SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: September 4, 2008
2nd Annual Future Workforce Poster Presentation Event
Bernasconi, student hire, Natick Soldier Research, Development
and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Natick, Mass., presents his
poster on "Polyolefin Nanocomposite Meal Bags" at the NSRDEC's
2nd Annual Future Workforce Poster Presentation Event on Aug.
14. Bernasconi is a student at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS)
Lowell and has spent the last two summers working at NSRDEC.
(Photo by Strategic Communications.)
Click for Larger Photo
NATICK, Mass. – On Aug. 14, student hires from the U.S. Army Natick
Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) here
showcased the projects they have been working on during the 2nd
Annual Future Workforce Poster Presentation Event.
Adrienne Beaudoin, a junior at the University of Maryland and a
member of NSRDEC's Workforce Development Team, said the NSRDEC was
encouraged by how well the first event turned out and thought it was
important to continue the displays.
"Last year we received a lot of great feedback from many different
members of the workforce expressing support and interest for the
event," she said.
This year, 28 posters were displayed representing various
directorates, and most students remained by their posters to discuss
their work with attendees. Two students already returned to school,
but thought it would be beneficial to display the posters of their
projects. Both presentations were from the Combat Feeding
Directorate (CFD) and were "Commercial Camp Stove Market Survey" and
"Tray Ration Heater Performance Testing."
Another CFD student hire, who attends the University of
Massachusetts (UMASS) Lowell and is working at Natick for his second
summer, Matthew Bernasconi, said he was "glad to be back."
He spoke with attendees about his project, "Polyolefin Nanocomposite
Meal Bags." Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) produce 14,000 tons of waste,
he said, and the main objective of his project was to reduce the
amount of packaging waste. Bernasconi performed thermal analyses on
mono- and multi-layer composite meal bags, the ones that are used
for the MREs. "The current bag is 11 layers," he said, "and we want
to move to a six layer [bag].
Bernasconi will be graduating next year and plans to attend graduate
school to get a masters degree in plastics engineering.
Other presentations from CFD included "Unitized Group Ration
Family," "CFD: Office of the Director," "Chemical Heating
Performance: Ration and Beverage Heaters," "Non-Electric Evaporative
Beverage Chillers," and "Toxic Industrial Chemicals."
Al Adams, who is a graduate student at Worcester Polytechnic
Institute and works for the Warfighter Science, Technology and
Applied Research Directorate (WarSTAR), discussed his project on
"Gait Kinematics and Physiologic Fatigue."
Adams explained how his team worked with a contractor to do
nonlinear analysis in order to test its ability to predict the
physiological fatigue of Soldiers. This type of analysis is often
used for mechanical evaluations, Adams said. It shows where the
stress and failure is on a metal and they wondered if it could be
transferred for this use.
"We can't have Soldiers walking around with oxygen masks on," he
said. "We needed a less invasive way to study their energy
expenditure." And we want to make sure they are able to stop work
before reaching the level of total exhaustion, he continued.
Adams said although this is a pilot study and the work has only been
completed with two subjects, the findings look "really good," and
the team will be continuing the study.
WarSTAR was most widely represented at the event this year. In
addition to Adams' presentation, other student hires were on hand to
discuss: "Adhesive Properties of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers,"
"Dispersions of Carbon Nanotubes," "Singlet Oxygen Trapping
Porphyrins," "Deactivation of Aerosolized Anthracis Spores,"
"Predicting Permeability of Chemical Agents to Skin," "Simulating
Projectile Metrology for Ballistic Impact," "Mission-Oriented
Protective Postures Analysis of Cognitive and Physical Tasks,"
"Co-Extrusion of Polymers for Fiber Applications," "Detection of Low
Concentration of Bacterial Spores," and "Frequency Selective
Surfaces as Reflectance Filters in the NIR/Visible Spectrum."
A student from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Janet Langley, who
worked on a Fire Detection Center Shelter System for the Shelters,
Technology, Engineering and Fabrication Directorate (STEFD) said her
time working at Natick has been, "fun and enjoyable."
This was her first summer at NSRDEC and she said what she especially
liked was being able to see the different items and learn how to do
certain work in the shelters design shop.
Tony Kayhart, a student of UMASS Dartmouth who is working for STEFD
for his second summer, presented a poster on "Design of Fabric
Structure in SolidWorks." Within that work, he modeled a fabric
shelter with four exits rather than the standard two, and designed a
vestibule adaptor to connect with other tents.
Another part of his work, a HMMWV canvas turret cover, is "important
for safety of Soldiers," he said. A challenge of this project, he
continued, was making the fabric tight for camouflage purposes but
also making the cover easy to exit.
Other presentations from STEFD were "Federal Fibers Tent
Evaluation," "LED and EL Lighting Systems in Military Structures"
and "Joint Modular Intermodal Container Shelter Investigation."
The Warfighter Protection and Aerial Delivery Directorate (WarPADD)
displayed a project on the "Investigation of Nitinol."
Workforce members were very interested in the presentations and
there was a lot of good interaction between them and the students.
One member of the workforce commented that "these sessions are
extremely informative and I'm always impressed by the composure and
intellect of the students."
Beaudoin said hosting the event keeps the students involved.
"Students like to show their work to their team leaders, supervisors
and the general workforce and we look forward to continuing this
event in the upcoming years," she said.