U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., along with state, local and university officials, has dedicated Robin Hall, the newest addition to the University of North Dakota’s (UND) John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.
The new building will primarily support unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) education and research and development and will also house UND’s Center of Excellence for UAS. UND says the building is named after husband-and-wife team Mary E. Bazar and Si Robin: president and vice president, respectively, of Sensor Systems, a California-based manufacturer of aerospace antennas.
“UND has long been a national leader in manned aviation, and now it is leading the way in unmanned aviation too,” says Hoeven.
Hoeven, who says he has been working to advance the UAS industry in North Dakota for more than a decade, recently returned from California, where he is working with officials to partner the NASA Ames Research Center with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (home of a Federal Aviation Administration drone test site) and Grand Forks’ Grand Sky Technology Park.
According to UND, the 66,000-square-foot Robin Hall was funded largely by private donations and $1.5 million in matches from the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education Challenge Fund. The state authorized UND to spend up to $25 million on the project, which is being built and managed by the Aerospace Foundation, the private-sector support arm of UND Aerospace.