EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The University of Texas at El Paso and NASA announced the operation of a Digital Engineering Design Center, which will be ran by UTEP at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

UTEP says individuals who work in the design center will focus on “pioneering NASA missions like establishing human settlements on the moon.”

“We are so very grateful for this opportunity to work with NASA and the Johnson Space Center and that the space industry is recognizing our ability to transform the nature of engineering while at the same time broadening the pool of people entering the aerospace workforce. We are excited and proud to see the rapid growth of Aerospace Center into the major research organization it is today.” said Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., associate vice president of the Aerospace Center.

UTEP says their engineering faculty Md Mahamudur Rahman, Ph.D., and Afroza Shirin, PhD., will lead the Digital Engineering Design Center at NASA. Students will be hired from undeserved areas in the Houston community to work towards NASA’s goal of establishing permanent stations on the moon.

UTEP says the team will work to design a digital production system that can transform lunar surface material into oxygen for use as rocket fuel.