University of Maryland at College Park enters into cooperative research partnership with Army’s corporate research laboratory
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army launched a five-year cooperative agreement with the University of Maryland at College Park Oct. 1. The alliance will focus on additive manufacturing science to foster and accelerate cutting-edge foundational AM materials and technology development to advance hybrid materials research capabilities.
The $22.8 million initiative between the Army and the alliance will leverage advances in agile expedient manufacturing to advance Army modernization efforts.
“This collaboration will establish the critical foundational knowledge base to enable the next generation materials discovery and new products,” said Army researcher Dr. Jian Yu, the Cooperative Agreement manager for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory.
The joint effort will combine resources, creativity and manpower from UMD and the laboratory’s Adelphi and Aberdeen locations to create “a synergistic research environment to enable seamless knowledge transfer, personnel exchange and opportunities for student interns,” Yu said.
Successful research will see advances in hybrid electronics additive manufacturing, robotics for hybrid manufacturing, 3D printed metal hybrid processes, digital manufacturing data management and workforce development.
The UMD team will be led by principal investigator Dr. Ji-Cheng Zhao, the chair of university’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
According to the agreement, Integrated UMD-ARL research teams will be formed to strengthen joint research opportunities, refine research strategies as needed and accelerate the research progress utilizing jointly developed intellectual properties.
Research will be conducted in five yearly phases to pursue stated objectives through materials synthesis, generative design, AM processing and fabrication, hybrid materials testing and characterization, as well as data curation and data management to ensure adaptable continuity of the program outcomes.
Since 2016, the laboratory has pursued its Open Campus business model to create a dynamic, cooperative science and technology ecosystem that links government assets with the global research community.
“Because of UMD’s close proximity to both the Army’s Adelphi and Aberdeen locations, we will be able to take full advantage of the laboratory’s Open Campus initiative with the goal of building a science and technology ecosystems that will encourage groundbreaking advances in basic and applied research areas of relevance to the Army,” Zhao said.
In its 2019 Army Modernization Strategy, Army leadership elaborated its investments in realigning the Army’s capabilities to conduct Multi-Domain Operations across scenarios with multiple threats. The Materials Research Campaign identified emergent additive manufacturing materials development, technology and discovery platforms that will enable Army’s rapid response by creating a manufacturing science engine to ensure combat supremacy of the future.
“The envisioned program outcomes will enable revolutionary AM technology and concepts to expedite national readiness to respond to future challenges and demand,” Yu said.
University officials said this joint research venture in additive manufacturing will further stimulate innovative experimental designs and prototyping, computational modeling and simulations, as well as to institute a solid workforce development pipeline bridging talent between academia and the Army.
“We aim to achieve the kind of deep knowledge creation that will have long-lasting impacts on the U.S. national defense capabilities on land,” Zhao said. “As one of the world’s premier research institutions strategically located within the DC metropolitan area, UMD has a long history of partnerships with federal and state government agencies and businesses, actively building a vibrant and interactive research innovation ecosystem.”
CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, ARL is operationalizing science to achieve transformational overmatch. 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 successful at winning the nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the Army Futures Command.