ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - An Army Research Laboratory engineer is one of 29 federal government employees selected as a finalist for a Service to America Medal by the Partnership for Public Service. ARL is a subordinate element of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

Patricia Frounfelker, of the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., was selected for her work in discovering hazards associated with reactive armor that prompted safety improvements for Soldiers and Marines.

The finalists were announced at a Capitol Hill breakfast recently. They will compete for eight Service to America Medals including Federal Employee of the Year. Winners will be announced at the organizationAca,!a,,cs annual gala in September.

Frounfelker was selected for her study of the potential of reactive armor to cause collateral injuries to troops who are near a tactical vehicle under attack. She developed a detailed test plan to characterize reactive armor tiles being sent to Iraq for use on Abrams tanks. She collected and analyzed the data following each test and determined the collateral injuries likely to be suffered by dismounted troops in proximity to the tank. She used a methodology she previously developed to characterize collateral damage to dismounted troops within proximity of Stryker and Bradley vehicles. Her results identified areas of concern regarding hazards from each version of reactive armor and have led the Army to change how dismounted troops operate around these vehicles.

During her three years of federal service, Frounfelker has also conducted assessments of potential casualties inside more than 15 Army tactical vehicles including the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. She also served as lead assessor of crew casualties for 25 Army developmental systems including 11 that were fielded in Iraq or Afghanistan.

According to her nomination, FrounfelkerAca,!a,,cs Aca,!A"efforts in this time of war have directly benefited Soldiers and Marines by identifying and assessing potential injuries they might suffer in or near U.S. combat vehicles. This has allowed the Army to modify the vehicles or the tactics, techniques and procedures before the vehicles are fielded to better protect U.S. military personnel. Her efforts have resulted in better equipped, better protected Warfighters, who are better able to protect and defend our nation.Aca,!A?

Frounfelker has a bachelorAca,!a,,cs degree in Biological Resources Engineering from the University of Maryland. She is currently pursuing a masterAca,!a,,cs degree in Biomechanical Engineering.

The Partnership for Public Service is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing public service through a campaign of educational efforts, policy research, public-private partnerships and legislative advocacy.