News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan


Universities provide advanced scientific and engineering education, critical to both military security and economic strength. Universities have traditionally performed a major part of the nation’s long–term basic research. Since the 1940s, the Army has supported academic work in areas of potential military interest. In response to evolving social, economic, and budget realities, Army support to universities has emphasized Army problems and efforts to apply research results to commercial or dual–use products. It also has emphasized support to people and institutions traditionally underrepresented in national scientific and engineering efforts. The Army is increasing its efforts to support interest in science and engineering careers in colleges and universities, high schools, and elementary schools.

The Army cooperates with nonprofit institutions (including universities) by means of CRDAs and PLAs, and the Army STTR program uses small businesses to commercialize technology developed in these institutions.

The Army is the government sponsor for two FFRDCs and, as appropriate, uses the unique capabilities of FFRDCs sponsored by others.

1. Programs With Academia

The Army’s 6.1 program, approximately half of which supports basic research at universities, is a key leveraging mechanism. These research investments will produce results that impact the Army’s future capabilities through the emerging technology areas and through breakthroughs. This program is described in more detail in Chapter V. The Army also maintains a European Research Office and supports a small amount of research at universities in Europe and Japan, in order to gain access to unique foreign capabilities (Section E).

a. University Research Initiative and Centers of Excellence

In addition to providing support to individual researchers, the Army sponsors research through two university–centered programs: the Army centers of excellence (COEs) and the series of DoD projects known as the university research initiative (URI). Both address specific Army needs (Figure VII–3). The URI’s science and engineering education programs also address this country’s need to increase its pool of advanced scientists and engineers by supporting nearly 400 science and engineering graduate students annually.

Figure VII-3. Funding for University Research Efforts Includes the Army Centers of Excellence and the University Research Initiative Centers
Figure VII-3. Funding for University Research Efforts Includes the
Army Centers of Excellence and the University Research Initiative Centers

University COEs provide Army support to graduate–level research and education. The Army’s investment in these centers is highly leveraged, for the centers have attracted additional sources of support. Through the COEs and URI centers, the Army participates with more than 30 American universities. Both COE and URI are described in more detail in Chapter V.

b. Interactions With the National Science Foundation

Through a memorandum of understanding, the Army and NSF formed a consortium that includes eight universities to attack critical problems in high–speed microelectronics, millimeter waves (MMWs), and communications research. NSF provides grants, and the Army provides access to what is considered DoD’s best microelectronics fabrication facility. While there, students and their mentors conduct research that benefits academia and the government. Also, ARL is an industrial board member of the Software Engineering Research Center sponsored by NSF.

2. Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions

Recognizing that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority institutions (MIs) are national resources with high enrollments of underrepresented minorities, DoD has encouraged its agencies to develop programs that enable these institutions to increase the number of minority graduates in the physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

It is Army policy that:

At least 5 percent of research, development, and acquisition (RDA) funds going to higher education institutions are to be awarded to HBCUs or MIs.
Each RDEC/laboratory is to foster a linkage agreement with an appropriate HBCU or MI.
The Army Research Office (ARO) facilitates research collaborations between HBCU and MI COEs.
All new Army COEs are to have an HBCU or MI member.
Information sciences and training research COEs are headed by HBCUs.
Each Army COE is to have a proponent laboratory/RDEC, which provides the COE Executive Advisory Board Chairman.

The Army Materiel Command (AMC) has made progress in achieving these goals:

Federated Laboratory Consortia established by ARL have HBCU or MI members.
Cooperative research programs have been established between major universities and HBCUs and MIs. For example, the Army High Performance Computing Research Center, established by ARO and managed by ARL, brings together the University of Minnesota and four HBCU partners, Howard University, Jackson State University, Alabama A&M University, and Clark Atlanta University. The multimillion dollar program provides funds for research, equipment, and infrastructure support.
The HBCU and MI COE program was established by ARO in 1992. The first two centers were located at Clark Atlanta University and Morris Brown College. Both centers had 5–year programs totalling approximately $3.75 million each. The Clark Atlanta program specialized in information sciences research, while the Morris Brown program focused on training research to determine how future soldiers can maintain peak proficiency during combat operations.

The ARO periodically publishes brochures highlighting accomplishments of the AMC HBCU and MI program. Chapter V contains additional information about ARO’s COEs.

AMC’s research programs and other opportunities for HBCUs and MIs are the most innovative of the entire defense department. Through the "one–source" approach, the command has collected and focused its efforts into a model program.

3. Federally Funded Research and Development Centers

FFRDCs, which perform, analyze, integrate, support, or manage basic or applied R&D, receive at least 70 percent of their financial support from the federal government. FFRDCs have greater access to government and supplier data, employees, and facilities than is common in a normal contractual relationship. (A master list of these activities is maintained by the NSF.) The Army is the government sponsor for two FFRDCs: the Arroyo Center, a research division of RAND, Santa Monica, California; and the Mitre Corporation’s command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) operating division in Washington, DC.

Staff at the Arroyo Center perform studies and analyses for the Army. This FFRDC mission is to provide objective and independent analytical research on major Army policy, management, and technology concerns, with an emphasis on mid– to long–term problems. Efforts include policy and strategy analyses, research within the framework of the Army’s future force needs and employment concepts, analyses and testing of alternative policies for manning, training, and structuring the Army of the future, analysis of issues associated with future readiness and sustainability, and studies in applied technology.

