Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, issues the oath of office to Dr. Neset Akӧzbek, senior research scientist in SMDC's Technical Center, during his senior scientific professional appointment ceremony at the command's Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, headquarters, Oct. 19. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell)
Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, issues the oath of office to Dr. Neset Akӧzbek, senior research scientist in SMDC's Technical Center, during his senior scientific professional appointment ceremony at the command's Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, headquarters, Oct. 19. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell) (Photo Credit: Carrie Campbell) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Technical Center welcomed a new senior-level civilian to its ranks who will lead the organization’s continued efforts in high energy and directed energy programs.

Dr. Neset Akӧzbek was appointed as a senior scientific professional in August and officially assumed his new duties as senior research scientist for directed energy during an Oct. 19 ceremony at the USASMDC’s Redstone Arsenal headquarters.

“This position has been a dream come true,” Akӧzbek said. “Meeting several groups here at SMDC and seeing some of the facilities, I can already see the great investment SMDC has made in science and technology and building an interdisciplinary technical team.”

In his new position, Akӧzbek will serve as the technical adviser and coordinator for the development, implementation and oversight of the command’s high-energy laser programs and other directed energy initiatives. He will be responsible for the overview, execution and coordination of programs in basic research, exploratory development, advanced development and system integration in the technical and functional areas of directed energy weapons.

“(Research) is the foundation in building scientific knowledge so that we can be ready to encounter any threats in the future,” Akӧzbek said. “The knowledge we gain in the process of developing new technologies will ensure that our warfighters are equipped with state-of-the-art hardware, so they can carry out their mission successfully.”

In addition to his new duties, Akӧzbek said he plans to take on a mentorship role in the command.

“I strongly believe in mentoring students, young engineers and scientists, to help them achieve their career goals and inspire them to become the next generation of senior research scientists,” Akӧzbek said. “My personal story is that if you work hard, respect your peers, and be passionate in what you do, great opportunities will one day cross your path.”

Akӧzbek previously worked with AEgis Technologies Group as a senior research scientist, leading a small innovative research and development group of interdisciplinary research scientists from 2009 to 2021.

He worked with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, 2008-2011, during a senior research fellowship with the National Research Council, conducting research in optics at the nano scale.

Akӧzbek earned a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1987 and a Master in Science in physics from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, in 1990. He earned his doctorate in physics from the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, in 1998.

Akӧzbek is a member of the Directed Energy Professional Society and Senior Member of the Optical Society of America.