REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center's Aviation Development Directorate's Aeroflightdynamic Directorate partners with the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

For ten years, AMRDEC has teamed with West Point to assist with the Academic Individual Advanced Development program. The AIAD program provides cadets an opportunity to observe and implement concepts from their course work in systems engineering and engineering management over several weeks during an internship.

The AIAD program enables cadets to work side by side with leaders in government and industry both stateside and abroad. The program culminates with a capstone project which consists of an engineering design study.

This year the cadets tested capabilities at the U.S. Army's state-of-the-art facilities and flight research located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. "It was really impressive having access to all of the technology and testing data in one location," said Cadet Brandon Werling.

Additionally the cadets received advisement from ADD's leading experts in the field. This year, Dr. David Schatzman, Jacob Wilson, and Maj. Joe Minor took the lead in advising and developing cadets in the study of active flow control effects.

Four cadets majoring in mechanical engineering, with a focus on aeronautical systems, brought their actuator design to the wind tunnel at ADD-AFDD March 6-10. This trip allowed cadets to test their actuator housing design and obtain data for their capstone project. To Werling, the most challenging part of this capstone project was "bringing everything together in time for testing, especially optimizing the various iterations of the actuator housing."

"Seeing a team of specialists come together to integrate their ideas and expertise to reach a common goal has great value for leadership as an officer," said Cadet Marvin Lewis.

Upon graduation, these cadets will branch into aviation, field artillery, engineering and the U.S. Air Force.

"I'm really thankful for having the opportunity to do this and would encourage future cadets interested in this field to seek opportunities like this available to them," said Lewis.

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The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center 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 for 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 Material Command.