ATLANTA, Ga.-- Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division presented at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Spring 2022 Capstone Design Expo as part of an educational partnership agreement with Georgia Tech. Jan. 10, 2022, in Atlanta.
Maj. Patrick Kerins, the 3rd ID Special Operations Integrator, pitched a real-world problem to the students with the hope that they would sign up to work on developing a solution. The problem set Kerins presented involved developing tools and techniques that would assist Soldiers in self-recovery if their armored vehicle became immobilized by terrain.
The students Kerins presented to are beginning a Capstone Design Course at the school. During the course, students work in teams to solve an industry problem, like an armored vehicle immobilized by terrain, and work to develop innovative tools in order to assist researchers. They can also work on their own entrepreneurial ideas.
“Our goal is to solve today’s problems,” said Kerins. “We can do that by building a relationship with Georgia Tech and providing potential capstone projects for students each semester.”
The problem set Kerins presented was identified by 3rd ID Soldiers at the junior level who work with armored vehicles regularly and who often find themselves needing assistance to recover stuck vehicles.
“Presenting at this Expo adds to the Marne innovation efforts by taking ideas and problems generated at the division level, by Soldiers, and injecting them into academic institutions for further refinement and potential Solutions,” said Kerins. “It complements our modernization efforts by providing different perspectives.”
Kerins was not the only presenter that day, but his pitch seemed to resonate with students.
“The problem stood out from others because the scale is huge,” said Capt. Troy Batugal, a Georgia Tech graduate student and officer with the 75th Innovation Command. “This is a common problem that can be solved that will save tankers a lot of time and stress.”
Since Batugal is a graduate student, he is not eligible to take part in the Capstone Design Course, but said he saw numerous groups of students approach Kerins with the hope of taking part in the project.
Past expos have witnessed projects that have yielded significant results for industry sponsors, saving some of them upwards of millions of dollars in research and development costs. The networking experience for students also gives them the opportunity to make a lasting impression with potential employers.
Throughout the semester, students who sign up to work on this problem will work on developing a solution with the goal of pitching a solution or prototype solution during another expo at the end.