SSC-Natick Press Release
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Natick, MA 01760-5012
Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
Date: March 17, 2006
Natick Soldier Center director chosen as a laboratory director of year by FLC
NATICK, Mass. -- Philip Brandler, director of the Natick Soldier Center (NSRDEC), located at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center here, has been chosen a 2005 Laboratory Director of the Year. The award is given by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for Technology Transfer, and is open to more than 700 federal research and development laboratories and centers nationwide.
Brandler was recognized for his exemplary contributions in supporting technology transfer activities at the NSRDEC. He has enabled the transfer of technologies through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Patent Licensing Agreements (PLAs), other formal and informal partnerships, and consortia.
Technology transfer is an integral part of the NSRDEC’s mission to conduct research, development, testing and evaluation focused on maximizing the individual Soldier’s survivability, combat effectiveness and quality of life in the field.
NSRDEC participates currently in 53 active CRADA collaborations and nine PLAs. One of these active collaborations includes a CRADA with a company that allows for the licensing of the HooAH Bar logo for commercial use. The HooAH Bar is a nutrition bar that increases energy and improves performance. The licensing agreement has brought funding into the NSRDEC that is used to achieve further improvements to DoD Combat Rations.
Another collaboration involves a PLA allowing the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) system to be licensed to private industry. The MOLLE is a load-carriage system that consists of a rucksack and vest with removable compartments, components, and pockets. The PLA has brought funding into the NSRDEC for continued product development.
Under Brandler’s leadership, the NSRDEC was the recipient of two 2005 FLC Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards.
One of these awards was for High Pressure Food Processing (HPP), which has already been adopted by the food industry. HPP uses pressure to provide safe, minimally processed foods with extended shelf life while better preserving taste, texture and nutritional value than traditional heat-processing methods.
The other Technology Transfer Award was for inflatable composite structures used by the military and commercial sectors. Some of the applications for this technology include arches to support large, portable, aircraft maintenance shelters, inflatable wheels and antennas for space applications, and stiffening edges for large-cargo parachutes.
Brandler attributes NSRDEC’s success to his high-quality work force. “While I am naturally honored to receive the award, I regard it more as a tribute to the exceptional efforts and commitment of the scientists and engineers at the Natick Soldier Center. They not only develop, independently and in collaboration with others, innovative technologies useful to the Soldier and to first responders, but also take those technologies that important next step forward to transition it so that it becomes an item being produced by industry and fielded,” said Brandler.
In 2005, NSRDEC was also selected as the Department of the Army Research and Development Laboratory of the Year (Small Development Lab Category). Under Brandler’s direction, NSRDEC has prevailed in the Small Development Lab Category three years consecutively and has won the award for four out of past five years. The award is the most prestigious bestowed by the Army upon a research and development organization.
Brandler has been Natick Soldier Center director since 1994. Previously, he has held positions at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Air Force Research Labs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and industry. He has advanced degrees in physics, industrial engineering/operations research and business administration.
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