Utah State University engineering students and staff met with a high-ranking U.S. Navy admiral Monday afternoon.
Rear Admiral William D. French was in Logan for a tour of USU's engineering facilities and Space Dynamics Laboratory.
French's visit was a planned stop as part of the 2010 Salt Lake City Navy Week, during which Navy officials hope to give the public an up-close look at the men and women of the U.S. Navy and the jobs they perform.
"Part of coming up here is to get a perspective as to what the school offers our sailors in the Navy and what opportunities they have when they leave," said French. "We're really hoping to get the word out about what the Navy is all about to the folks in Utah."
USU administrators were alongside the admiral during his visit.
"Any time we can get a prominent member of the armed services on campus and to show him what we do and what we're all about is great," said Michael Kennedy, vice president for federal and state relations at USU. "He told us he had no idea about all the great things we're doing here and all of our research capability."
French, a graduate of Vanderbilt University's mechanical engineering program, watched as undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students presented a robotics demonstration for the Navy visitors.
The crowd looked on as four small robots moved around the floor of a research lab. The robots, designers said, are capable of learning from one another.
French commended the group's efforts and applauded the USU inclusion of underclassmen in advanced research. He stressed that the Navy is interested in graduates of technical programs for officer training.
"As the Navy gets more technical, the more interest we are taking in things like this," he added.
Kennedy said the university hopes French's visit could lead to future recruiting of USU engineering students.