“I’m always encouraged when I see Cal State Fullerton students here,” he says. “Helping students learn and develop the skills that are now in demand sets them up for success. It also helps ensure Mercury remains an innovative leader in defense technology.”
“Helping students learn and develop the skills that are now in demand sets them up for success.”
Tony Girard | Chief Technologist, Mercury Systems
Mercury and CSUF have a longstanding relationship: Many employees are alumni and the company sponsors ongoing projects through the ECS Corporate Partners Program. The company recently finalized a $300,000 grant to support a research project in intelligent radar systems and to enhance the college’s artificial intelligence and machine learning curriculum. One of those projects was the reason for the students’ visit to Mercury.
“Professor Kiran George is leading a team of two graduate students and five undergraduates for a collaborative research project. The project is scheduled to last three years and will benefit the college and ECS students,” explains Girard. The project will provide students vital hands-on skills that will prepare them for the workforce and give them the opportunity to directly impact the important work Mercury does in making trusted, secure mission-critical technologies profoundly more accessible to the aerospace and defense industries.
At Mercury, Girard works in signals intelligence/identification for electronic warfare applications. His team is responsible for developing innovative systems and solutions that can test and overcome advanced radar and jamming threats.
“We are working to develop better ways of finding signals that people are trying to hide, and artificial intelligence and machine learning are promising tools to help us detect signals that look different every time you see them, or that are constantly changing frequency. The goal is for our radar systems to be able to recognize and predict these patterns,” he says.
In order to remain competitive, Mercury takes a great interest in supporting future engineers who could someday become Mercury innovators. That’s why Girard serves on the ECS College Leadership Council, advising the dean and supporting faculty-led programs and research. “It’s an opportunity to provide input into the development of students as they go from learning concepts to applying that knowledge and preparing for careers in the industry,” he says.