By Courtesy Dr. Victor Nakano, Johns Hopkins UniversityJanuary 28, 2020
BALTIMORE -- The U.S. Army and its science and technology partners met to review progress on important materials science research during a meeting at Johns Hopkins University Jan. 14.
The Army actively partners with experts in academia and industry with the goal of discovering, innovating and transitioning science and technology to make American Soldiers stronger and safer. Through collaborative research alliances, Army officials said they envision, "bringing together expertise from government, academia and industry to address some of the fundamental scientific and technological underpinnings of our military defense systems."
More than 80 people participated as the Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials conducted its biennial Research Management Board review at Johns Hopkins University. The group includes a global consortium of 24 universities, research partners and three industry consortia with principal investigators and students as well as researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory.
They focused on scientific discoveries in the areas of electronic and protection materials. The partners are studying electrochemical energy devices, hybrid photonic materials and heterogeneous electronics. Protection materials under investigation include metals, ceramics and composites for military armor applications.
The lab's chief scientist, Dr. Alexander Kott, chaired the 16-member board, which included senior executives and senior research scientists from the laboratory, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), CCDC Armaments Center, CCDC Chemical Biological Center, the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Command and representatives from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
The effort is comprised of the Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments, known as MEDE, and Multi-Scale Modeling of Electronic Materials, or MSME, collaborative research alliances who work with lab's internal energetics program. Johns Hopkins University and the University of Utah lead the MEDE and MSME alliances respectively, to include a consortium of more than 20 universities.
A poster session highlighted the review, which provided board members an opportunity to hear directly from students, faculty and laboratory researchers.
More than 70 students have earned their doctorates through the CRAs, with 17 accepting research positions at Department of Defense and National Laboratories.
Dr. Adam Rawlett, the Army's senior research scientist for materials, said he is "excited at the number of students who have graduated from the CRAs," and that "they will be the legacy of this enterprise."
Board members such as Dr. Scott Schoenfeld, the Army's senior research scientist for terminal ballistics, said they were impressed at the new protection materials developed in the MEDE CRA on display. He said he believes the CRAs provide a "paradigm shift from using materials in design to creating materials that enable design."
The meeting concluded with feedback provided by the board. Kott commended the alliances for accomplishing a "tremendous amount of quality research while also challenging them to continue to excel in the final two years."
The Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials includes two of the five sponsored collaborative research alliances. These highly collaborative partnerships bring together expertise from government, academia and industry to address some of the fundamental scientific and technological underpinnings of military defense systems.
The CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. 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.