U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What is it?

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is one of the premier engineering and scientific research organizations in the world. As the research arm of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), ERDC helps solve the challenging problems to support the Soldier, military installations, and civil works projects (water resources, infrastructure and environment). ERDC conducts this work for the Army, Department of Defense (DOD), other federal agencies, state authorities, and U.S. industry through innovative work agreements. ERDC employs approximately 2,100 federal employees and contractors, and executes an annual research program exceeding $1 billion.

What has the Army done?

ERDC organized in 1999 by merging seven unique USACE laboratories – the Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Environmental Laboratory, Geospatial Research Laboratory, Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, and Information Technology Laboratory. This provided one door for customers and stakeholders to access unmatched expertise, capabilities, and state-of-the-art facilities to solve their toughest challenges. ERDC research and development focuses on five areas:

  • (1) Military Engineering: adaptive protection, environmental effects on sensors, austere entry and maneuver, and deployable force protection.
  • (2) Geospatial Research and Engineering: terrain analysis for signal and sensor phenomenology, geospatial reasoning, geo-enabled mission command, and imagery and GeoData sciences.
  • (3) Environmental Quality/Installations: adaptive/resilient installations, sustainable lands and military materials in the environment.
  • (4) Water Resources/Civil Works: inland & coastal navigation and hydropower, flood risk management, water supply/emergency management, environmental restoration, regulation and stewardship, infrastructure, and system-wide water resources.
  • (5) Information Technology: systems engineering and informatics, computational science and engineering and scientific computing.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

ERDC manages five major DOD Supercomputer Resource Centers, hosting one at its headquarters in Vicksburg, Mississippi. ERDC supercomputers are some of the most powerful in the world, capable of more than 3.5 quadrillion calculations per second. Supercomputing provides a technological advantage for DOD and Army projects, and reduces costs by shortening the design cycle and reducing reliance on expensive experiments and prototype. Because of rapidly-changing technology and global competition, ERDC continuously modernizes its supercomputers to ensure a competitive advantage to DOD and Army technology projects.

Why is this important to the Army?

ERDC’s ability to quickly assemble multidisciplinary teams from its seven laboratories and its partners in academia and industry, using state-of-the-art facilities and unmatched supercomputing, gives the Army a competitive advantage in providing innovative, real-time solutions to challenges faced by the warfighter, military installations, and the nation.


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