This year, a new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier joined the U.S. Navy’s fleet. The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is a marvel, the first in a new class of aircraft carriers that have been redesigned and reimagined. It is the most technologically advanced carrier ever built. And one of the most critical mechanisms aboard the USS Ford was developed by engineers at UT Austin — the aircraft launch generator.

USS Ford

From 1999 to 2009, the university’s Center for Electromechanics partnered with General Atomics and joined the U.S. Navy on a quest to replace their traditional steam-powered aircraft launch systems with modern, efficient technology. The result is the revolutionary Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), a multi-megawatt electric power system with an 80,000-HP electric motor and an advanced technology closed-loop control system with diagnostic health monitoring.

The newly designed system provides better control of applied forces, improved reliability and maintainability, reduced staffing workload and increased operational availability. It will allow the U.S. Navy to launch more aircraft than ever before and larger and heavier aircraft that will be designed in the future.

This has been an extraordinary achievement for UT Austin and for our Center for Electromechanics — to see the team’s expertise and years of collaborative work come to life aboard such a technologically advanced ship. We’re proud to be contributors to the work our dedicated servicemen and servicewomen do for this country.”


Texas Engineer Monogram