ARL researchers judged world's largest science competition for teens

June 07, 2011

Story Highlights

  • Two ARL top researchers participated as special award judges in the Engineering Section of the Annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
  • The Intel ISEFR is the world's largest international pre-college science competition.

Dr. Jaret Riddick, a research aerospace engineer in ARL's Vehicle Technology Directorate, and Dr. Larry Russell, technical assistant to the ARL director, participated as invited special award judges in the Engineering Section of the Annual Intel® International Science and Engineering Fair® (Intel ISEF). In this capacity, they represented the Department of the Army's interest.

The Intel ISEF®, the world's largest international pre-college science competition, provides an annual forum for more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research. The Intel ISEF is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9-12.

With projects focused on research directly applicable to Army challenges, 16-year-old Marian Bechtel of Hempfield High School in Landisville, Pa., was named a second award winner for her project "A Stand-Off Seismo-Acoustic Method for Humanitarian Demining." Runner-up Austin Duff, of Gaithersburg, Md., focused his project on the "Development of a Scalable Software Architecture for the Efficient Production of Interactive and Responsive Robotic Behavior."

"Marian's (work) in the stand-off detection of explosives correlates directly with the fiscal year 2011 Big Five Warfighter Outcomes while Austin's work presented a novel method to enhance robot autonomy," Riddick stated. Both students were featured in a CBS News segment.

"The fact that their research is highlighted from among all present should be seen as a testament to the fact that Army-focused problems are at the forefront of technology needs internationally, and represent key opportunities to inspire young people to pursue science and technology interests that will breed America's next generation of leading researchers," Riddick said.

Society for Science and the Public, a nonprofit organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, owns and has administered the International Science and Engineering Fair since its inception in 1950. Intel ISEF Special Awards are presented by nearly 70 scientific, professional and educational organizations, and include scholarships, summer internships, equipment grants, and trips.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalists are evaluated onsite by hundreds of judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines.


Last Update / Reviewed: June 7, 2011