Stewart connects with Army Research Lab’s Open Campus initiative

Monday, November 2, 2015

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Lauren Stewart, right, talks with Army Research Lab Director Thomas Russell Oct. 23. Russell met with some Georgia Tech faculty members to promote his lab's new Open Campus initiative, an effort to encourage collaborations between U.S. Army researchers and other scientists, including sharing some of the Army's unique research facilities. Stewart and two graduate students are traveling to Baltimore this week to learn more about the initiative and see some of the Army's labs. (Photo: Laura Means)

Lauren Stewart and two School of Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate students are headed to Maryland this week to tour some of the Army’s research labs at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

It will be the second time in three weeks that Stewart has connected with the Army Research Lab, after the organization’s director, Thomas Russell, visited Georgia Tech in late October. Stewart was one of a few faculty members invited to have lunch with Russell.

“He was interested in promoting the Army’s Open Campus program,” Stewart said. “I asked him questions on how to best transition these open campus collaborations into producing output — funding and exceptional research. He said that the Open Campus program is about fostering collaboration that could lead to outside funding or allow universities to access and use the Army’s laboratories to produce groundbreaking research.”

This week’s tour of Army facilities is part of a that new Open Campus initiative, which aims to spark advances in defense- and security-related science and engineering by encouraging collaborations between Army researchers and other scientists.

The program, according to the Army, allows outside researchers to work in some of the Army’s unique labs and allows for Army researchers to work as visiting scholars at their collaborators’ institutions.

Stewart is taking two graduate students with her for the tours this week who also happen to be officers, Majors Marc and Kate Sanborn. She said the event highlights some career options for many of the School’s students that they might not have considered.

“The Army and [Department of Defense] have a lot of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students for internships and fellowships for research,” Stewart said. “Further, the civilian path for careers in the DOD is also one that our graduates should consider.”