It is not enough for the U.S. Army to develop capabilities - it must also ensure adversaries cannot duplicate, infiltrate or overmatch those technologies.

The Army welcomed a new senior research scientist in an appointment ceremony at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center Jan. 21. Dr. Donna Joyce, who serves at the CCDC AvMC Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate, was appointed the senior technologist for protective technologies effective Dec. 8.

"Protective technologies is a brand new ST for the Army and that symbolizes why this is such an important day for us, because we don't have an ST for everything," said Dr. James Kirsch, AvMC S3I director. "We have STs for those very specific technologies or areas that the Army thinks are the most important as we go forward. Dr. Joyce as the inaugural ST for protective technologies represents the faith that the Army has not only in this center, but in her to carry out those senior technical responsibilities."

As the Army's chief scientist for protective technologies, Joyce provides scientific expertise and technical guidance in the research, development and transition of protective technologies. She brings a wealth of experience to the newly created position having spent 15 years with the Air Force Research Laboratory serving in a variety of roles with the anti-tamper program, and most recently as the AFRL liaison to the Air Combat Command chief scientist.

"We're trying to keep the technology edge for our Warfighter," Joyce said. "No matter what we're doing, if our operators don't have an edge, then we're not really putting them in the best position, and we're certainly not putting our whole military in a position to win if we go to war."

Her expertise includes thin film electronics, security and reliability of microelectronics, and advanced circuit analysis tools. As she takes on the role of spearheading the area of protective technologies for the Army as a whole, she looks forward to tackling the hard problems in areas such as anti-tamper, hardware assurance and trusted microelectronics.

"The challenges are large and many but, with the expertise across the services, I really do believe we can come up with innovative and creative solutions looking at security and performance, in a joint all-domain environment," Joyce said.

Joyce received her bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in engineering from the University of Dayton. She received the Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Award in 2013, the AFRL Special Program Team Award in 2014 and the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2019. Joyce and her husband Paul have three children and one grandchild.

A native of Pennsylvania, she attended the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1981-83 and then married into an active-duty Air Force family and spent several years raising their children. She said she has since found her civilian career to be fulfilling.

"There was always a feeling I had about doing research for a purpose and a mission," Joyce said. "I think there's a patriot inside of each one of us. You can work for a lot of different industry partners and academia who do a fantastic job for our government and national security; however, there was something about working for the government that gave me a feeling of helping lead and strategically plan the future research efforts meeting Warfighter needs."

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The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.