Culture News

Partnering with Academia to Drive Innovative Solutions

September 14, 2020

LMI Research Institute (LRI)

As director of Academic Programs at LMI, Linda Bixby, Ph.D., works alongside members of LMI’s Research Institute (LRI) to formulate, refine, and implement LMI’s academic strategy. LMI’s innovative focus enables us to offer not only what our government customers want now, but also anticipate what solutions they will need in the future. In this spotlight, she discusses what LMI is looking for in potential academic partners, as well as key areas of focus for her team moving forward.

Employee Spotlight: Dr. Linda Bixby, Director, Academic Programs

1. What are you responsible for as director of academic programs at LMI?

Academic Programs is a part of our LMI Research Institute (LRI), which focuses on research and development, internally and through external partnerships, such as academia. With an outstanding team of LMI staff, we formulate, refine, and implement our academic strategy. Our innovative focus enables us to offer not only what our government customers want now, but also what they will need next.

2. What do you enjoy most about your role with the LRI?

I enjoy working with our diverse and committed LMI staff and leaders, companywide, as we build and expand innovation to support the federal government in science and technology.

3. What is the purpose/goal of the LMI Research Institute when it comes to academia?

We integrate academic rigor into our independent research and development (IR&D), offerings, and capability development to support our government clients. Our goal is to stay ahead of customers to help them anticipate or avoid problems they may face in the future.

4. What are your primary strategic focus areas for the year ahead?

Our strategic focus is to continue and extend our support in the following ways:

  • Provide academic rigor in our IR&D, offerings, and capability development.
  • Team with academia to offer the most strategic solutions to our government clients.
  • Promote LMI as the company of choice for university students to join upon graduation.

5. What attributes do we look for in LMI’s academic partners?

We are always looking to team with universities that resonate well with our government clients. Our academic partners, though, are universities where we invest financially in their research. Our four academic partners—Pennsylvania State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Virginia—were chosen due to their academic expertise, diversity, excellent reputations, extensive research capabilities in science and technology, and proximity to our government clients.

6. What are our focus areas with LMI’s academic partners?

With our academic partners, we focus on innovating and incorporating expertise, such as advanced analytics, automation, engineering, health, science, supply chain, and technology.

7. Who has been your most influential professional mentor? Why? How did they help to shape your career?

The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor. I grew up with a lot of leaders and influencers around me to observe and offer me guidance. Sandra Day O’Connor and my family have been friends for generations. Early in my career, Sandra shared the importance of balancing our personal lives with our careers. She was a stay-at-home mom when her boys were young but that didn’t hinder her from excelling professionally and becoming the first female Supreme Court justice.

As a result of her counsel, I stepped back from my successful and expanding career in the federal government and accepted a position as a university professor. My now adult children look fondly on the four years when I was a professor and how much quality time we spent together when they were in elementary school. This academic hiatus from my government service helped me personally and professionally. This new balance enabled me to relax and, at the same time, replenished my energy to focus on my career when I was at the office and on my family when I was at home. 

Expanding Innovation with Academia

Formal relationships with institutions of higher learning enable collaboration with cutting-edge research centers and the brightest young minds. Faculty and students receive funding, mentorship, and real-world application of their scholarship. LMI also partners more broadly with institutions whose resources and expertise support specific customer engagements.

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