Renovation meets Innovation at the MSFRIC

Innovation Lab

Team members from the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center and the Teaching and Learning center open the Innovation Lab, Oct. 2, 2018, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The Innovation Lab features virtual and augmented reality technology for Air University students to further their studies and research. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samuel Contreras)

eSchool of Graduate PME

Col. Tony Millican, eSchool of Graduate Professional Military Education Future Learning Initiatives director, instructs a student as he explores virtual reality Sept.26, 2018, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. The virtual reality simulation is a part of the eSchool of Graduate PME’s Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and Related Technologies in Learning for the National Security Enterprise course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexa Culbert)


The Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center is giving the students of Air University the opportunity to explore outside of the classroom with the opening of the Innovation Lab Oct. 2, 2018, on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

The MSFRIC collaborated with the Teaching and Learning Center to create the Innovation Lab, which will allow AU students to experiment with new and emerging technology. 

 "I am optimistic that this space will foster inspiration and creativity for our Airmen to lead as a vanguard of new ideas during the coming years  ahead," said Dr. Mehmed Ali, MSFRIC director. 

The Lab includes virtual and augmented reality hardware to give the students the opportunity to dive into the subjects they are learning.

 “Augmented reality allows you to see what’s still in the physical space with you but brings digital content that you can interact with, that’s considered augmented reality versus virtual reality, which you close off the physical space that you’re currently in and you’re immersed in a completely different environment,” said Col. Tony Millican, eSchool of Graduate PME Future Learning Initiatives director. 

As AU expands the resources available to students, the Innovation Lab will also have a 3–D printer available, something Millican said he believes will add value to the learning environment.

In addition to the 3-D printer, the lab will also feature a Microsoft HoloLens system and the Raspberry Pi, a single-unit computer used to house and run various types of code.

“We hope to see the Innovation Lab allow students to not feel limited,” he said. “We want to remove that barrier to getting to the next level. Every revolution in warfare has come about because someone had a unique and creative idea.”