SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, and the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announce the creation of a new fellowship for basic research in the aeronautical and aerospace sciences. The fellowship initial research will focus on the development of autonomous systems, which entails the theory and development of logic structures and control processes that allow systems to operate with minimal human attention. Such autonomous systems have applications ranging from safer civilian and military air travel to implementation of robotics in harsh environments, such as monitoring the ocean floor to maintain our nation's security. The research will be led by Dr. Jonathon P. How, the Richard Cockburn MacLaurin Professor of Aeronautics & Astronautics. "Research in autonomy is a vibrant and growing technical domain," said Aerojet Executive Director of Advanced Programs, Dr. James Drakes. "By conducting this research, we will further the development of critical learning and algorithmic processes in the basic field of autonomy. Ultimately, this research will find its way into the platforms and vehicles of the future." As part of the new partnership between Aerojet and MIT, a graduate student will be provided a fellowship to support this research and will be known as the Aerojet Fellow. This support is vital to continued scientific development that will ultimately lead to the products and services of the future. "Aerojet is proud to support MIT's research in autonomous vehicles. The Aerojet Fellowship at MIT represents a serious commitment to the future of this area," said Aerojet Vice President of Advanced Programs Farid Khadduri. "Our continued growth at Aerojet depends in large part to fundamental research done at universities such as MIT." AeroAstro Department Head Prof. Jaime Peraire, who worked with Aerojet to create the fellowship, said that the fellowship will play a significant role in the department's research portfolio.