By Jenna Brady, ARL Public AffairsOctober 12, 2017
ADELPHI, Md. -- Some of the Army's most brilliant minds gathered at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory during National Postdoc Appreciation Week to share research projects that will undoubtedly enhance the future capabilities of the U.S. Army.
The 2nd annual ARL Postdoc Research Day was held at ARL headquarters at the Adelphi Laboratory Center in Maryland.
Postdoctoral researchers from ARL's various directorates met to share the research projects they are involved in that are focused on providing the future armed forces of our nation with decisive land force overmatch.
"Postdoctoral scholars are key members of ARL's scientific workforce whose contribution enable the execution of ARL's mission," said Dr. Milena Graziano, co-chair of the ARL Postdoc Association. "As such, the Postdoctoral Research Day is an important event that features their innovative research, highlights their significant contributions and showcases their expertise."
The event served a dual purpose, as it brought awareness of National Postdoc Appreciation Week and ARL's 25th anniversary.
Guest speaker Dr. Jeff Esposito, lead engineer for Dell-EMC, was on hand to deliver the keynote speech before the poster session and judging began.
Esposito's presentation highlighted the importance of innovation in industry and research complexes, which suited this event quite well and inspired the researchers in attendance to strive for their true passion and purpose.
This year's event exhibited 26 research posters from ARL postdoctoral fellows working at ALC and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, across five different directorates.
The winning poster came from Dr. Marshall Schroeder, postdoc researcher in ARL's Electrochemistry Branch.
His winning poster, titled, "Electrolytes for Next Generation Lithium Batteries," caught the attention of the judges and numerous attendees of the event.
Schroeder's research at the lab involves lightening the load of Soldiers on the battlefield.
"Very generally, our goal is to make safer, more energy dense batteries to reduce the burden batteries have on the warfighter," Schroeder said. "Better batteries will play an important role in the Army's future readiness, enabling longer mission durations and lightweight, more technologically equipped Soldier kits.
Schroeder said this involves chemically engineering electrolytes - the liquid that shuttles lithium ions back and forth in a battery - that are more stable than the current state-of-the-art. These new formulations are validated by testing them with advanced electrode combinations in batteries which offer significantly enhanced performance metrics including higher voltage and energy density.
According to Schroeder, the ARL Postdoc Research Day provides a great experience thanks in part to the interactions the event fosters.
"The Postdoc Research Day provides an outlet for highlighting many of the promising early career scientists at ARL and the diverse range of research they are conducting to the broader ARL community," Schroeder said. "It was a special opportunity to interact directly with some of the ARL Fellows and chief scientists, and it was an honor to be recognized for best poster among such a talented group of researchers."
According to Graziano, this event was tremendously successful and is an event that the association hopes to continue and grow for years to come.
"We were joined by numerous division and branch chiefs, ARL Fellows, research staff and students," Graziano said. "The unique networking opportunity between peers should not be overlooked as it enables future collaborations within ARL. And, of course, the event was a great opportunity for socialization! We are grateful to the ARL Fellows that judged the posters, as well as the organizers, presenters and attendees. We hope to continue celebrating this event annually."
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, currently celebrating 25 years of excellence in Army science and technology, 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.