These analyses identify and assess the ways in which technological advances can enhance the future Army’s capabilities. Examples include an assessment of advanced light armored vehicles, terrorists and biological weapons in the 1990s, and the Army’s role in space.

The Mitre C3I FFRDC has two divisions, the Mitre Bedford Division sponsored by the Air Force and the Mitre Washington Division sponsored by the Army (the "primary sponsor" is in the Office of the Secretary of Defense). The mission of this FFRDC is to conduct studies and analyses, provide systems engineering support, and conduct laboratory experimentation based on sponsors’ requirements. Mitre conducts its own in–house R&D, tailoring the programs to sponsors’ missions. An important link between the Air Force and the Army, Mitre provides an objective, technical basis for the conception, analysis, selection, design, and evaluation of information and communications systems.

4. Outreach Programs

Studies by NSF and the National Academy of Sciences have indicated that in order to meet the scientific and economic challenges expected in the year 2000, the nation will need to attract and retain more students in degree completion in science, mathematics, and engineering. Approximately 70 percent of the adults entering the work force between now and the 21st century will be women and minorities. Yet, women and minorities are two groups historically underrepresented and underutilized in science and engineering. To counteract this trend, DoD task force studies have urged the creation of intervention programs designed to increase the availability of scientific, engineering, and technical skills in the DoD work force. The Army’s outreach efforts are described below.

a. Women in Science and Engineering

Women are significantly underrepresented in engineering and the physical sciences, compared with their participation in the general work force. Despite significant increases during the last generation, only about 9 percent of all working engineers are women, and in recent years the proportion of new women engineering graduates has remained constant at about 16 percent. Absent significant intervention or major social change, the proportion of women in engineering is therefore likely to increase only gradually and then level off. Perhaps because of their scarcity or because only the best survive, women engineering graduates receive 103 percent of the starting salary of men.

The Army has outreach activities whereby it employs women students from local universities, studying engineering and the sciences, in a cooperative education program that alternates school and work cycles. High school and college summer employment opportunities are also available (Figure VII–4). In addition there are employment programs for women instructors in high school and higher education who are interested in keeping current in their areas of technical expertise.

Figure VII-4. Army Outreach Programs Include Attracting Women Scientists and Engineers
Figure VII-4. Army Outreach Programs Include
Attracting Women Scientists and Engineers

b. Youth Science Activities

Increasing the scientific and technical human resources available to both the government and private sectors is necessary to maintain future U.S. competitive advantage. To accomplish this, education, especially in science, mathematics, and technology, is critical.

Many Army laboratories have outreach programs that actively support innovative ways to improve S&T education. There are adopt–a–school, education partnerships, and student/faculty employment programs.

Services provided by hundreds of Army scientists and engineers have helped to improve science, mathematics, and technology education through technical lectures, career education, science fair judging, field trips, mentoring student research projects, library and computer support, loaning/donating surplus equipment, and teaching classes or assisting in the development of courses and materials.

The Army also sponsors specific youth programs at the high school level to promote participation in science and engineering activities. For example:

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) was initiated by the Army in 1958 and joined by the Office of Naval Research and U.S. Air Force after 1995. Its activities promote research and experimentation at the high school level, identify and recognize talented youth and teachers, and increase the country’s pool of young adults interested in pursuing careers in the sciences. JSHS reaches over 10,000 students and 250 teachers annually.

The Uninitiates Introduction to Engineering (UNITE) program provides socially and economically disadvantaged secondary school students with tutorial assistance, primarily in mathematics. Through their participation, these students can acquire the prerequisites for beginning science and engineering careers in college. The program began in 1980 and more than 3,500 students participated during its first 17 years. Of these, 40 percent have graduated from college through 1997, with 50 percent in technical fields, 45 percent in engineering, and 5 percent in the humanities.

The Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) is a cooperative work–study program that gives high school students hands–on experience in R&D activities through interactions with mentors. Drawn from socially and economically disadvantaged groups, as defined in P.L. 95–507, these students are selected on the basis of their potential to pursue careers in science and engineering. The program began in 1980. At least 1,700 students have participated through 1996. Of these, 90 percent entered college, with 86 percent of these undertaking engineering or science studies.

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) was started by eastern European countries following World War II as a means to encourage young mathematicians. The United States began participating in 1976 with the selection of an American team under the auspices of the Mathematical Association of America. Along with the Navy, the Army contributes to this effort by providing funds. Annually six American students (from over 400,000 that compete) and three coaches travel to the site of the Olympiad for approximately 10 days of individual competition. American students often achieve first place honors at the IMO, which is one of the most prestigious competitions in mathematics at this level. In 1994, each U.S. team member scored a perfect score for the first time in the history of the program.

Since 1960, the Army has sponsored special awards in the nationwide science and engineering fairs to stimulate and encourage the future technical development of our nation’s youth. Army personnel participate as judges in regional, state, and international fair competitions and present awards on behalf of the Secretary of the Army. The International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) brings together two students from each of approximately 400 regional and state science fair competitions that involve over 100,000 high school students. Each winner in 14 scientific and engineering categories is awarded a certificate of achievement, a $3,000 prize, and a gold medallion. In addition, one student is selected to attend the London International Youth Science Forum at the University of London, where students from over 35 nations participate in a 2–week program of scientific lectures and cultural tours. Two students are selected to visit Tokyo as part of an exchange program between the United States and Japan, where the two Army winners are recognized at the Japan Student Science Awards Ceremony. The three trip winners each receive a certificate of achievement, a medallion, a $3,000 prize and $150 from the Association of the United States Army.

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