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12/14/10 - CAVS Extension at MSU takes top national award

Mississippi State University's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension Office took home a top honor from the University Economic Development Association's annual meeting in Reno, Nev., last month.

Based in Canton, CAVS Extension was the winner of the 2010 Award of Excellence in Business Assistance and Entrepreneurship for its work with the Navistar plant in West Point.

"UEDA's Awards of Excellence winners earned this prestigious recognition through their superior performance," said Steve Holland, the association's outgoing president and director of the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center at Montana State University. "Our country is facing serious economic issues, and our colleges and universities are well suited to serve as thought leaders and to help find solutions."

The winning project, officially titled "The Role of MSU's CAVS Extension in Supporting Rapid Commercialization at Navistar Defense's Plant in West Point, MS," is an example of Mississippi State's commitment to service, said Clay Walden, director of CAVS Extension and a research professor at the land-grant institution.

"CAVS Extension and the university as a whole are actively engaged in the lives of Mississippians," he said. "Our work with Navistar illustrates the assistance we provide and the partnerships we develop with employers in the state."

In West Point, CAVS Extension engineers led by Glenn Dennis designed and implemented the manufacturing system, including the use of advanced modeling and simulation techniques, to help Navistar enhance production of the company's mine-resistant armored protection vehicles, commonly called MRAPs, for the U.S. Department of Defense.

"All of us are very proud of the excellent work being done by the CAVS Extension team," said David Shaw, Mississippi State's vice president for research and economic development. "Working to meet the needs of business and industry is a clearly-defined priority of the university. Our researchers and resources have vital roles to play as the state's economy grows and diversifies."

In addition to Walden and Dennis, Research and Technology Corporation Director Marc McGee and Associate Vice President for Economic Development Melvin Ray represented Mississippi State at UEDA's Higher Education Institutions as Catalysts for Economic Development summit.

For additional information about MSU CAVS Extension, which is a major component of the Bagley College of Engineering Engagement and Outreach Service, please visit

JIM LAIRD | University Relations and the Office of Research and Economic Development

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