Researchers from Tech to speak at national Air Force symposium

Nov 6, 2012 | Engineering and Science, Research and Development

Three Louisiana Tech University researchers and a Louisiana Tech Ph.D. student have been invited to speak as part of this week’s Air Force Global Strike Command’s (AFGSC) annual Technology and Innovation Symposium at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City. Co-hosted by the Cyber Innovation Center, the symposium is being held in conjunction with the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Global Strike Challenge competition.  Both events provide an opportunity for academic and industry leaders to develop relationships and exchange ideas with industry and academia that support the Air Force’s newest command. Louisiana Tech’s research group, American Strategic Technologies (AST), is led by Dr. Chester Wilson, associate professor of electrical engineering in Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science.  AST develops nanoengineered catalysts that provide breakthroughs in converting natural gas to liquid fuel, fertilizers, and next-generation explosives.  The group also develops nanostructured materials for defense obscurants, electromagnetic shielding, radiation shielding, and best-in-class radiological sensors. “The Air Force and Global Strike provide security for our country and participating in the defense of America is what gets me up in the morning,” said Wilson.  “My eight year old daughter asked me what we are doing to stop mean people like [Osama] Bin Laden from hurting us.  The research Louisiana Tech allows me to do, which other universities would not, lets me tell her ‘plenty.’” Three members of Louisiana Tech’s group were invited to address the conference.  Wilson will give an overview on AST and the counter nuclear terrorism devices it’s developing which can discover, diagnose, and disable rogue nuclear material.  Dr. Dan Scoggin, a post-doctoral researcher, is presenting a talk on his efforts to develop methods to detect and disable counterfeit parts in the United States military component supply chain, and Connor Nicholson, a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow and Ph.D. student at Louisiana Tech, is presenting on nuclear technologies developed at Tech for crisis event diagnosis, protection, and containment. Additionally, retired Air Force Colonel and Louisiana Tech research associate Joel Martin, will present on nanotechnology commercialization for energy and defense applications. The selection of speakers for the AFGSC’s Technology and Innovation Symposium is a highly-competitive process and affords distinction to those invited to address the attendees.  Groups from across the United States gather to discuss and define the techniques and innovation that will be used to help protect the nation’s security through strategic and nuclear deterrence.  The solutions developed not only protect national security, but also produce innovations that contribute to regional industry and job growth. According to Wilson, Louisiana Tech, through AST, provides a unique academic research contribution to a shared community goal of enhancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. “We are stimulating high-tech opportunities and job growth in the region that are already helping retain our best and brightest graduates in north Louisiana, avoiding the ‘brain-drain’ of top talent from our region,” Wilson said.