The recently completed Applied Technology Laboratory at West Virginia University is the next step in an important partnership between WVU researchers and the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA) Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont.

The focus of the laboratory and partnership is the advancement of software engineering for space exploration and aeronautics research.

The laboratory, located in Room G-29 of Eiesland Hall on WVU s Downtown Campus, will host a grand opening at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 2.

The event is free and open to the public.

NASA engineers and scientists are now facing software challenges they have never seen or experienced,said Tim Menzies, ATL director and WVU professor of computer science and electrical engineering.This laboratory will place particular emphasis on software engineering technologies that improve and advance the way NASA produces reliable and safe system software.

The new laboratory, which was previously a standard computer teaching lab, was renovated with funds from NASA , and houses an array of computer hardware and software provided by WVU . The important thing about the facility is not so much the equipment, though, said Menzies.

The critical thing is that we are providing diverse groups of software engineering researchers with a space in which to come together and collaborate on projects,he said.This fills an important need and will enhance the growth of this area of research at WVU .

The NASA IV &V Facility was established in 1993 with the goal of enhancing the safety and cost-effectiveness of mission-critical software, and has been partnering with WVU since 1994 to explore technologies that will help it model and explore new software systems.

This laboratory is the next step in our important partnership with WVU ,said Marcus Fisher, head of research at the IV&V Facility.It will allow us to mature our research products so that they can be more easily integrated into NASA missions.

In addition to facilitating collaborative research, the newly renovated laboratory will help WVU attract high-quality students, said Menzies.

We are confident that having this facility here at WVU will help us attract and inspire the best and the brightest of the next generation of software engineers and software engineering researchers,he said.

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