Research symposium reviews strategic projects

May 12, 2016

By McNally, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • The ARL Research Symposium showcases the progress of special interest projects that have potential strategic relevance to the Army

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 2, 2016) – Senior research scientists and fellows, as well as scientists and engineers from across the U.S. Army Research Laboratory gathered for a symposium at APG's Ballistic Research Laboratory Hall April 27.

Attendees learned about Director's Research Initiative and Director's Strategic Initiative projects. The 4th Annual ARL Research Symposium showcases the progress of special interest projects with potential strategic relevance to the Army as well as originality, innovation and risk.

The DRI program provides an "opportunity for the ARL director to encourage new high-risk/high-payoff research of exceptional scientific quality," according to the program policy memorandum.

Two recent ARL recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE, spoke about their research: Dr. Ron Polcawich and Dr. Jin-Hee Cho. The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Polcawich is team lead for Piezoelectric-Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems Technology at ARL.

"Presenting our research program to colleagues with a broad, diverse area of expertise is always rewarding because it inherently leads to new areas of discussions, questions and inquiries about the research activities," he said.

Cho works in ARL's Computational and Information Sciences Directorate's Tactical Network Assurance Branch and explores how trust management influences tactical decision making and cyber security in multi-genre networks.

"I like having some stimulating feedback about my work which may make me think in other directions," Cho said.

Besides the presentations during the morning session, attendees browsed poster submissions and spoke with researchers about their work.

"The symposium was a great opportunity to increase our awareness in the cutting edge research occurring throughout ARL," said Heidi Maupin, associate director for Programs, Plans and Budget, ARL-WMRD. "This is true for anyone attending, regardless of his or her role in the organization."

Maupin said engaging face-to-face with other researchers in the forum generates new ideas.

"We have about nine DSIs and DRIs that have just completed," said Dr. Brad Forch, a senior research scientist for ballistics in the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate. "This an opportunity to share results of ongoing and completed research programs funded through a peer reviewed competitive process."

Good business acumen addresses the "planning of technical programs, their execution and the administrative and management functions of the lab," according to the ARL Research Management and Leadership Strategy.

DSI topics are deliberately chosen for their combination of emerging scientific opportunities and Army relevance. Successful research endeavors in the DSIs are expected to transition to core laboratory programs.

"This group considers out-of-the-box ideas that push the boundaries of science," Forch said.

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: May 12, 2016