The Department of Defense (DoD) Scholarships for Service Program for Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) recently announced Mr. Khaldoon Ismail and Dr. Richard Ordonez (National Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific), Dr. Regina Guazzo and Dr. Tyler Hillel (NIWC Pacific), Dr. David Elleg and Dr. Linda Mullen of the Aircraft Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWCAD) as winners of the SMART Scholar and Mentor of the Year award for fiscal year 21.
These prestigious awards honor spouses of SMART researchers and mentors who demonstrate exemplary achievements while pursuing a SMART-sponsored degree (Phase 1), during their commitment to work in the Department of Defense (Phase 2), or as a committed professional in the field of Department of Defense science and technology. (Stage 3). Nominations for the award have been reviewed by a panel of technical experts from across the Department of Defense and acknowledge both the scholar’s outstanding accomplishments, as well as the invaluable guidance provided by the Department of Defense mentor at the SMART Sponsorship Facility.
SMART is a scholarship program focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and the largest education and workforce initiatives under the DoD STEM – inclusive K-20 STEM education and talent development efforts. SMART sponsors undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral study in 21 academic majors critical to national security and the future of the Department of Defense by providing full tuition, a generous stipend, summer internships, and guaranteed employment in a Department of Defense laboratory or agency. In contrast, scholars have an individual employment obligation at a DOD sponsorship facility after they earn their degree. Since its inception in 2006, the program has awarded more than 3,700 scholarships.
Mr. Khaldoon Ismail, a Phase 1 award winner, is an Army combat interpreter and is currently pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Mr. Ismail and his mentor Dr. Richard Ordonez are working with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines to deliver an unmanned aerial vehicle-based radar system to remotely monitor human vital signs in operational environments. The system will revolutionize search and rescue operations, as well as remote monitoring of combatants’ vital signs, even in contested environments.
The second stage award, Dr. Regina Guazzo, was awarded for her contribution to ocean acoustics. Dr. Guazzo, an oceanographer, has made great progress in studying the groups and behaviors of whales. Its marine research helps assess and measure the environmental impact of its acoustic systems. Dr. Guazzo’s mentor, Dr. Tyler Helble, has helped guide Dr. Guazzo’s work since she was a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr. Helbel is himself an intelligent Phase III researcher. Dr. Guazzo is a lead in the NIWC Pacific STEM Outreach Program and was recently awarded a SMART SEED grant to study the environmental impacts of low-frequency sonar.
The research of Phase III researcher Dr. David Elig and his mentor Dr. Linda Mullen, in developing the latest optical sensors and associated advanced signal processing algorithms to identify underwater threats, has paved the way for the Navy to maintain its undersea dominance against the next generation of marine threats. Dr. Elig has twice been awarded the Best Marine Scientist award to Dr. Delores M. Eater for his contributions to advanced laser sensing and signal processing systems. Dr. Mullen is the recipient of this year’s NAWCAD Mentor Award for her guidance to early-career scientists and engineers, including SMART scholars such as Dr. Elig. Together, Dr. Elig and Dr. Mullen have produced many high-quality research products that have influenced technological advances for sensors used by the Navy in anti-submarine warfare and mine warfare applications.
“I am impressed by the number and criteria of award nominations that SMART has received, and I am delighted to recognize the pairs of scholars and mentors for their outstanding achievement,” said Dr. Brandon Kuchinor, SMART Deputy Director. “We are particularly pleased with the mission-oriented initiatives taken by this year’s award winners who will continue to help the Department achieve its goals to help solve the most pressing technological challenges nationally and globally.”
The pairs of the three award-winning scientists and mentors will be honored by the DoD’s senior leadership during a virtual event in early 2022. The event will also allow awardees to discuss their work with a larger audience, including members of the DoD technical community and other SMART scientists.
In addition to the winners, SMART has also awarded honorable mentions to the following pairs of scientists and educators: Ms. Kaitlyn Detwiler and Dr. Craig Przybyla of the Air Force Research Laboratory – Materials and Manufacturing Administration (Phase 1), and Dr. Jose Weibold Dr. Brian Adams of the Army Research Laboratory (Phase 2) , and Dr. Patrick Fidek and Dr. Ben Harvey of the Weapons Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center. In recognition of their outstanding achievements, Ms. Dettweiler, Dr. Weebold and Dr. Fidick have been invited to speak at the annual SMART Symposium to be held in July 2022.
To learn more about the SMART Scholarship for Service Program and participating Department of Defense facilities, visit www.smartscholarship.org.
To learn more about the SMART Scholar SEED Scholarship Program, visit https://www.smartscholarship.org/smart?id=seed_grant.
To learn more about inclusive K-20 STEM education and talent development efforts, visit www.dodstem.us.
|Announcement date:||12.15.2021 06:28|
|Location:||Alexandria, Virginia, United States|
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