Soldier Center’s collaborative work with Harvard, West Point published in prestigious scientific journal

By Jane Benson, CCDC Soldier CenterJune 29, 2020

NATICK, Mass. – Researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC SC), Harvard University, and the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point have coauthored a paper that was published in the prestigious scientific journal, Matter.

The online version of the article was published June 29 ( The article will also appear in the September print issue of the journal.

The paper is entitled “Para-Aramid Fiber Sheets for Simultaneous Mechanical and Thermal Protection in Extreme Environments.” CCDC SC contributors include current CCDC SC employee, Kathleen Swana, and former CCDC SC employees Janet Ward, John Song, and Stephen A. Fossey. Harvard authors include Grant M. Gonzalez, Luca Cera, John F. Zimmerman, and Kevin “Kit” Parker (Parker is also credited as an author from USMA). Authors from USMA include Jesse L. Palmer, Felita Zhang, Veronica Lucian, John Burpo, and Parker.

The paper highlights Harvard’s development of a new type of ballistic and thermal protection nanofiber. Harvard also worked with USMA on the project and sought out CCDC SC, a leader in ballistic testing, to provide the ballistic testing support and to help examine the capabilities of the fibers based on Soldier needs.

"Collaboration with academia is a critical means by which we at Soldier Center can ensure that we can provide truly innovative ways to increase Soldier lethality,” said Dr. Richard Green, director of the Soldier Protection and Survivability Directorate at the CCDC Soldier Center. “The Soldier Center is located near some of the premier academic research institutions in the world, and we regularly engage with local universities and universities that are farther away to help enable solutions that may not have been thought possible in the past. Through collaborations, we learn more about the art of the possible, and academia gets a better understanding of challenges the Army faces as we work to modernize for the future fight."

“Academic collaborations, especially those with distinguished local universities such as Harvard, provide CCDC SC the opportunity to leverage cutting-edge expertise and facilities to augment our own R&D capabilities,” said Dr. Kathleen Swana, a researcher at CCDC SC and one of the paper’s authors. “CCDC SC, in return, provides valuable scientific and Soldier-centric expertise and testing capabilities to help drive the research forward.”


About CCDC SC: CCDC SC is committed to discovering, developing, and advancing science and technology solutions that ensure America’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal. CCDC SC supports all of the Army's Modernization efforts, with the Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams being the CCDC SC’s chief areas of focus. The center’s science and engineering expertise are combined with collaborations with industry, DOD, and academia to advance Soldier and squad performance. The center supports the Army as it transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation to support a Multi-Domain Operations Capable Force of 2028 and a MDO Ready Force of 2035. CCDC SC is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers’ performance to increase readiness and support for warfighters who are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat.

CCDC SC is part of CCDC. 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.