September 23, 2013
Young faculty visit West Point “Branch Week”
Recipients of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) visited the United States Military Academy at West Point during its first Branch Week, September 10-15, 2013. The event brought “several hundred tons of military equipment, vehicles and weapons for the academy’s spin on a college career fair,” according to a West Point news article.
The seven YFA recipients came to learn about Army systems, engage with Soldiers and discuss potential effects of their research. Branch Week provided YFA recipients the opportunity to see the Army’s helicopter, tank, missile and robotic fleet and meet Soldier operators. In return for firsthand experience of military hardware and learning from Soldiers, the seven YFA recipients provided guest lectures to West Point’s faculty and cadets in fields such as material science, neuroscience, quantum science and robotics.
DARPA’s YFA program helps familiarize the next generation of scientists and engineers with Department of Defense (DoD) and national security research needs. YFA recipients are tenure-track faculty members with DARPA-aligned research interests. In addition to funding, recipients go on military site visits, such as Branch Week, to get a better understanding of DoD technology needs.
“Visiting West Point with the other young faculty awardees was very interesting—we got a taste of the academy’s culture, met their talented cadets and identified several potential collaboration opportunities with the faculty at the same time,” said YFA participant Edwin Olson of the University of Michigan. “Plus, how often do you get to climb into an M1A1 Abrams tank?”
The YFA recipients who attended West Point’s Branch Week are:
A list of 2013 YFA recipients is available on the DARPA website. The solicitation for the 2014 iteration of YFA will be posted to www.fbo.gov and www.grants.gov in fall 2013. Tenure-track faculty interested in applying are encouraged to frequent those websites and follow DARPA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/darpa.
Please direct all media queries to Outreach@darpa.mil