One of the principal strategies in support of NASA/JPL/CSUN goals is to promote the integration of research and education through programs, projects and activities supported at academic and research institutions. California State University, Northridge was the recipient of a NASA Institutional Research Award (IRA). This grant helped to initiate an interdisciplinary research program between the engineering and physics departments. CSUN formed an alliance with JPL (a NASA facility) and Carnegie Mellon University to further the participation of underrepresented students in science and engineering fields. The proposed research was to establish methodologies, guidelines and models for reliability and failure analysis of materials and components used in space exploration. The direct involvement of the Electronic Parts Engineering group at JPL has been instrumental to our learning process. Consequently, these projects have built stronger bonds between NASA and the research community. The cooperation of these groups has expanded the opportunities for individuals to contribute to an educational process that promotes diversity and innovation.
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