Department of Defense Contract to Expand Interaction Between U.S. Military and College of Law's Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program

Matt Schaefer
Matt Schaefer

An initial contract worth up to $84 million over the next five years will allow University of Nebraska researchers to work on U.S. military projects and could transform the university into a major player in national scientific and medical research.

The contract was announced Oct. 11 by James B. Milliken, NU president; and Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of U.S. Strategic Command.

The partnership between NU and the United States Strategic Command, based at Offutt Air Force Base, created a University-Affiliated Research Center. The UARC will serve as a primary research and development center that supports U.S. Strategic Command missions to deter and detect strategic attacks against the United States and its allies, and to defend the nation as directed.

Milliken said nearly 100 NU faculty have been identified as having research that could align with the new center. That list includes UNL nanoscience researchers and the Diocles Extreme Light Laboratory team. UNL faculty immediately involved in the project include Donald Umstadter, professor of physics and astronomy and director of the Diocles lab; Matt Schaefer, professor of law and director of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program; and Mario Scalora, professor of psychology.

Schaefer said the College of Law's Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program has been working with the U.S. military since it was founded. He said the DoD contract would expand those interactions.

"The UARC will allow the program to further fulfill U.S. government needs through additional research, conferences and training programs," Schaefer said. "Since military space, civil space, and commercial space activities all have national security implications, the program will continue to focus on issues facing all these arenas of space activity.

"Similarly in the cyber domain, the interconnectedness of government and commercial operations will mean that the program will continue to serve as a forum bringing together experts from the military, civil government, and the private sector.”

Research and Economic Development is hosting a UARC Faculty Forum, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Nebraska Union Heritage Room. The event is open to all UNL faculty. For more information or to register, go to

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