NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Army’s top research officer says Tennessee State University is engaged in research that could be beneficial to the nation’s military.
Dr. Philip Perconti, director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Research Laboratory, made the comment during a one-day visit to TSU on March 14, with members of his directorate to discuss areas of potential research collaboration that could help the military.
“There is a vast array of research here, much of it in line with some of the priorities of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army in particular,” he said. “I was particularly excited to see some work in infrared detector materials and modeling and things of that sort.”
Perconti and his team, including Dr. Jaret C. Riddick, director of Vehicle Technology Directorate of the Army Combat Capabilities Command, saw presentations on cutting-edge research, toured research facilities, and held discussions with top TSU research officials, faculty and their graduate students.
They also made presentations in areas of needs that could be aligned with the university’s capabilities.
“We are extremely excited to have Dr. Perconti and members of his research directorate on our campus,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement. “It is even more exciting to have them recognize that – by seeing our presentations, listening to our faculty, being in our laboratories – that we are doing cutting-edge research that fits within their needs and that’s going to help to provide outstanding, innovative new solutions.”
Branndon Jones, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, attended the discussion with his professor, Dr. Amir Shirkhoadaie, who was one of the TSU presenters.
Jones said the discussions and responses of the visitors were very encouraging for “a young researcher like me.”
“A meeting like this justifies the work you are doing, because for the most part, you show up in the lab and you stay there all day to find outcome,” said Jones, whose research is in remote sensing and virtual environment for object detection. “But you come to a gathering like this and see that the research you are doing actually has real-world problems and examples that you are working toward.”
Riddick said there is an opportunity for Army science and technology to interface with the “very critical areas of research here at TSU.”
“Talent management is one of the priorities of the Secretary of the Army as we go into this transformation into Army futures command,” he said. “So if we can look for innovative partners, in terms of developing talents and developing work force, this will be key for the Army in reaching some of the future objectives we have for war fighters of the future.”
As a result of the visit, a TSU faculty, Dr. Kevin Santiago, research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was offered a full faculty fellowship to work with the Army Research Laboratory. He was also invited to bring a graduate student with him.
“TSU has provided me with many opportunities in my short time here, and my goal is to pass those opportunities down to the students,” Santiago said.
Crumpton-Young paid special tribute to Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, head of the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command, whose visit to TSU in 2017, she said, paved the way for the March 14 visit.
“I am thankful to the entire team for organizing the visit, but I am also thankful to Maj. Gen. Wins who visited our campus several years ago and really talked about how we should engage more individuals with diversity of thoughts,” Crumpton-Young said.
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With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.