Army researcher earns professional engineer credential

March 03, 2016

By ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • Professional engineers may prepare, sign, seal and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or to seal engineering work for public and private clients
  • Dr. Ed Habtour focuses on developing mathematical and experimental techniques to predict the dynamic response of healthy and unhealthy mechanical systems

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Feb. 25, 2016) – Earning the professional engineer credential, or PE, is a necessary step for career development, according to the National Society of Professional Engineers.

For Dr. Ed Habtour, Prognostics and Diagnostics Team lead in the Vehicle Technology Directorate at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, it is a goal he's pursued for a long time.

"People make my job important," Habtour said. "I cannot adequately express the satisfaction of developing cutting edge technologies that would maximize the availability of materiel for our Soldiers to execute their mission reliably in hostile environments."

At ARL, Habtour focuses on developing mathematical and experimental techniques to predict the dynamic response of healthy and unhealthy mechanical systems -- with an emphasis on enhancing reliability.

"Earning the PE license was a humbling experience," he said. "For me, it is a sense of commitment to the highest standards of engineering practice and desire to offer engineering services directly to the public."

Only a licensed engineer, for example, may "prepare, sign, seal and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or to seal engineering work for public and private clients," according to the NSPE website.

Before joining the laboratory, he held positions at the Space Dynamics Laboratory, ATK (formally Swales Aerospace), Northrop Grumman, and the Army Materiel System Analysis Activity.

In the past year-and-a-half, the laboratory has assembled team consisting of researchers in aerospace, mechanical and material science, mathematics and theoretical physics.

"Multidisciplinary pretty accurately describes the team," he said. "Our research efforts focus on maximizing the availability of Army vehicles while outsmarting fatigue. We look at ways to combine multifunctional structures and advanced algorithms to create intelligent bio-inspired vehicles that adjust their maneuver based on their health to avoid fatigue or damage (injuries)."

Just like a biological system, the health signal and information is fed into the platform controls algorithms to adjust its maneuver, extending the service life of the system, he explained.

"If a particular damage precursor can be identified, quantified and correlated to a particular failure mode, a sensing strategy can be developed to capture a specific precursor before the onset of cracks, and then mitigate an adverse loading environment," he said. "The intent of our research is improving the reliability and sustainment of military vehicles."

Habtour earned his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Utah State University. He also earned three masters of science degrees in engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University and University of Maryland. He completed his doctorate in mechanical engineering at University of Maryland.

He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Reliability Society, and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Engineering Mechanics Institute and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He has served in international technical committees and review panels. Habtour has published more than 30 technical papers and received several awards for his contributions in physics of failure and multiaxial vibrations.

"Since pursing this credential, I have become more cognizant of my own limitations and the importance of collaborating in an era of multidisciplinary engineering," he said. "I would highly recommend it to my colleagues for two reasons. For one, the ability to obtain the PE license is indicative that we are a world-premier laboratory, and for two, it's a constant reminder of the high ethical standards that engineers have to adhere to."

Habtour said the new culture at ARL is what drives him.

"We have a culture that focuses on people first, and we're expanding opportunities through the Open Campus collaboration initiative," he said. "ARL has instigated a rich intellectual experience for its researchers that led to an abundance of collaborative multidisciplinary opportunities.

"I have been fortunate enough to work with highly talented and energetic researchers who allowed me to pursue crazy ideas outside of my primary area of expertise," he said. "In order to be a more successful researcher, I think it's important to continually submerse ourselves in a multidisciplinary, collaborative research eco-network, bringing people together from different backgrounds to make what seems impossible, possible."


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: March 3, 2016