UMass Dartmouth receives $3.6M federal grant for MUST program

DARTMOUTH – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Marine and UnderSea Technology research program will once again be the beneficiary of a multimillion-dollar federal grant to finance new projects being worked on at the university.

UMass Dartmouth officials, as well as U.S. Rep. William R. Keating, D-Mass., announced Friday that the MUST program has received a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research. To date, the MUST program at UMass Dartmouth, which is a collaborative effort with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, has received $16.7 million from the Naval research office since 2020, including a $4.3 million grant it was awarded around this time last year.

UMass Dartmouth says the new grant will fund nine projects that focus on supporting the blue economy and offshore wind sectors through various research projects. These projects, the university said, will focus on improving sensors for unmanned undersea vehicles, wave energy conversion, underwater data transmissions and detection systems, as well as the habits of marine species in windfarm areas.

Some partner institutions for these projects include Brown University, Boston Engineering Cooperation and Jaia Robotics Inc., UMass Dartmouth said. In a statement, UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Mark A. Fuller said Friday the research done by the university and NUWC directly impacts the local economy and has “global implications.”

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“Through the research and teaching of our faculty, we are empowering the next generation of blue economy and sustainable energy innovators that will use the power of our waters to achieve remarkable things,” Fuller said.

NUWC Technical Director Ron Vein said in a statement the research the center and its partners are conducting are “essential” in developing the next-generation undersea warfare systems.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.