Name: Amanda M. Black, general engineer, Emerging Technology Directoracte, Technical Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Age: 29

Hometown: Cullman, Ala.

Years of federal service: four and a half years of federal service, all at SMDC, and four years working on Department of Defense contracts

Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science with a minor in mathematics; working toward a master's degree in electrical engineering with a focus in optics and photonics (expected graduation of December 2013); accepted to the doctorate program in optical science and engineering (all degrees from the University of Alabama-Huntsville)

Marital status: Married

Children: Two cats

Activities/hobbies: Member of the Huntsville Track Club and Rocket City Tri Club. I enjoy training with friends and supporting and racing in local events. I enjoy encouraging others to achieve their goals in running and triathlons

Favorite movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Favorite TV show: Big Bang Theory

Favorite band: Norah Jones

Favorite thing about working for the Army: My favorite thing about working for the Army is getting to do laser research and lead the development of technology for laser weapon systems

What made you want to work for the Army: I wanted to work for the Army to develop technology that helps to protect the brave Soldiers who put themselves in harm's way for freedom