Tester secures $1.1 million for research and development at Montana Tech

Montana Tech and Army Research Lab enter a five-year cooperative agreement for materials research

(U.S. SENATE)-Senator Jon Tester helped secure $1.1 million for research and development at Montana Tech from the Army Research Lab.

The funding from the Army Research Lab supports Montana Tech’s efforts to reduce the cost, environmental impact and foreign dependence of strategic minerals and metals that are used for a variety of military technologies, including jet engines, magnets for precision guided weaponry and night vision goggles.

Today, a majority of the world’s production of these strategic materials comes from China, a reality that underscores the critical nature of Montana Tech’s efforts to develop new technologies for improving mineral and metal production and to cultivate the state’s future workforce.

It is the first year of an agreement of up to five years with the Army Research Lab to conduct this critical research. Funding under the agreement has the potential to grow substantially with each year of the agreement.

“The work of students and faculty at Montana Tech continues to catch the attention of folks across the country,” Tester said. “This agreement with the Army strengthens Montana Tech’s ability to conduct research essential to our national security and provides students with an exceptional educational experience. These investments will continue to expand the Materials Science Ph.D. program at Montana Tech and drive even more graduates to good paying jobs.”

Tester, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured additional funds for materials research in the last two appropriation bills and advocated for Montana Tech to be chosen to perform materials research and development for the Army Research Lab.

The first year of the research and development is focused on existing materials and manufacturing of polymer, ceramic, and rare earth elements used by the United States Army.

Last year, the Washington Post named Montana Tech as one of the top ten colleges in the nation for highest starting salaries after graduation.