ARL Team Receives Second DoD Standardization Award in Two Years

March 18, 2010

An Army Research Lab team won a DoD award for writing manufacturing specifications that helped quality control and production of steel armor used on military vehicles, such as the MRAP, to protect Soldiers on the battlefield. An Army Research Lab team won a DoD award for writing manufacturing specifications that helped quality control and production of steel armor used on military vehicles, such as the MRAP, to protect Soldiers on the battlefield.

An ARL team was recognized with a 2009 Defense Standardization Program Outstanding Achievement Award for writing steel plate specifications that set quality standards for materials used on military vehicles.

"I'm very happy that we were selected out of all the Army," said Richard Squillacioti, who worked with four other researchers, Bill Gooch, Matt Burkins, Dr. Jonathan Montgomery, and Kirk Stoffel. "These are the highest awards the (field) offers."

It was the second year in a row that Squillacioti led a group to the DoD award. Last year he and another team were recognized for developing a cold spray application standard that is saving the government millions of dollars.

This year his Homogeneous Wrought Steel Armor Plate Team developed the specs that will help standardize how five types of steel plates will be made by manufacturing companies, helping with quality control and ultimately saving the government an untold amount of money.

"Researchers develop a material and then will come to me to write a spec so someone can take this (document) and make it again ... without having to reinvent the wheel," said Squillacioti.

The Army has been using steel for more than 100 years in many different applications, according to the award nomination. During the last century, steel-making technology evolved, but the Army's procurement documents weren't always updated to reflect the industry advancements.

These documents are extremely important, said Squillacioti, because they give the manufacturing parameters - including weight, chemical composition, and density - that steel makers use to produce armor that keeps Soldiers safe on the battlefield.

Previous "band-aid" amendments were made to some of the specs that gave the Army more production, but the team went on to do full revamps of three types of steel specs. They revised some of those documents that hadn't been updated in decades and wrote specs on two new materials that were developed in the laboratory.

"We brought them up to speed and made the review better than it was in previous revisions," he said.

According to the nomination, updating the specs for steel armor increases production by at least 30 percent, which is especially important when U.S. Soldiers are fighting two wars.

An award ceremony is scheduled to be held later this spring.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: March 18, 2010