In his presentation to the University of Nebraska (NU) Board of Regents today, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Hinson, founding executive director of the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska, highlighted the experience, capabilities and deliverables of the institute and its partners as well as the combined financial success of NSRI and NU.
NSRI carries the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) designation from the Department of Defense (DOD) for NU. It is one of only 14 UARCs in the country and is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).
"The success of any organization is never measured by any one individual or dollar amount, and NSRI is clearly no exception,” Hinson said following the meeting. “There are so many superstars in this organization and the University of Nebraska who continue to demonstrate a wealth of talent and expertise to deliver research results to warfighters and first responders.
“I have never been prouder to be affiliated with such great institutions and determined professionals who repeatedly prove to be the ‘true scientists in the foxholes,’ delivering unmatched capabilities to support our national security.”
During his presentation, Hinson highlighted that 15 NSRI staff members are retired or former military or former DOD civilians representing experience with the Air Force, Army and Navy, with joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational work experience.
“These are the true professionals who have served these organizations, been in the fight and understand the missions and operational requirements of our sponsors,” he noted. “They make the difference to our success.”
Hinson shared the technical expertise of the institute and NU that is currently of high interest to DOD and federal agency partners:
- High consequence pathogen: Patient care and management; agent identification and diagnostics; environmental concerns and sample collection; aerosol dynamics; infection control; biosafety and biosecurity; outbreak investigation and response; threat awareness, intelligence, and counterproliferation; and biothreat theater strategy development.
- Chemical agents: Chemical surety, detection, protection, decontamination, and demilitarization; chemical agent destruction; high energetics, propellant, and explosive dissemination; counter-proliferation technology development; and threat training.
- Radiological/nuclear threats: Nuclear deterrence; intelligence analysis; theater ballistic missile defense; technology assessment; nonproliferation and arms control policy formulation; countermeasure research and production; and nuclear threat and policy training.
- CBRNE consequence management: All hazards training across the full spectrum of CBRNE threats to local, state, and federal response elements; training to National Guard Civil Support Teams; exercise planning, coordination and execution; senior executive training; and wargaming.
In terms of the reported financials, the institute, with the NU campuses, has provided deliverables on 120 contracts and grants for a total award value of nearly $180 million since 2012. It received the third contract award — of $92 million — from USSTRATCOM in September.
Featured recent work of NSRI and NU included:
- UNO, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center to develop technology for monitoring, analyzing soldier readiness
- NU, NSRI receive $10.3 million contract to investigate chemical, biological threats, countermeasures
- Virus study on planes study: Wearing a mask cuts transmission risk sharply
Hinson’s tenure as the founding executive director of the institute was also recognized by the board with a formal resolution. Hinson will retire on 31 December 2020. He has led the institute since it was established in 2012.
After citing the milestones and accolades of Hinson’s nearly 50-year career, the resolution, read by Regent Robert Schafer, stated: “WHEREAS, General Hinson has demonstrated through his work — and genuine relationship building across our university community and beyond — a humbleness, authenticity and passion that comes from true commitment to purpose. He has been known to pound the table zealously to advocate for the best possible opportunities and deliverables for the warfighters and first responders NSRI keeps at the center of its work. He recently said: ‘We must always be thinking ahead to the next threat and the next solution.’ Bob, please know, we will.”
For additional details about the meeting, visit nebraska.edu.
Of note, this week NSRI also published its biennial report covering 1 July 2018 through 30 June 2020. The report is accessible at nsri.nebraska.edu/publications/biennial-report-2020.
About the National Strategic Research Institute
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DoD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats.