LSU Shreveport Cyber Collaboratory Makes New Partners

April 05, 2021

Adding High-Tech Careers and Building Community in Northwest Louisiana

LSU Shreveport senior Joshua Ricard is working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as a Bachelor of Science in digital, interactive design. He did not expect to be sitting in the pilot’s seat of a B-52 bomber, operating a $25,000 handheld digital 3D scanner trying to capture every detail of the plane’s yoke, which is what the pilot holds to steer the plane. But ever since the LSU Shreveport (LSUS) Cyber Collaboratory opened last year, each new tool Ricard and his team have received and added to their lineup, such as the 3D scanner, has revealed a new need in the larger Shreveport community.

Through partnerships between the university and Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the City of Shreveport, local K-12 schools, the Air Force, and industry—including small businesses—students like Ricard are starting to see what it actually means to boost high-tech innovation in northwestern Louisiana.

“I initially didn’t think I was going to be able to do something like this in Shreveport, honestly,” Ricard said. “I expected to have to move away so I could do something with my 3D-modeling and printing skills, but now I feel like there’s a chance; staying in Shreveport is an option.”

Joshua Ricard

Joshua Ricard

– LSU

“Instead of building our own maker space and buying our own equipment, LSUS is doing a great job in finding white space in what’s out there already, and filling in that space. It’s cheaper and faster for us to partner with LSUS, and whether it’s their hologram table or 3D-printing or the new laser cutter they’re getting, the Cyber Collaboratory is providing the Air Force with capabilities and skills we need; things nobody else is doing.”

- Russ Mathers, director of STRIKEWERX, innovation hub of Air Force Global Strike Command and LSUS partner