Army Chief Scientist to Make Regular Contributions to USAASC Publications

By September 2, 2011September 6th, 2011General, Science and Technology
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Dr. Scott Fish was named the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Army last October. He previously served as the Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology at the University of Texas at Austin. As Chief Scientist, he is submitting regular contributions to Army AL&T Magazine and Access AL&T. This is his introductory submission.

[raw][image align=”right” caption=”Appointed the Army’s Chief Scientist in October, Dr. Scott Fish looks over new technology while attending the 27th Army Science Conference in December. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of Research, Development and Engineering Command.)” linkto=”/web/wp-content/uploads/” linktype=”image”]”/web/wp-content/uploads/” height=”167″width=”246″[/image][/raw]

Hello members of the acquisition, logistics, and technology (AL&T) community. My name is Dr. Scott Fish, and I have the great honor of serving as the Chief Scientist of the Army. In this role, I provide assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Army mission for our Senior Leaders. This can include identifying and analyzing technical issues and bringing them to the attention of these leaders. The Chief Scientist also interacts with operational commanders, combatant commands, acquisition, and science and technology (S&T) communities to address cross-organizational technical issues and solutions. Often, the assessments require interaction with other services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and a close collaboration with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, Dr. Marilyn Freeman. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is engaging with the civilian scientific and engineering community and the public on national technical issues, such as education, technical innovation, and long-term strategic planning in the science fields related to defense needs.

I’d also like to introduce my Military Deputy LTC Amanda Greig. She provides crucial support for Chief Scientist activities in the above mentioned assessments. Her military background and connections are vital to insuring we always keep the warfighter needs first in looking at candidate technical approaches.

It is an exciting time within the S&T community, as we are seeing such rapid changes inside and outside of DOD in areas as widespread as communications to materials science, and medical treatment to civil engineering applications. I am very proud of our S&T workforce and the incredible work they are doing to contribute in providing our Army with an edge in equipment and training for the future. I plan on submitting short updates and photos to this website on a regular basis in order to highlight significant activities or discussions at various laboratories, organizations, conferences, or meetings as they occur. In doing so, I want to bring an increased awareness and interest about emerging or available technologies and initiatives that are important to the Army and our nation.

[raw][image align=”left” caption=”Dr. Scott Fish (second from left) visits Penn State University’s Applied Research Laboratory, one of the nation’s leaders in materials research and a university center of excellence in defense science and technology.” linkto=”/web/wp-content/uploads/IMG_0497-compressed.jpg” linktype=”image”]”/web/wp-content/uploads/IMG_0497-compressed.jpg” height=”167″width=”246″[/image][/raw]

Recent activities:
I visited Penn State University’s (PSU) Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) in State College, PA on August 24. ARL at PSU is one of the nation’s leaders in materials research and serves as a university center of excellence in defense science and technology. ARL provided information briefings on its Advanced Technology, Materials and Manufacturing, Autonomy, Power and Energy Initiatives, and Fluid and Structural Mechanics offices. Tours of the Composite and Laser Laboratories highlighted advanced geometric modeling and fabrication tools developed for complex, 3-D multi-functional products, innovative laser freeform fabrication, and welding techniques to improve the performance of structural components within ships, aircraft, or vehicles at potentially lower cost. Although ARL is designated a Navy University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), it often performs research for the Army.

Our office also conducted a site visit of the BAE Systems facility at York, PA on August 25 to get first-hand exposure to the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and associated technologies for rapid production line adaptation to design changes for ground vehicles. The York Fabrication Plant produces a wide array of combat service support vehicles, including Bradley variants, Paladin Integrated Management (PIM), Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP), and others. BAE was one of two teams recently awarded a contract to participate in the technology development phase of the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program. It was a great visit!

In addition to examining BAE’s fabrication and assembly processes and products, seeing how they have modified and optimized their software, logistics, and manufacturing systems to enhance cost, schedule, and performance was insightful. Discussions covered state-of-the-art methods for rapidly changing fabrication workflow to accommodate design evolutions and maintaining a safe work environment to produce world class combat systems for the Army. We also received a briefing on BAE’s strategy for leveraging involvement in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Adaptive Vehicle Make Program, which could bring significant reductions in timeline and cost for future Army products. While there, BAE also showed us its research work in armor fabrication cost reduction, as well as some advanced sensor development activities being conducted at separate sites. We were joined for this opportunity by representatives from the Army Research Lab Manufacturing Technology Team and representatives from the Army’s GCV and Bradley Program Offices.

Upcoming Activities:
In September, I will attend the Board on Army Science and Technology meeting in Massachusetts.