In an effort to create enduring pipelines of diverse science talent and differentiated research, Amazon today announced a collaboration with Tennessee State University, a historically Black college or university (HBCU) located in Nashville.

As part of the collaboration, which will be housed in the College of Engineering, Amazon will fund faculty research projects, with an initial focus on artificial intelligence, robotics, and operations research.

“When we hosted the first research workshop at Tennessee State University last spring, we were impressed with the staff and faculty supporting research in the areas of AI, robotics, and logistics,” said Tye Brady, Amazon Global Robotics chief technologist. “Now, only eight months later, we are seeing novel research taking root at TSU and could not be more thrilled about the innovation taking place and the partnerships we have formed.”

“It is great to see the support for TSU faculty research from the Amazon Research Gift Program,” said Lin Li, interim dean, College of Engineering. “The program is innovative and will empower our engineering faculty with research support and innovative technology, helping them to become the next generation of technical leaders.”

As a component of these awards, faculty are assigned an Amazon research liaison who will stay in regular contact with the awardee for the duration of the project. Amazon research liaisons are technical subject matter experts who stay informed about the progress of the project and serve as a bridge to Amazon’s scientific community.

“Our work with top engineering researchers at TSU is paving the way for important breakthroughs in human-robot teaming, autonomous mobility navigation optimization, and robust damage detection data synthesis,” said Guy Sereff, senior manager of software development in Amazon Fulfillment Technologies, who is also serving as an Amazon research liaison.

In November, Amazon scientists visited Nashville to engage with TSU faculty from strategic research domains. Amazon scientists and TSU faculty discussed common research domains and areas of interest. There was also an information session for students on opportunities at Amazon for graduate students.





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