ADELPHI, Md. -- The U.S. Army’s top scientist announced he will retire from federal civil service May 28, 2021.
Dr. Philip Perconti, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for research and technology and Army chief scientist, has been a senior research leader for much of his career. During the past three years, since the inception of the Army Futures Command, Perconti played a key role developing the Army’s holistic science and technology strategy and plans, as well as identifying the Army’s priority basic research programs and setting the foundation for new capabilities for the future.
“From my first team at the Army’s Night Vision Lab to my last team at the Pentagon, I’ve been honored to work alongside and serve with so many talented scientists, engineers, administrative and acquisition professionals and Soldiers,” Perconti wrote in a social media post announcing his decision to retire.
In his position within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Perconti overhauled the Army’s major experimental technology prototyping and manufacturing technology initiatives, as well as the small business innovative research program; creating an applied SBIR program office to eliminate many of the traditional barriers faced by small businesses seeking SBIR contracts.
“By revamping the Army’s experimental prototypes and manufacturing technology programs to maximize technology transition from applied research projects to Army engineering, manufacturing, development and production programs, we set our path toward modernization,” he said.
Perconti served as the director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory, from April 2016 to November 2019.
During his time at the laboratory, the Federal Laboratory Consortium honored him with its Director of the Year award, crediting him for expanding the lab’s Open Campus business model–a program to facilitate technology transfer.
Before becoming laboratory director, Perconti served as the lab’s Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate director from January 2013 to April 2016. He led and transitioned the Army’s primary basic and applied research programs in sensors, electronics, signal processing and power and energy component technologies.
Before 2013, Perconti served as director of the Science and Technology Division of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate for 12 years.
Perconti earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from George Mason University, a master of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from The George Washington University. Perconti is a fellow of the Military Sensing Symposium.
He has published extensively on many aspects of military sensing and countermine/counter improvised explosive device technology, has authored and co-authored over 50 publications including three book chapters, and he holds two patents.
“Recently, a very senior commander told me, ‘the technology that you worked on saved thousands of American lives, including my own.’ For me this was mission complete and one of the proudest moments of my professional life,” Perconti said.
As a leader, Perconti said he aimed to put people first. He said he hopes to provide some advice to the Army S&T workforce.
“Be kind, strive for personal and professional integrity. Be scientifically and technically inquisitive. Clearly define the problems that you’re trying to solve and translate your problem statements in ways that are intuitive and meaningful to your teammates, your leadership, and most importantly to Soldiers,” he said. “Stay focused on transitioning technical solutions that enable new warfighting capabilities. Whether you’re doing basic or applied research, or engineering, or business administration measure how your actions support our Soldiers, either now or in the future. Have some fun. People First. Winning Matters."