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October 11, 2018

Rajant and Morehead State’s Space Science Center Expand Their Collaboration

Rajant Corporation, a Philadelphia-based global wireless network company, and Morehead State University (MSU) in Eastern Kentucky continue their reach for the stars, literally and figuratively, with their latest collaboration. Together, Rajant and Morehead leadership are venturing to Italy in search of the brightest student minds, who are studying engineering. There is a dual mission in that MSU will establish a reciprocal student exchange with Italian universities and recruit engineering talent for U.S. companies, like Rajant, among soon-to-be graduates who might otherwise lack connection to the wealth of high-tech career opportunities due to Italy’s youth unemployment rate, which stands over 30%.

“Morehead State University’s students are exceptional and we’re very happy to support Dr. Malphrus’ establishment of an exchange program that introduces them to equally talented Italian students,” says Bob Schena, Rajant’s co-founder and CEO.  “Since March 2015, Rajant has invested more than $2,000,000 into the Morehead facility which expands Rajant’s Engineering and Development capabilities to four locations.  When fully staffed, Rajant will have fifty employees in Morehead and a good number of those will be MSU graduates.  This commitment within Kentucky follows our relocation and expansion of Rajant’s Malvern, Pennsylvania headquarters this summer.  All of this infrastructure strengthens Rajant to better serve our growing global base of customers as we expand our leading Kinetic Mesh wireless technology into IIoT industries, like petrochemical, transportation, ports, and oil and gas.”

Dr. Benjamin K. Malphrus, Executive Director of Morehead University’s Space Science Center, will travel with Bob Schena to Italy on October 17th.  Visits include La Sapienza University of Rome, where Dr. Malphrus will also be making a presentation on the Lunar IceCube mission (a NASA probe developed by Morehead State University and its NASA partners that will orbit the Moon), and Politecnico di Milano, Italy’s largest technical university.  Others may also be incorporated with time permitting.  According to Dr. Malphrus, “The Rajant/Morehead State trade and research mission to Italy has the potential to significantly impact our research and academic programs at the Space Science Center.  We have had great success collaborating with Italian universities and companies specializing in small satellite technologies.  We have also had numerous outstanding Italian students in our Master of Science in Space Systems Engineering program.  Our hope is to develop new relationships and expand our exchange programs with Italian universities, particularly with those that have programs in aerospace engineering.  These associations have the potential to advance small satellite technologies in both the U.S. and Europe.”

Paul Hellhake, Rajant’s CTO and co-founder, oversees Rajant’s Morehead facility.  “Our Kentucky office capabilities include radio manufacturing, testing, and validation prior to customer shipment.  Other functions include CAD design, rapid fabrication through 3-D printing and software development,” shares Paul.  “We leverage additional capabilities via the Morehead University Space Science Center, such as vibration testing, environmental testing, and machining.”  Dr. Malphrus adds about their collaboration, “Rajant has been invaluable.  The establishment of a Rajant facility in Morehead has helped us begin to realize our dream of evolving the Eastern Kentucky economy to be high-tech based.  The partnership with Rajant has created local jobs for graduates from our Space Science program, has expanded our research and development in inter-spacecraft communications and small satellite constellation technologies, and has established the first of what we hope will lead to a cluster of aerospace and defense companies in Appalachian Kentucky.”

About Morehead State University Space Science Center

Morehead State University (MSU), located in Morehead, Kentucky, is a comprehensive public university with robust undergraduate and graduate programs, emerging doctoral programs, and an emphasis on regional engagement. MSU aspires to be the best public regional university in the South through prioritizing student success; outcomes; academic excellence; and rankings, reputation and regional responsiveness.  At the center of MSU’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences is the Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center (SSC).  The facility houses state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories that will give you valuable hands-on learning experiences. The Space Science Center is home to MSU’s Program of Distinction, the Bachelor of Science in Space Science.  For more information, visit www.moreheadstate.edu.