Stronger research ties between UAH and local industry partners would result if an effort to establish an Industry &amp; University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) site at UAH succeeds. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded a UAH planning proposal for the project. In collaboration with lead organization Mississippi State University (MSU), the planned UAH research center would focus on advanced composites in transportation vehicles. Each I/UCRC requires membership of multiple universities and multiple industry partners. In addition to being a research site, UAH would act as a co-equal partner with MSU to perform the related research. "The ultimate goal that our team is focusing on now is successfully gaining the NSF approval for an I/UCRC," said Dr. Gang Wang, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering who is a principal investigator in the effort along with UAH Research Institute principal research engineer Chris Sautter, associate director for reliability in the Research Institute, and Dr. Houssam Toutanji, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering. The planning proposal funds will support UAH's center planning workshop in summer 2014, Dr. Wang said.