Tech

September 18, 2012

U.S. Military Academy seeks to enhance science, technology ties


The U.S. Military Academy educates and trains future Army leaders. The school produces 19 percent of the Army’s officers each year, but officials said they account for 75 percent of those with STEM degrees – Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics.

The school partners with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command for internships, funding and special projects. Leaders from across the Army’s technology command met at the school Sept. 11, to discuss enhancing their partnership.

“As what we give to soldiers becomes more technologically complex, it becomes even more important that officers have a strong foundation in math, science and engineering to understand the basis for these systems,” said RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormond. “As you increase the technical complexity of the equipment you use, it’s very important to have technical competence.”

Military and civilian leaders from across RDECOM used West Point facilities to conduct a board of directors meeting. They also received briefings from school faculty, classroom tours and met with cadets interested in science and technology.

“What I’ve been really impressed with during this visit is that Mr. Ormond gets it,” said Col. John Graham, USMA associate dean for research. “His tech directors have, by themselves, formed relationships with my scientists, so his command has through personal relationships, through professional relationships, strongly tied into West Point. So that’s not new. What’s new is Mr. Ormond being here saying, ‘Hey, I want the tech directors to work together and see if we can find the way to bring this to the next level.'”

The academy produces leaders and thinkers. In class, cadets learn skills necessary for tomorrow’s Army.

“I had the opportunity to sit in on a physics class, which by the way brought back memories,” said Gerardo Melendez, Ph.D., Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center technical director. “It was very interesting to see the way they teach the curriculum with the emphasis on practical exercises.”

Melendez regularly welcomes cadets for internships to his laboratories and research facilities at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.

“It’s amazing when you look at what goes on here,” he said. “You have this idea of not only shaping the mind, but the person as a whole, so the notion of technical prowess, the research that goes into it, the academics part, but also the physical aspect of the cadet.”

The academy’s research activities also deal with real-world challenges, which offer cadets an opportunity to contribute. For example, Cadet Jeffrey Nielsen completed a summer project developing intelligent algorithms to locate potential terrorist targets in Afghanistan and to help soldiers find improvised explosive device weapons caches. Nielsen is one of hundreds of future leaders finding ways to contribute today through science and technology.

“In terms of the state-of-the-art facilities, the labs and the fact that their faculty is spending a lot of their time doing research; you would normally not expect that in an undergraduate degree program like West Point,” Ormond said. “From what I’ve seen, the cadets are very energetic, very engaged and want to know what’s going on as they look to solve problems.”

Ormond said the visit was an eye-opener to potential courses of action.

“What I think we can do is to get more of these students into our laboratories and help to foster these STEM degrees and appreciation for technology,” Ormond said. “I would love to see some of their professors, who have Ph.D.s – military officers, work in our labs for a couple of years, do research and come back and teach. This helps to create technical competence in their faculty, keeping them closer to the state-of-the-art. Having their students come to our labs and work gives the Army and its officers a better appreciation for what we do and how we can contribute to the fight.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
afrl-sensors

Sensors Directorate co-sponsors autonomous aerial vehicle competition

Members from the University of Toledo, Ohio, team make adjustments to their multirotor aircraft prior to the autonomous aerial vehicle competition. The Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate hosted the event April 28...
 
 
NASA photograph by David C. Bowman

NASA’s Langley Research Center named Vertical Flight Heritage Site

NASA photograph by David C. Bowman In a May 8ceremony, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, was formally designated a Vertical Flight Heritage Site by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International. F...
 
 
NASA/Boeing image

NASA wraps up first green aviation tests on Boeing ecoDemonstrator

NASA/Boeing image NASA’s recent green aviation tests included the Active Flow Control Enhanced Vertical Tail Flight Experiment, for which 31 tiny devices called sweeping jet actuators were installed on the tail of a Boein...
 

 
onr-locust

LOCUST: Autonomous, swarming UAVs fly into the future

A new era in autonomy and unmanned systems for naval operations is on the horizon, as officials at the Office of Naval Research announced April 14 recent technology demonstrations of swarming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) ...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

Second X-56A MUTT makes first flight

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich NASA researchers are using the X-56A, a low-cost, modular, remotely piloted aerial vehicle, to explore the behavior of lightweight, flexible aircraft structures. Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Schaefer takes command of 412th Test Wing

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander (left), presents the 412th Test Wing guidon to Brig. Gen. Carl Schaefer signifying the beginning of his new command at the 412th ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>