AFRL researcher awarded for Harvard University collaboration

Dr. Matthew Dickerson of the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate was recently selected as a Laboratory University Collaboration Initiative fellow.

Ten researchers from across the military service labs receive this award each year. Dickerson, a materials research engineer in the Structural Materials Division, was one of three AFRL selectees chosen. He was selected based on his work in advanced manufacturing science.

In this LUCI project, a group of AFRL researchers led by Dickerson are collaborating with Professor Jennifer Lewis and her laboratory at Harvard University to create a team with expertise in materials and additive manufacturing. The AFRL/Harvard team studies the production of high-temperature resistant and damage-tolerant ceramics that could be used in a wide variety of future concepts, including hypersonic vehicles.

This is the third year for this pilot program designed to foster collaboration between service laboratory researchers and Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows, who receive Defense Department support to carry out cutting-edge research in areas of critical interest to DOD.

The main objective of the LUCI is to engage leading university scientists and their students, introduce them to the DOD research environment and have them work with top researchers to address long-term basic research needs.

“I am extremely excited to receive this award. The LUCI fellowship is quite competitive and I am flattered to be among the other talented DOD scientists who received the award this year,” said Dickerson. “The LUCI fellowship represents an extraordinary opportunity to team with Professor Lewis, a world leader in additive manufacturing. I cannot wait to see what the AFRL/Harvard team achieves together over the next few years.”

The LUCI fellowship is competitive in that it offers not only funding for DOD lab scientists to conduct revolutionary basic science research but to team with and embed within a Vannevar Bush fellow, who are top scientists in their respective fields.

“The LUCI strives to capitalize on the unrestrained curiosity driven research and innovative spirit of universities by focusing their energy and ideas on defense research,” said Dale Ormond, acting director for the Defense Department’s Basic Research Office.

“We endeavor to realize this innovation through a partnership with a scientist at a DOD research laboratory and one of our current research fellows where the primary goal is to bring better capabilities to the future warfighter, and a secondary goal of introducing young scientists and engineers to our DOD hard problems,” Ormond said.

Dickerson recently received recognition at the Naval Research Laboratory in Arlington, Virginia.

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