Army scientist honored with prestigious rank, will focus on biotechnology

Dr. Peter Emanuel, chief of biosciences, is honored with elevation to Biotechnolgy Senior Level Scientific Professional.

Dr. Peter Emanuel, chief of biosciences at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, received the U.S. federal civil service designation of senior level scientific professional, known as an ST, Aug. 22.

Emanuel joins Dr. Augustus Fountain, senior research scientist for chemistry, as ECBC’s second ST.

The ST designation covers non-executive positions classified above the GS-15 level, and it is reserved for technical personnel who perform high-level research and developmental work in the physical, biological, medical or engineering sciences.

Many of the federal government’s most renowned scientists and engineers serve in ST positions. STs are required to devote less than 25 percent of their time to supervisory and managerial duties in order to devote themselves to research.

“When I first drove on post over 20 years ago, I had no idea where it might lead,” he said. “My intention was to do only a two-year National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and then move on to a research job at a pharmaceutical company. But the opportunity to solve real-world problems, our flexibility to change our research portfolios to keep fresh, and to interact with the global scientific community was just too interesting to walk away from.”
Becoming an ST is highly competitive and is based on outstanding professional accomplishments, creativity and critical judgment. Fewer than 600 people have received this designation in the executive branch since it was introduced in 1990.

ECBC Director Dr. Joseph Corriveau lauded Emanuel’s accomplishments and expertise.

“It is no surprise to me that Peter has received the recognition. He has always been on the leading edge of innovative chemical biological defense research,” Corriveau said. “He has managed large, interdisciplinary projects as far away as Korea, and inspires everyone on his teams to perform at their best. Now that he is an ST, we look forward to many more years of the highly productive and innovative research and development work that we have all come to associate with him.”

Looking to the future, Emanuel said, “Now I can step away from managing the day-to-day operations of the lab and begin to look at the big picture. I can bring together scientists and engineers and think about what the Army needs — not just one part of the center.

“As the ST for bioengineering, I will be working with the other Department of Defense labs to establish a greater capability for defense labs to use the tools of synthetic biology. I am particularly interested in building coalitions with the Army Research Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory and Naval Research Laboratory.”

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The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which 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.

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