closely with UA’s Center for Advanced Public Safety and the College of Engineering to make the lab even more successful.

Other UA representatives at today’s event included Dr. Carl A. Pinkert, vice president for research, Dr. Robert E. Witt, chancellor, University of Alabama System, and  Jo Bonner, vice chancellor for government relations and economic development.

For more information, or to download a press kit, visit