Army researchers build partnerships through international assignments


  • Mid-career level Army engineers and scientists in Career Program 16 can apply through ESEP to work with an American ally for a year, with the possibility of an extension.
  • Group 12 applications, with deployments in fiscal year 2017, are due to RDECOM by Oct. 16, 2015.

By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Aug. 18, 2015) — U.S. Army scientists and engineers combine forces each year with America’s allies to advance the state of military technology.

The Army bolsters its relationship with foreign partners and promotes international research cooperation through the Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program, officials said.

ESEP is a professional-development program that provides career-broadening work assignments for U.S. government employees in foreign defense establishments and vice versa.

Mid-career level Army engineers and scientists in Career Program 16 can apply through ESEP to work with an American ally for a year, with the possibility of an extension. Applicants may arrange for an assignment to one of 17 countries. Nine ESEP participants from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command returned to the United States in June 2015 after a year abroad.

DR. TODD DU BOSQ

Du Bosq, a physicist with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, worked at the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation in Germany.

In the modeling and simulation group, he developed an atmospheric turbulence imaging simulation and supported performance-modeling projects.

“ESEP allowed me to work alongside a group of remarkable German scientists from the Fraunhofer IOSB on important modeling and simulation projects as well as to build cultural awareness, learn new working styles and adapt to new environments,” Du Bosq said.

DR. GIUSEPPE DI BENEDETTO

Di Benedetto, a chemical engineer at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, spent his assignment in The Netherlands’ Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. He researched material characterization and said his most successful project was the in-situ study of uniaxial tensile stress on materials in a scanning electron microscope.

“I loved my ESEP experience in the Netherlands and working in the Department of Energetic Materials at TNO,” he said. “My colleagues welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home.

“Their facilities and capabilities were excellent, and we had the opportunity to work on many challenging and rewarding projects together. We submitted two publications from our research, and hopefully we can continue to collaborate on future projects.”

DR. JASON GUICHETEAU

Guicheteau, a U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center research chemist, worked for the United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. He provided technical input and leadership on spectroscopy projects.

These projects included advancing long-wave infrared detectors and sources, near-infrared Raman spectroscopy for through-barrier detection as well as developing optical setups to access unique polarization and low frequency Raman information for chemical-detection exploitation.

“ESEP was an amazing experience both professionally and personally. Working alongside the exceptional team members from DSTL, I was able to gain invaluable insight and research awareness into current CBE challenges commonly faced by the U.S. and UK that must be addressed to further support the warfighter,” he said.

DR. SOFI IBRAHIM

Ibrahim, a research microbiologist/virologist at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, spent his assignment with Germany’s Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology.

Ibrahim conducted genomics and bioinformatics research on infectious disease pathogens to develop diagnostic assays for fixed and deployable laboratories. He published several papers, including whole genome sequencing of Cotia virus and development of a microarray technique for identification of unknown viral pathogens.

DAVID SKALNY

Skalny, a U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center computer engineer, was assigned to the Japanese Technical Research and Development Institute’s Ground Systems Research Center.

Skalny conducted cell-level charge and discharge testing on two types of lithium-ion battery cells and developed a MATLAB model/simulation to simulate voltage and estimate state of charge.

“Through ESEP, I gained valuable comparative knowledge on lithium-ion battery research, manufacturing and testing methodology. I successfully developed a battery model capable of accurate state of charge and voltage estimation,” he said.

SEAN SWASZEK

Swaszek, a mechanical engineer at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, worked with the Australian Defence Science Technology Organisation.

Swaszek studied multiphase blast explosives, a technology for low collateral damage in munitions. He studied the characteristics and properties of the explosive materials as well as evaluating the performance of MBX materials.

“I really enjoyed working with and getting to know a lot of great engineers and scientists at DSTO. They seemed really pleased with the work I contributed, and it should help with their future projects,” he said.

DR. W. CASEY UHLIG

Uhlig, a U.S. Army Research Laboratory research physicist, was assigned to the German Institute for High-Speed Dynamics (Ernst Mach Institute). He worked on electromagnetic diagnostic techniques for hypervelocity projectile detection, velocity measurement and size characterization.

Uhlig developed the theoretical concepts of designing and performing experimental validation of the techniques. He also submitted an article to the Journal of Applied Physics, which is currently under review, and completed an internal EMI report detailing the technique and experiments and has an abstract accepted for the 2016 International Ballistics Symposium.

DR. GORDEN VIDEEN

Videen, a U.S. Army Research Laboratory physicist, worked at the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology. He investigated how to modify the light-scattering properties and positions of resonances that appear in nanoparticles. These resonance positions can be used to identify small particles like viruses, cancers and chemicals.

“This program has allowed me the opportunity to gain knowledge and do something that I never would have conceived without the interactions of my host colleagues,” he said.

RICHARD WALLACE III

Wallace, a mechanical engineer with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, spent his time in The Netherlands’ Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. He provided expertise in the CBRN field and reach-back for acquisition and on-going R&D programs.

“The most important accomplishments from my assignment have been the continued facilitation of data and equipment exchanges as a result of working with TNO personnel, getting to understand the targets of their R&D efforts and developing close professional and personal relationships,” Wallace said.

“We have already begun to establish an equipment and material exchange agreement pertaining to biological point detectors and are in discussions to foster cooperative programs in the near future.”


Editor’s note: Participants should be in General Schedule pay grades 12 through 14 (or equivalent) at the time of deployment, hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and have at least four years of technical experience in industry or military/government.

ESEP Group 11 will deploy to assignments between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015. Group 12 applications, with deployments in fiscal year 2017, are due to RDECOM by Oct. 16, 2015.

ESEP selection is based on the following criteria: technology area, host country of interest, candidate profile, merits of assignment/position description, quality of application, foreign language capability (as applicable) and command endorsement.

For information, visit ESEP on the web, or contact Brian Krzewinski at brian.e.krzewinski.civ@mail.mil.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.


Originally published at www.army.mil on August 18, 2015.

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