ARL researchers win coveted Army-wide environmental award

March 28, 2011

Story Highlights

  • ARL research scientists won a Secretary of the Army Environmental Award.
  • Researchers and engineers worked to develop and provide alternative paints, strippers and solvents to reduce hazardous air pollutants.
  • The award represents the highest honor in the field of environmental science and sustainability conferred by the Army.

A team of U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) research scientists from the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate (WMRD) won the Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards, Weapon Acquisition, Small Program category earlier this year. The ARL team was part of a Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Environmental Acquisition and Logistics Sustainment Program (EALSP) Sustainable Painting Operations for the Total Army (SPOTA) program.

The SPOTA program was established to eliminate hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) generated by Army coatings operations. Under the program, technical researchers and engineers work collaboratively to develop and provide alternative paints and strippers, solvents, thinners and cleaners, coatings and rubber-to-metal bonding adhesives without sacrificing combat readiness.

WMRD's Materials and Manufacturing Division had leading technical and leadership roles in the area of coatings, sealants and adhesives, solvents, and alternative paint removal, said John Escarsega, team leader, DoD Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings (CARC) Commodity Manager Camouflage, and Coatings and Corrosion, who also served as a principal investigator on this effort.

"We also had significant roles in reformulating coatings for ammunitions working with Picatinny and pretreatments working with AMCOM. ARL is and continues to be a leader in technology development and implementation," Escarsega said. "This effort cultivated those strengths and lead to numerous enhancements for many products that ARL has direct responsibility. These include our coatings and solvents which DoD uses in most of our depots and facilities."

"The recognition is significant because it is product-oriented, and new products are now available to DoD and its contractors that greatly reduce environmental emissions. While ARL is research-based, we can and continue to guide particular market areas with our in-house capabilities and expertise. For research to be successful, we must be creative and provide new and novel solutions. This effort required ARL to be creative and redefine the current technology."

Each year, the Army recognizes and rewards excellence for the development, management and transferability of environmental programs that increase environmental quality, and enhance the mission and help make the Army sustainable. The Secretary of the Army's Environmental Awards represent the highest honor in the field of environmental science and sustainability conferred by the Army. These award winners will go on to compete for the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards later this year.

Principal investigators included Fred Lafferman, Wayne Ziegler, John La Scala and Jack Kelley; ARL employees Kes Chesonis, Dawn Crawford, Bernard Hart, William Lum, Pauline Smith and Chris Miller; and contractors F. Raven Toulan, Alicia Farrell, Nichols Nesteruk, Dan Pope, Stacey Thomas, and Thomas Considine.

They will be formally recognized in an hour-long awards ceremony April 1, beginning at 3 p.m. at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.


Last Update / Reviewed: March 28, 2011