Longtime ARL researcher, Dr. Tomasz Letowski retires

December 27, 2012

Story Highlights

  • Dr. Tomasz Letowski, a senior research scientist at the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), retires on Dec. 31.
  • Greatest contributions are in creation of the unique Environment for Auditory Research (EAR) laboratory.
  • Letowski’s message to those he worked with at ARL is to be persistent.

Dr. Tomasz Letowski, a senior research scientist at the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) and Fellow of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), retires on Dec. 31. His expertise is both wide and deep. He has been the leading spokesman in scientific quality of the area of human performance research conducted at the directorate, and he conducted his own research in the area of auditory perception and its effects on Soldier performance.

Letowski began his career at ARL in August 1994.

When asked how he decided on a career at ARL, Letowski said, "I had served on one of the TAB [technical advisory board] reviews conducted at the ARO [Army Research Office] chaired by Dr. Campbell and was later approached by Dr. Rene de Pontbriand and George Garinther with an offer to come to ARL-HRED to replace Mr. Garinther who was about to retire."

Prior to coming to ARL, Letowski worked as an associate professor at Penn State University. He holds a doctorate in acoustics from Wroclaw Technical University, and a doctorate in technical sciences (electronics) from Warsaw Technical University. He also holds a highly coveted professor degree in environmental engineering granted by the Congress of the Republic of Poland.

Letowski conducted research on many different projects at ARL.

"I believe that my greatest contributions are in creation of the unique EAR [Environment for Auditory Research] laboratory and see it being fully utilized and in initiating several new research areas: auditory localization research, auditory distance estimation research, bone conduction communication research, auditory combat skills development research, weapon sound recognition research, and most recently stealth Soldier research and olfactory research," said Letowski. "Some of these programs are unique for ARL (e.g., weapon sound recognition research); some for the Army (e.g., combat skills development research, bone conduction communication research, olfactory research), and some nationally (e.g., auditory distance estimation research in an open field for distances longer than 50-100 meters; stealth Soldier research)."

"Dr. Letowski is an outstanding researcher, mentor, coordinator and collaborator in many areas of science," said Dr. Laurel Allender, director of HRED. "His broad knowledge of science, plus his creativity, foresight and organizational skills, led him and his coworkers to many exceptional achievements and new research initiatives launched during his tenure. During this last year, Dr. Letowski conceived a novel approach to achieving Soldier stealth that will inspire research for years to come."

Upon retirement, Letowski plans to move back home to State College, Pa. to spend more time with his wife, get involved in some charity work, and finish a number of publications that are still "half-baked."

Letowski's message to those he worked with at ARL is to be persistent.

"Some ideas and projects take a long time to be accepted by others and to get some wider institutional support," said Letowski. "If you believe in what you are doing keep going..., there will be a day ...."

 

Last Update / Reviewed: December 27, 2012