WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) –
A team of electro-optical scientists and engineers in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s
Sensors and Materials & Manufacturing directorates and the 711th Human Performance Wing were recently recognized by the U.S. and UK governments with a 2021 U.S. - UK Science & Technology Stocktake Team Achievement Award.
The awards build on an alliance between the U.S. Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defence, supporting collaboration between the two nations and encouraging excellence in science and technology cooperation, said the two nations’ S&T principals, Dr. JihFen Lei and Professor Dame Angela McLean, in a communique to award winners. Lei serves as principal deputy and acting director of defense research & engineering for research & technology in the U.S. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. McLean serves as Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK Ministry of Defence.
Lei and McLean lauded the electro-optic survivability team for “driving interoperability to address real-world directed energy systems concerns for eight nations by synchronizing U.S. Department of Defense and UK Ministry of Defense research activities across five international sites.”
Overseeing the team was Dr. Kevin T. Geiss, who previously served as director of the 711 HPW’s Airman Systems Directorate before recently being named director of science & technology in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering.
“The [electro-optical survivability] team’s research addresses a technology domain that is important for enabling effective military operations in the future battlespace,” Geiss said.
Electro-optics studies the use of an electric field to modify how fast light travels through materials, a phenomenon known as the electro-optic effect. More specifically, electro-optics uses the interaction between the electromagnetic, or “optical,” and the electrical or electronic states of materials to create radio frequencies and lasers.
The Stocktake Award-winning team includes the following members:
Electro-Optic Countermeasures Branch of AFRL’s Sensors Directorate:
Project Lead Mark Wunderlich, Robert Desonia and Dr. John Gibson
Photonics Materials Branch of AFRL’s Materials & Manufacturing Directorate:
Project Lead Dr. Leo Gonzalez, Dr. Jen DeCerbo, Dr. Shekhar Guha, Dr. Jon Slagle and Dr. Kent Averett
711 HPW: Project Lead Dr. Leon McLin, Lt. Col. Wesley Kinerk, Lt. Col. Patrick
Shorter, Dr. Barry Goettl, Benjamin Rockwell, Brenda Novar and Eric Beier
The electro-optical survivability team is one of five teams and two individuals to receive an S&T Stocktake Award this year.
“The Department is pleased to jointly present these awards with our UK colleagues,” Geiss said. “The awards are a testament to the broad range of bilateral scientific and technical cooperation between our two defense organizations and complements our wider multilateral engagements.”
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com