DOD supercomputing inspires interns, helps Army researchers

DOD supercomputing inspires interns, helps Army researchers

By David McNally, ARL Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Six graduate students recently concluded the DOD High Performance Computing Internship Program, or HIP, at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. “The intern’s summer projects were highly relevant and critical to our mission,” said Dr. Luis Bravo, Vehicle Technology Directorate. “They really took the lead in creating complex models that push the boundaries of engine combustion and turbomachinery sciences and have exploited the use of DOD’s Supercomputing platforms.” The annual HIP program funds interns to enhance computational skills and experience in order to support the DOD’s future warfighter needs. “I used computer codes to look at the smallest scale of […]

Yoga for Data

Yoga for Data

The path to enlightenment is not a straightforward one, for people or for data. That’s why flexibility is key when reaching for answers, and why it’s necessary to stretch data so that it can lead to more, better knowledge. by Mr. Thom Hawkins and Mr. Matt Choinski As acquisition professionals, with the hindsight of five, 10 or 20 years’ experience, we can move from blindly populating templates to an intuitive understanding of the connections between schedules and risk management, between our strategic plan and our daily operations. But even with experience, none of us has reached the pinnacle of perfect execution. There’s always more to learn, and the worst thing […]

Making Innovation Happen

Making Innovation Happen

The U.S. military is at a historic crossroads, as DOD acknowledges that indisputable U.S. military dominance is a thing of the past. As DOD and the Army seek to marshal all possible resources to drive innovation and provide the latest capabilities, a picture of collaboration emerges, but it’s far from complete. by Ms. Margaret C. Roth After 40 years of unquestionable U.S. military dominance over its adversaries, Pentagon officials say that our decisive advantage is gone. Defense research and development (R&D), an indisputably powerful engine of innovation, has taken a sizable hit in the past decade. That is also true of industry’s own, invaluable independent R&D (IR&D), but for different […]

Technically Speaking

Technically Speaking

An atomic engine that has all of the power but none of the moving parts by Dr. Brendan Hanrahan What if atomic crystals could send pulse power to light up a room? Back in 314 B.C., a student of Socrates described bits of sawdust that gravitated to a stone thrown into a camp fire. What was an oddity then might be a solution as technology comes of age. In 1946, more than 17,000 vacuum tubes clicked away in a crowded room and 20 seconds later, ENIAC—the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer—had calculated the trajectory of an artillery shell for the Ballistics Research Laboratory. Attendees got to keep a printout as […]

Been There, Done That: Acquisition Reform

Been There, Done That: Acquisition Reform

With all due respect, you don’t know jack: A former program manager offers his idea for effective acquisition reform – giving MDA to PEOs by Dr. Robert F. Mortlock, Col., USA (Ret.) Attention, senior defense officials, senior service officers and congressional leaders: With all due respect, in most cases you are not the most qualified to make defense acquisition decisions. There are simply too many competing priorities and, frankly, you probably don’t know jack about most program specifics. The root causes of the program failures within DOD are not hard to identify: changing requirements or “requirements creep;” military-unique, stringent ruggedization requirements; unstable budgets and limited resources; immature technology and integration […]

Faces of the Force: John Nebelsick

Faces of the Force: John Nebelsick

Command: Military Munitions Division, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama Title: Division chief Years of Service in Workforce: 27 DAWIA Certification: Level III in facilities engineering Education: B.S. in biology and chemistry, Nebraska Wesleyan University Awards: Corps of Engineers Commander’s Award for Civilian Service; Department of the Army Corps of Engineers Outstanding Chemist Award; Corps of Engineers Huntsville Center Senior Leadership Development Fellow; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Contracts and Project Management Award   Words of wisdom By Susan L. Follett Having spent more than 25 years in federal service, John Nebelsick has a lengthy resume and four words of advice: Slow down. Work less. But he doesn’t mean […]

A Big Lift

A Big Lift

Partnering with industry early in a program life cycle can highlight new and unexpected ways to act on Better Buying Power principles. One industry-academia consortium offers research and development, facilitates study groups and provides input on draft requirements for the next generation of vertical lift aircraft. by Mr. Richard Kretzschmar As stewards of constrained and precious resources, Army project managers are continuously challenged to think strategically to provide the most affordable, value-added military capability to the warfighter. In 2010, Ash Carter, then undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, codified a set of fundamental acquisition principles, titled “Better Buying Power,” intended to achieve greater efficiencies through affordability, cost control, […]

Corralling Contracts

Corralling Contracts

Handed new responsibilities, Army Sustainment Command builds services contract management from the ground up. by Mr. Jerome Jastrab Government contracting is indeed a complicated and, at times, perplexing business. It’s an arena governed by the massive Federal Acquisition Regulation, where lack of knowledge and failure to perform due diligence can significantly increase the government’s exposure to cost and performance risks. Imagine you’re building a house and you ask the general contractor how many subcontracts he had open, which companies held them, what type of work the subcontractors were performing and how he would assess the quality of their work. Now imagine his or her response to those questions is, “I’m […]

Army Researchers Developing Zika Vaccine

Army Researchers Developing Zika Vaccine

Harvard and Walter Reed scientists collaborate in an effort to protect humans from a mosquito-borne virus. by Col. Nelson L. Michael and Col. Stephen J. Thomas Researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, Maryland, moved quickly to develop and begin testing a Zika vaccine candidate early this year. The fast-moving virus, which is transmitted by infected mosquitos and through sexual contact, alarmed the world as it spread through South and Central America, causing serious birth defects. A preclinical study published June 28 in the journal Nature indicated the feasibility of a vaccine to prevent Zika infection in humans. The study was completed by WRAIR and […]

August 2016 Hot Topics

August 2016 Hot Topics

FROM THE ARMY DACM OFFICE There are less than two months left for Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) professionals to complete the requirement for 80 Continuous Learning Points (CLPs) in a two-year cycle. The deadline is Sept. 30. If you have any questions, please ask your supervisor or your organizational acquisition point of contact (OAP). The Army DACM Office is responsible for tracking and reporting compliance to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)). Failure to complete CLPs during the two-year cycle can affect your ability to qualify for Army DACM Office acquisition career development opportunities. AAW ANNUAL ETHICS TRAINING While we’re on the topic […]