Defense

February 12, 2014

Army leader’s visit to research lab gives insight into leap-ahead technologies

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Jenna Brady
Adelphi, Md.

Dr. Gabriel Smith (left) briefs Gen. Dennis L. Via, the Army Materiel Command commanding general, on Piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate radio frequency microelectromechanical systems, or PZT RF MEMS, during the Feb. 7, 2014, tour of the laboratory in Adelphi, Md.

Gen. Dennis L. Via, the U.S. Army Materiel Command Commanding General, visited the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Feb. 7, to gain a deeper understanding of the research that is being conducted at the lab in support of soldiers today, and those who will don the nation’s uniform well into the future.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, an element of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, is the Army’s corporate laboratory, with more than 1,900 federal employees, mostly scientists and engineers. At its headquarters in Adelphi, the laboratory’s in-house experts work with academia and industry providing the largest source of world-class integrated research and analysis in the Army.

Via received a tour and briefings of areas including ARL’s new Open Campus Concept, translational neuroscience, Piezo MEMS enabled mobility, and networks and cyber.

According to Via, the importance of the research being conducted at ARL is really about the readiness of our forces to meet future requirements, whatever they may be.

“The work that ARL does today allows our Army to be able to gain those leap-ahead technologies to allow us to continue to maintain a technological advantage, what we call the edge, that we’ve developed over the past decade,” Via said. “The work that’s been done here I think is tremendously important to the future of our Army, to the future development of systems that we’ll develop in the near and the far term.”

Via said he was impressed with each area of ARL research that he was briefed on, but stated that the talk about vertical lifts really caught his attention.

“That’s one that I think can change aviation, being able to advance our abilities to cover greater distances in moving material, Soldiers and equipment,” Via said.

He also mentioned that he was impressed with the studies going on at ARL relative to the science of the human brain.

“When we think about the readiness and resiliency of our Soldiers, that’s the kind of information that I think will help us as we develop that program and go into the development of the equipment to help protect our Soldiers. For Soldiers who have suffered injuries from [improvised explosive devices], I think this type of research will be valuable in their future treatment,” Via said.
At the conclusion of the visit, Via stated that it was an honor to spend time at ARL, and that he was very impressed with the people as well as the capabilities of the laboratory.

“The scientists and the engineers that are here as well as all of the other personnel who allow this organization to exist and accomplish this mission, I’d tell them to be very encouraged, because I think this is an area that will be the most important work we’ll do for our Army in the next decade,” Via said.




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