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LightWorks News

May 28, 2016

NEPTUNE SQUAREIn May 2016, over 100 attendees and project members participated in the NEPTUNE fair at Arizona State University's Tempe campus. With representation from six universities – ASU, Purdue, M.I.T., UC Davis, the Naval Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School – the fair allowed student veterans and researchers to present their projects and to engage with members like professors, government officials and professionals in the private sector.

Director of ASU LightWorks® Gary Dirks gave opening remarks, and the Vets4guitars musicians – who use music as therapy for veterans – performed. In addition, visiting Assistant Professor Boyd Branch displayed his work The Veteran Project, which uses improv theater to help veterans tell their story.

NEPTUNE stands for Naval Enterprise Partnership Teaming with Universities for National Excellence, and is a pilot program of the Office of Naval Research in partnership with ASU LightWorks®. NEPTUNE supports the collaboration and engagement of six universities and their research. This research emphasizes collaboration and education of active duty military, NROTC and veterans in sustainable energy projects.

“Our UC Davis team at the Energy Efficiency Center has been thrilled to be a part of the NEPTUNE program. Attending this event at ASU was a great way to expose our faculty, staff and students to our peers from across the country working on similar challenges," said Ben Finkelor of UC Davis. "The Engagement Workshop proved especially useful for us, as it provided an opportunity to learn from other schools and gain further insights on successful ways to engage and advance the student veteran community.”

NEPTUNE energy research projects focus on key Department of the Navy and national energy challenges. This includes driving technological advancements by creating a holistic culture of energy innovation requiring parallel naval professional development efforts to provide the necessary personnel expertise and commitment to implement these technology advancements.

Veteran engagement as key component of NEPTUNE project

"Through the ONR-funded NEPTUNE program, Naval Academy midshipmen have successfully conducted research that has led to an increase in their understanding of Navy fuel-related issues and contributed to peer-reviewed journal articles," said Dianne Luning Prak of the United States Naval Academy.

Recognizing that energy challenges pertain to both technology and people, the projects will invite participation from the ASU veteran community through the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, as well as from local bases with active-duty military personnel. NEPTUNE aims to provide military members with experience, training and resume-building that is beneficial in post-military careers.

As NEPTUNE projects continue to unlock their potential through innovative technology and practices, more training, experience and opportunities will be supplied to our veterans for years to come!

For more information on NEPTUNE Project, please click here.