NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 12, 2017) -- The Secretary of the Army announced the appointment of Dr. Karl Friedl, a senior scientist and director of the Strategic Science Management Office at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, to the position of Senior Research Scientist Performance Physiology.
Friedl assumed the position during a senior research appointment ceremony held on Oct. 5 at the Natick Soldier Systems Center. Principal Assistant for Research and Technology at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, or USAMRMC, Dr. George Ludwig, administered the oath during the ceremony.
Ludwig pointed out that in Friedl, USARIEM is getting a senior research scientist who can provide a new perspective when approaching challenges and developing solutions for future Soldiers.
"Karl Friedl is one of those individuals who is always thinking, always looking at new ways to approach a problem, or new partners to help him look for ways to work through a problem," Ludwig said. "That is the way Karl has always operated through his professional careers. As we start moving into a new approach, a new strategy, on the way the Army will be fighting in the future, we need scientists like Karl who can come up with new and innovative ways in order to meet those challenges within the Army."
Friedl joins a select group of 37 Army senior research scientists charged with guiding new science and engineering programs across the Army's science and technology, or S&T, enterprise. The scientists serve as reviewers and advisors to the Department of Defense S&T leadership, engaging key stakeholder support and mentoring young scientists and engineers. Senior research scientist positions involve the performance of high-level research and development in the physical, biological, medical or engineering sciences or closely-related fields.
In this role, Friedl will be responsible for furthering USARIEM's research and development that is necessary to always provide Soldiers with a critical edge. One of his goals is to help enable strategic partnerships with scientists in the Boston area and beyond.
"USARIEM is the center of human performance research for the Army, and it is also the main performance lab for the federal government," Friedl said. "One of the tasks I will have in this position is to make sure we get the word out. The Army should know we are doing research that overcomes technological barriers and helps us solve these real, practical problems. We, USARIEM researchers, must be able to reach out and make partnerships in almost everything we do so we can find the best performers in the world and get the strongest science possible. There is a wonderful world of opportunity out there that I am going to help facilitate."
Friedl studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara, receiving a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Zoology, as well as a doctorate in Philosophy in Biology from the university's Institute of Environmental Stress.
After thirty years of active duty service in the Army, Friedl retired in 2013 after serving as director of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, or TATRC, at USAMRMC. Prior to that, he served as commander of USARIEM, director of the Army Operational Medicine Research Program, a principal investigator at USARIEM, and the Chief of Physiology and Biostatistics Service, Madigan Army Medical Center.
Friedl's research has been focused on extending limits of human physiological performance. He has made specific contributions in the areas of endocrine regulation in semi-starvation, physiological effects of anabolic steroids, body composition methods and standards, physiological monitoring and metrics of research return on investment. He has published nearly 200 original articles, book chapters, technical reports and commentaries, and he has made more than 250 scientific presentations at national and international meetings.
With such an extensive background in performance physiology, Friedl knows better than anyone that as science, technology and the Army evolve, USARIEM's holistic approach to optimizing human performance will always be an "enduring lane of research."
"The Army will always have Soldiers holding terrains in parts of the world that have extreme environments," Friedl said. "How Soldiers perform, how they eat and how they think about things--meditation and mindfulness--are all things that come together at USARIEM."
Friedl has also been a U.S. representative on many North Atlantic Treaty Organization panels, and as a senior official, he has briefed general officers at the Pentagon. Through these different roles, Lt. Col. Glen Manglapus, deputy commander of USARIEM, said Friedl has always represented, defended and advocated USARIEM research.
"We are excited to have Dr. Friedl as our S&T scientist to continue representing, defending and advocating on our behalf," Manglapus said. "Science and technology moves fast, and keeping the Army and Department of Defense informed is always a struggle. I am confident that Dr. Friedl, with his long USARIEM history, vast breadth of scientific knowledge and military background will guide USARIEM, the USAMRMC and (the) Army to the science that provides our Soldiers the decisive edge on the battlefield."