Chapter V. Basic Research
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

1. Centers of Excellence (COE)

Centers of Excellence continue to be an integral part of the Army's research investment strategy, along with single investigator programs and Army laboratory research. Centers have proven to be effective in many applications-oriented projects, in areas such as rotary wing technology and electronics. Interdisciplinary research requires the joint efforts of many scientists and engineers and also often requires the use of expensive research instrumentation that is difficult for a single investigator to acquire. Center programs often couple the state-of-the-art research programs with broad-based graduate education programs to increase the supply of scientists and engineers in areas of Army importance.

The scientific research undertaken at each COE (and URI Center, see below) is dynamic and continuously reviewed, using various inputs for assessing the quality of the programs. These inputs include reviews by Executive Advisory Boards, representing high-level management of industrial and military organizations, and by Technical Advisory Councils, representing technical personnel from multi-Service organizations. Table V-1 illustrates the composition of a typical management and technical panel--in this particular case the Center for Intelligent Resin Transfer Molding for Integral Armor Applications.

Table V-1. An example of the Composition of an Executive Advisory Board and Technical Advisory Council for a Center of Excellence (here, the Center for Intelligent Resin Transfer Molding for Integral Armor Applications).

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Army COEs are active in the research areas summarized in Table V-2. This table identifies each COE research program, provides a listing of participating universities, summarizes the scope of each program, and highlights future plans. Some of these centers have significant collaborative participation by historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) or Minority Institutions (MIs), a trend that the Army will be encouraging for future centers. In addition, industry will be encouraged to have greater participation in future Army COEs to leverage and synergize the investment in these collaborative efforts.

Table V-2. Army Centers of Excellence

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