Vehicle Technology Directorate prepares for leadership transition

May 23, 2016

By ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Dr. Mark Valco will step down as director of the Vehicle Technology Directorate

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 23, 2016) -- The U.S. Army Research Laboratory Vehicle Research Directorate will undergo some management changes May 28.

VTD Director Dr. Mark Valco announced that he plans to accept a position as a senior researcher at the ARL Propulsion Division Field Element at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

VTD conducts basic and applied research in the disciplines of vehicle propulsion, structures, mechanics, robotics and autonomy for the Army's manned-and-unmanned air and ground vehicle systems and supports the ARL Sciences for Maneuver Campaign.

"I have served as both the acting director and director for the past five years and a half years," Valco said. "It has been a great privilege and honor to lead this organization. We came to APG from Cleveland, Ohio and Hampton, Virginia, through the Base Realignment and Closure process."

ARL Director Dr. Thomas Russell informed the workforce about the move in a special dispatch Feb. 5. "Dr. Valco was instrumental in standing up VTD at APG and making the transition as smooth as possible for VTD personnel," Russell wrote. "The laboratory has benefited greatly from his leadership as the director of VTD, and I wish him well in his new position. I personally consider this a win-win for ARL in that we get to retain Dr. Valco as a researcher and he gets a better quality of work-life balance being closer to his family."

The VTD staff gathered Feb. 1 at APG's Vehicle Technology Laboratory for camaraderie and food at the 2016 Chili Cook-off. An award ceremony preceded the event where Valco recognized outstanding performers. After the cook-off, he spoke with the workforce about his decision to step down.

"Dr. Russell has a management philosophy of constantly moving forward to achieve the vision of being the 'Nation's Premier Laboratory for Land Forces.' To get there, management needs to change and adapt," he told the workforce. "With that in mind, I recognized that I was not going to be the VTD director forever. This is a voluntary action on my part that I view as an exciting opportunity on my career path. A different work-life balance is a key element. Work is important. Family is forever."

Valco said his family has strong ties to Ohio.

"Our granddaughter just turned one year old," he said.

He said more details regarding his farewell will be announced soon.

Valco has "specialized proficiency in computational modeling and analysis using nonlinear finite element methods particularly for mechanical power transfer systems such as gears, bearings, shafting, rotor dynamics, vibration, efficiency and power density," according to his biography.

ARL leadership announced that Lt. Col. Keith S. Morgan, VTD military deputy and acting chief of the Propulsion Division, will temporarily act as director during the initial transition.

"I am still going to be a member of the team," he said. "I am excited to go back and do research again. I want you to understand that what you do every day is important for our Soldiers and the future Army. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with you in my new role and together we will 'discover, innovate and transition.'"

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 23, 2016