By Joyce M. Conant, ARL Public AffairsOctober 28, 2016
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- To promote collaborative science and technology projects and multidisciplinary work, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory will hold an open house for industry, academia and fellow government agencies at the Adelphi Laboratory Center Nov. 16-17.
Army officials said the Open Campus Open House will expand the laboratory's business model as they continue to introduce the science and technology community to Army research goals.
Open Campus is a "collaborative endeavor, with the goal of building a science and technology ecosystem to encourage groundbreaking advances in basic and applied research areas of relevance to the Army," according to the lab's website.
"Through the Open Campus framework, ARL scientists and engineers work collaboratively and side-by-side with visiting scientists in ARL's facilities, and as visiting researchers at collaborators' institutions," said acting ARL Director Dr. Philip Perconti. "Central to the research collaborations is mutual scientific interest and investment by all partners."
Perconti said the global academic community, industry, small businesses and other government laboratories benefit from this kind of engagement through "collaboration with ARL's specialized research staff and unique technical facilities."
"These collaborations will build research networks, explore complex and singular problems, enable self-forming expertise-driven team building that will be well-positioned for competitive research opportunities, and expose scientists, engineers, including professors and students to realistic research applications and perspectives, helping to ensure our nation's future strength and competitiveness in these critical fields," he said.
One such collaborator is Dr. Kathryn Loftis. She is a biomedical engineering contractor for Altus Engineering and serves as a researcher and analyst for ARL's Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
"Working within these collaborative teams has been very rewarding," Loftis said. "When the medical professionals, engineers, analysts, and vehicle/body armor teams work together, larger gains can be made towards a common goal of preventing injury and saving lives."
Her work includes motor vehicle crash injury research, Soldier survivability and injury biomechanics. Loftis is also a certified abbreviated injury scale specialist and an active faculty member for the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, which is a professional group that includes experts in medicine, automotive safety, and injury researchers. Loftis' work with the military has included body armor analysis and participation in the Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat program, which is a network of partners across the Department of Defense devoted to preventing injuries through actionable analysis of real-world data from theater.
"Dr. Loftis' work, and the work of many others at ARL, really ties into the concept of a Center for Human Injury and Performance that we are in the initial stages of standing up," said Stephanie Snead, chief of ARL's Warfighter Survivability Branch in the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate.
Snead said the objective of the center is to develop a multidisciplinary community of practice for professionals that focus on studying injury frequency, mechanisms, and resulting biomechanical performance to inform prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. She said they reached out to potential collaborators at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
"We spoke to MRMC about being a critical government stakeholder in this endeavor and they have agreed to pursue the development of it with us," Snead said. "We are also looking to bring in other partners as well such as Virginia Tech, University of Maryland Shock Trauma, Johns Hopkins University Medical Institute and Applied Physics Lab, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine -- I believe this is the reach this research center could have."
Snead said to look for the Center for Human Injury and Performance poster at the open house next month that showcases the new collaborative research center ARL is introducing.
"The objective of the center is to develop a multidisciplinary community of practice for professionals that focus on studying injury frequency, mechanisms, and resulting biomechanical performance to inform prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation," she said.
For information about the upcoming Open Campus Open House, visit the event's website (see related links).
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.