WASHINGTON (Feb. 6, 2015) -- Seven employees of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command will be recognized Feb. 6-7 at the 29th BEYA STEM Conference.
The award recipients, representing four of RDECOM's centers and laboratories, are being honored in a range of categories that include technical accomplishments and commitment to community educational outreach.
Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, RDECOM commanding general, commended the award winners for their dedication to the Army and civil service excellence.
"RDECOM takes tremendous pride in the technical expertise of our workforce," Wharton said. "The accomplishments of our award winners at the BEYA STEM Conference show that we have the world-class team of dedicated Army civilians that it takes to develop the best technologies to empower the joint warfighter.
"It is imperative that we recruit and retain the best minds in America. Our nation deserves nothing less. STEM educational outreach is important to growing the command's future workforce of scientists and engineers, and BEYA STEM is key to ensuring that RDECOM will have the diverse and talented workforce we need to support the Joint Warfighter of 2040 and beyond."
The following RDECOM scientists and engineers (in alphabetical order) will receive awards:
-- JEAN CHRISTIAN BRUTUS, mechanical engineer at U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center
Brutus has seven years of government service and started at CERDEC in 2010. He is receiving a Most Promising Engineer award. He has worked with Home for our Troops to build a specially adapted house for a disabled veteran, served as a virtual judge for the 2014 eCYBERMISSION competition and spoke at the World Language Honor Society induction ceremony to explain how speaking multiple languages has impacted his career.
"Modern-Day Technology Leader awardees are bright women and men who are shaping the future of engineering, science and technology," Brutus said. "I am honored to know that the U.S. Army leadership thinks of me that way.
"Science, technology, engineering and math education has allowed me to work in research and development, manufacturing, test and evaluation, and lifecycle sustainment. Most importantly, it has allowed me to support the front line of defense, our warfighters. I would recommend a STEM-related field to anyone I mentor."
-- DORETHA GREEN, industrial engineer at U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center
Green has 20 years of government service and 10 years at ECBC. She will receive the Outstanding Technical Contribution-Government award. She managed the first integration of a new Raman-based detection system onto a military platform to demonstrate the utility of this technology for chemical reconnaissance operations.
As a result of her leadership and program execution, the Rapid Area Sensitive-Site Reconnaissance system received a Joint Military Utility Assessment in 2012 from the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Experimentation Center.
"It is a great honor made possible by my team of scientists, technology developers and integrators, engineers, the test and evaluation community, and the Soldiers and Marines who told us what they did and did not like about the technology," Green said.
-- DR. REGINALD HOBBS, associate director for experimentation at U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Hobbs has more than 30 years of computer industry experience and has worked at ARL since 2013.
He established the Network Science Research Laboratory to broaden network science research work by incorporating information, social and telecommunications network capabilities into an experimentation environment.
Hobbs will receive the Professional Achievement-Government award.
"It is both humbling and gratifying to have been selected for special recognition by the BEYA STEM Conference committee. It means that they felt that my accomplishments as a researcher and STEM educator have had an impact in influencing young people into science and engineering," Hobbs said.
-- IFEANYI IGWULU, electronics engineer at U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center
Igwulu has been with CERDEC for five years and will be recognized with a Most Promising Engineer award. He has volunteered for several deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Igwulu's technical expertise helped to ensure that Soldiers could perform tactical radio configuration/initialization and network management functions in support of Capability Set 2013 fielded units.
"It was an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the BEYA organization and the STEM community," he said. "I worked with prior BEYA award recipients and leaders in the past, and to be selected to now be amongst their ranks is humbling and equally amazing."
-- GAYLA MCMICHAEL, outreach and diversity program manager at U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center
McMichael, an AMRDEC employee since 1989, has led outreach events and activities that have engaged more than 13,000 students in the past year. She has established Army ties through seven education partnership agreements with minority higher educational institutions.
McMichael will be recognized with the Corporate Promotion of Education and Educational Leadership award.
"I love working with our nation's youth," she said. "They are our future leaders and STEM professionals. I take seriously my efforts toward inspiring the minds of tomorrow. Outreach and diversity is not just a job for me; it is my passion. I truly have the best job in the world, and God has been good to me."
-- FERNANDO (RIOS) MERRITT, logistics engineering team lead at U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center
In addition to his recognition at BEYA, Merritt recently won a Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award for his work to integrate cold spray technologies into Army systems. He has more than 30 years of service with the Army and Air Force.
Merritt will be recognized in the categories of Professional Achievement, Community Service, Outstanding Technical Contribution and Career Achievement-Government.
"I was very honored and yet humbled to have been nominated and selected for one of the BEYA STEM awards this year," Merritt said. "It was quite a surprise.
"I realize the awards are competitive and only go to those that have excelled and made major contributions in the areas of science and technology."
-- DR. CYRIL WILLIAMS, mechanical engineer at U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Williams pioneered, developed and submitted a patent for a new experimental method for studying the response of materials under extreme dynamic conditions at the continuum, micro/meso and atomic levels simultaneously. He has worked at ARL since 2005 as is receiving a Professional Achievement award.
"Conferences such as the BEYA Conference are so important as they recognize excellence in science and engineering. I am very honored as an engineer with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to be selected for such recognition and this is a testament of the quality research conducted at ARL," he said.
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.
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U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command