Space agency commends Army rocket scientist
August 7, 2013
By Ryan Keith
- The recognition came as a complete surprise to Neidert, but not to those who work with him.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Aug. 7, 2013) -- Jamie Neidert, chief scientist for energetics at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center's Weapons Development and Integration Directorate, received a Director's Commendation Certificate from the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center for "exemplary leadership" in a joint effort to promote rocket and missile propulsion.
Theresa Vanhooser, MSFC deputy director, presented the certificate to Neidert at an executive forum in June for exemplary leadership of the Stewardship Team in support of the formulation and planning of the National Institute for Rocket Propulsion Systems.
NIPRS serves as the nation's integration point for matters pertaining to rocket propulsion systems. Initiated in 2011, the mission of this organization is to help preserve and align Government and private rocket propulsion capabilities to meet present and future U.S. commercial, civil, and defense space needs, while providing authoritative insight and recommendations to national decisional authorities.
NASA tasked MSFC to lead the joint definition and establishment of NIRPS in cooperation with the Department of Defense and other Government agencies. Neidert has participated in the NIRPS definition and establishment effort on behalf of the Army.
The recognition came as a complete surprise to Neidert, but not to those who work with him.
"Dr. Neidert brought energy, engagement, and professionalism to the effort from day one, and consequently was asked in November 2011 to lead one of three strategy teams," said Dale Thomas, the associate director, technical, supporting the Office of the Center Director at MSFC.
The Stewardship Team, which Neidert leads, is tasked with formulating and recommending national policy options and strategies that promote a healthy industrial base for rocket propulsion. The team is comprised of members from various U.S. Government departments and agencies, industry, and academia. In their first year, the group focused on collecting data and developing metrics to gauge the health of the industrial base, as well as building tools to map and analyze supply chains.
"Having a strong team, his results-oriented leadership style led to outstanding team performance, producing a set of strategies and objective action plans that provide the cornerstone for NIRPS initiatives affecting the Nation's propulsion industrial base," Thomas said.
Throughout his career, Neidert's primary research focus has been in solid rocket propellants, air bag inflator formulations and gas generators for fire suppression. At AMRDEC, he is responsible for the vision and direction of the energetic material efforts. His duties include solid propellant formulation and characterization, and guidance of the characterization and utilization of new energetic materials.
"Although not a NASA employee, Dr. Neidert's noteworthy achievements in the NIRPS definition and establishment will benefit NASA propulsion efforts for years to come by fostering a more vibrant, resilient, and healthy propulsion industrial base," Thomas said.
In addition to his responsibilities at AMRDEC and NIPRS, Neidert chairs/leads a number of DoD/OSD initiatives, including the Minimum Signature Propellant portion of the Joint Insensitive Munitions Technology Program, the energetic materials efforts under the Joint Munitions Program (with the Department of Energy), and the Propulsion Sub-Area under the Weapons Communities of Interest. He is also the Test & Evaluation lead under the Insensitive Munitions Hazards Project Arrangement among the DoD, DOE and the UK Ministry of Defense.
Neidert holds a bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of North Alabam and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Vanderbilt University. He worked for both Thiokol Corporation and Atlantic Research Corporation before coming AMRDEC in 2003.He has authored over 70 papers and holds nine patents.
AMRDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.