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Mission Impact

with the university of nebraska–lincoln

The Mission

Provide novel research, technology, training and expertise to improve the U.S. capability to deter, interdict and respond to strategic threats.


NSRI carries the DOD University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) designation on behalf of the University of Nebraska System (NU) and each NU campus. This designation is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska. NU/NSRI is one of only 15 DOD UARCs in the country. It was established in 2012.

Active Projects

UNL researchers can leverage the UARC IDIQ contract vehicle through NSRI to quickly get on contract with DOD agencies for projects in NSRI's mission area. They can also tap into NSRI staff expertise and networks to connect their research and ideas to DOD needs. In total, 19 UNL researchers have led or co-led projects for customers through NSRI since 2012.

NSRI Fellows

61 UNL researchers have joined the institute as NSRI Fellows to engage closer with NSRI's mission and staff. Fellows are nominated by their peers, confirmed by campus research offices and appointed by NSRI leadership to apply their expertise to national security challenges. In 2023, 10 working groups were formed to focus technical conversations and position expertise for opportunities. Fellows also lead and attend the annual NSRI Fellows Conference to engage with each other, current and former government sponsors and NSRI staff.

Active NSRI Fellows

  • Craig Allen, natural resources
  • Matt Andrews, biochemistry
  • Tala Awada, physiological plant ecology
  • Sina Balkir, electrical & computer engineering
  • Scott Barrett, psychology
  • Mark Bauer, electrical & computer engineering
  • William Belcher, anthropology
  • David Berkowitz, chemistry 
  • Justin Bradley, computer science & engineering
  • Nicole Buan, biochemistry
  • Edgar Cahoon, biochemistry
  • Mehmet Can Vuran, computer science & engineering
  • Byron Chaves-Elizondo, food science & technology
  • Carrick Detweiler, computer science & engineering
  • Brittany Duncan, computer science & engineering
  • Patrick Dussault, chemistry
  • Loren Giesler, plant pathology
  • George Gogos, mechanical & materials engineering
  • Ingrid Haas, political science
  • Andrew Harms, electrical & computer engineering
  • Tomas Helikar, biochemistry
  • Michael Hempel, electrical & computer engineering
  • Matt Hille, veterinary medicine & biomedical sciences
  • Jerry Hudgins, electrical & computer engineering
  • Qing Hui, electrical & computer engineering
  • Scott Johnson, engineering
  • Srivatsan Kidambi, chemical & biomolecular engineering
  • Rebecca Lai, chemistry
  • Xu Li, civil & environmental engineering
  • Dustin Loy, veterinary medicine & microbiology
  • Yongfeng Lu, electrical & computer engineering
  • Scott McVey, veterinary medicine & biomedical sciences
  • Eric Markvicka, mechanical & materials engineering
  • Rupal Mehta, political science
  • Martha Morton, chemistry
  • Rod Moxley, veterinary medicine & biomedical sciences
  • Carl Nelson, mechanical &  materials engineering
  • Jill O'Donnell, international trade & finance
  • Angela Pannier, biological systems engineering
  • Yi Qian, electrical & computer engineering
  • Byrav Ramamurthy, computer science & engineering
  • Ben Riggan, electrical & computer engineering
  • Mark Riley, biological systems engineering
  • Mario Scalora, psychology
  • Daniel Schachtman, agronomy & horticulture
  • Hamid Sharif, electrical & computer engineering
  • Mark Svoboda, natural resources
  • Kees Uiterwaal, physics & astronomy
  • Don Umstadter, physics & astronomy
  • Liz VanWormer, veterinary medicine & biomedical sciences
  • Shari Veil, journalism & mass communications
  • Hiep Vu, animal sciences
  • Ashley Votruba, psychology
  • Brian Wardlow, natural resources
  • Eric Weaver, biological sciences
  • Tyler White, political science
  • Richard Wilson, plant pathology
  • You Zhou, virology
  • Craig Zuhlke, electrical & computer engineering

Launch of Food, Agriculture & Environment Security focus area

NSRI co-hosted a workshop with IANR to launch the Food, Agriculture & Environment Security focus area with more than 60 NU researchers in March 2023. Presentations from five NU researchers brought forward three key themes, which are detailed in the proceedings — threat of climate change, defending against bad actors and a need for an interdisciplinary approach. The institute has begun marketing several capabilities to potential DOD and national government sponsors — one example is linked below.

Download workshop proceedingsRead spotlight of Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center

Students of NSRI

One of the most critical challenges in the future of national security is workforce. Students can contribute to direct-funded research projects and through NSRI's annual summer internship focused on strategic deterrence.



From Radios in Turkey to DOD Fieldwork in Nebraska: NSRI Researcher Educates Next-Gen Experts
NSRI Fellow Mehmet Can Vuran, Dale M. Jensen Chair and Professor of Computing, School of Computing, University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Food for thought: Study links key nutrients to slower brain aging
Nebraska Today | NSRI Fellow Aron Barbey
New core facility will advance biomedical, ag sciences research
Nebraska Today | NSRI Fellow Tala Awada
UNL Engineers creates a patch aiming to detect cancer
1011Now | NSRI Fellow Eric Markvicka

NSRI At A Glance

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$261 Million

Total awards
since 2012

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Total contracts and grants
since 2012

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NU principal investigators leading projects through NSRI since 2012

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Current, active projects
contracted through NSRI

Connect With NSRI

As the DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) of U.S. Strategic Command and the University of Nebraska System, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) delivers solutions for strategic deterrence and CWMD mission requirements gaps. Our rapid-response capabilities and efficient contracting vehicle can help federal government program managers meet critical research and development needs. Connect with us to learn more.

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