Research Area Review Groups help prioritize Corps civil works projects
By Carol ColemanMay 9, 2019
VICKSBURG, Miss. -- The Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center held its annual Navigation and Flood Risk Management Research Area Review Groups sessions on April 2-4 in Vicksburg. The RARG is a nation-wide review that covers all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts and divisions and will inform Corps priorities for all civil works direct research and development projects."The RARG is a key cornerstone of the present Corps civil works research and development process, and it serves as a technical link between our Corps research and practitioner communities," said Eddie Wiggins, lead technical director for Navigation at CHL. "The RARG provides ERDC an opportunity to understand perspectives from Corps policy and practicing offices regarding challenges routinely faced as the Corps works now and into the future to deliver the mission. With these perspectives, RARG attendees prioritize statements of need, the first decision step to shape civil works research, development & technology investments. Additionally, interaction between the RARG and ERDC researchers helps build and sustain relationships while ensuring emerging capabilities are developed in an implementable manner."Both the Navigation and Flood Risk Management RARGs were held in sequence with a joint session on Wednesday morning and concurrent sessions in the afternoon. At the welcome brief Wednesday morning, Dr. Julie Rosati, lead technical director for flood risk management at CHL, said the main goals of the joint sessions were to discuss the status and implementation of cross mission research related to Natural and Nature-Based Features and to hold breakout sessions to brainstorm ways to quantify the value and impact of research and development."This year's Navigation and Flood Risk Management RARGs were held the same week, greatly compressing the normal schedule and allowing multiple attendees an opportunity to participate in both meetings while minimizing their travel requirements and costs," said Wiggins. "Though the compressed schedule eliminated some normal agenda items, a concurrent session provided an opportunity to focus on capability implementation; discussed ongoing implementation of cross-cutting Navigation, FRM, and Environmental RD&T; and determined how to best capture value of research and development."ERDC's civil works RD&T business area contributes to the strength of the Nation by providing innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions to the Nation's water resources challenges. All research and development is performed by innovative engineers and scientists that anticipate, create, deliver and maintain the scientific and technological resources required to solve the Nation's civil works problems."This year's RARG meeting was successful in evaluating statement of needs to drive future RD&T investments, in revealing to the participants how cross-cutting research in NNBF is being implemented in practice, and in providing opportunities for Corps experts from the field and from RD&T to help assure the RD&T solutions make a difference in practice," said Wiggins.
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