ARL Reaches Out to West Point Cadets
November 09, 2009
ARL showcased its technologies to hundreds of cadets, family members and the local community Sept. 18, 2009 at the annual U.S. Military Academy's Engineering Expo at West Point, N.Y.
Joining about 24 other federal and private organizations at the expo, ARL displayed energy technology, armor research and software engineering that gave a glimpse into the diverse areas ARL scientists explore.
"This event is very useful in exposing our lab to the future Army leadership," said Weapons and Materials Research Directorate's Steve Taulbee, who presented samples of developmental armor, helmets, and other engineering information.
The cadets and other attendees were given a couple of hours to talk with the subject matter experts and learn about the research that will eventually support them as future Warfighters.
"I could see things that my classmates do in the lab aren't just in the lab anymore," said Cadet Casey Roberts, who was interested in ARL's energy research. "That's the neat thing for me."
Roberts said the expo provided him an understanding of what ARL is researching, what the Army needs and what his fellow upper-class cadets are studying in the lab.
"Fuel cells aren't very complicated, but seeing them put to work very differently (for the Army) is interesting," said Roberts.
The cadets' ability to see ARL's research first-hand was just one of the benefits of the expo, said Maj. Patsky Gomez, the USMA event organizer. Other benefits came from networking and learning about future career paths.
Although the event was open to the community, the freshman and sophomore cadets were the targets of ARL and the other organizations. Cadets must declare majors in the fall of their second year, and the expo showed them engineering paths that they could choose.
"I came by to see if I want to go this route," said first-year Cadet Richard Wycklendt. "I'm still learning about the Army."
Educating the students was one thing ARL could offer, but the laboratory also supports the cadets by sponsoring internships for upperclassmen and women.
"They (cadets) really are the right kind of personality and attitude that can enrich an organization," said ARL computer scientist Gunjan Verma. "They're really interested in the bigger picture and were very motivated."