Office of the Chief Scientist
The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is responsible for overseeing basic scientific research at the Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC), and providing independent assessment of strategic ground vehicle S&T initiatives for the Army. The Office leads the development of scientific and technical personnel and assesses existing technical staff and positions to maintain core technical competencies. The office also coordinates GVSC’s R&D efforts with those of other government laboratories, academia, industry and international partners to ensure a balanced ground vehicle technical portfolio. Dr. David Gorsich is the Chief Scientist (email@example.com) and Dr. Denise Rizzo is the S&T Fellow for the OCS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The US military is undergoing rapid transformation in response to emerging global threats. To address this challenge, the OCS has created a Ground Vehicle Alliance (GVA) consisting of university research projects focused on virtual prototyping of autonomy-enabled ground systems. Each project includes Army and industry representatives to foster dual-use applications.
Automotive Research Center (ARC): The ARC is a university-based U.S. Army Center of Excellence for Modeling and Simulation of Ground Vehicle Systems. The ARC was formed in 1994 and is currently led by Dr. Bogdan Epureanu of the University of Michigan (UM) and Dr. David Gorsich (GVSC). The ARC includes five thrust areas: Vehicle Controls and Behaviors; Human-Autonomy Interaction; Advanced Structures and Materials; Intelligent Power Systems; and Systems of Systems & Integration. In addition to UM, the universities included in the ARC are Clemson University, Michigan Technological University, Mississippi State University, Oakland University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Iowa, Virginia Technological University, and Wayne State University.
One of the unique aspects of the ARC is the quad structure. Every project has four entities associated with it: a university faculty member, a graduate student, a GVSC member, and an industry advisory member. The industry quad members help ensure that industry benefits from this government investment with direct technology transfer. Additional information on some of the larger efforts is below.
Clemson University: The Virtual Prototyping of Ground Systems (VIPR-GS) Center includes more than 65 Clemson faculty across seven engineering departments on a multi-year research partnership with GVSC to develop virtual prototyping tools supporting the rapid transformation of U.S. Army fleets. The research is focused on autonomy-enabled ground vehicles, including digital engineering, next-generation propulsion and energy systems, and manned and unmanned teaming in unknown off-road environments.
Dr. Zoran Filipi, the Timken Endowed Chair in Vehicle System Design and also the Chair of the Department of Automotive Engineering at Clemson University, is a member of the Virtual Prototyping of Ground Systems (VIPR-GS) Center’s leadership team. In his role, he is the director of the VIPR-GS Center. Here is a short video discussing VIPR-GS.
Mississippi State University: The Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) is a world-class technology development center comprised of engineering, research, development and technology transfer teams. Founded in 2002, CAVS is committed to exploring solutions to complex problems, in areas such as autonomous vehicles, materials science, high-performance computing, advanced controls, and human-machine interaction. Additional information on some of the larger efforts is below.
University of Alabama at Birmingham: The Autonomous Vehicle Mobility Institute (AVMI) is dedicated to autonomous vehicle mobility R&D in severe terrain conditions and adversarial environments. The goal of this effort is to contribute to the development of a new generation of combat vehicles and to assume a leading role in academic education and research among NATO nations. Advanced technology in this area includes: different levels of autonomy of unmanned ground systems; autonomous vehicles and vehicle autonomous sub-system design for integrated intelligent mobility; effective development and application of artificial intelligence and common control of the unmanned ground and aircraft systems; and training warfighters in the gaming military settings based on realistic interactions between autonomous vehicle and environment, artificial and human intelligence.
In-House Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR)
Every DoD R&D laboratory is funded to provide an ILIR program to support in-house, innovative, basic research efforts. The primary goals of the ILIR program are the performance of high quality research in support of laboratory missions and the enhancement of factors that contribute to the recruitment and retention of outstanding scientists and engineers.
GVSC executes the ILIR program as required on a yearly basis. In July of each year, a Request for Proposals for ILIR projects is sent to all Associates. Typically 30-50 proposals are received for projects that will begin on October 1 of the next fiscal year. Proposals are reviewed by a team of Subject Matter Experts made up from the OCS and the Senior Technical Experts. The reviewers evaluate the proposed research plan and the basic nature of the research and select 10-15 projects for funding. Each investigator(s) must deliver a midterm and final presentation and write a final report. The collection of Final Reports with a cover letter signed by the GVSC Director is submitted to DEVCOM for further distribution.
The OCS works with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Science and Technology Organization (NATO STO). Dr. Gorsich is the Principal Panel Member for the Applied Vehicle Technology (AVT) Panel. Several GVSC associates serve on AVT committees. The projects led by GVSC since 2014 are the following:
- ET-148: Exploratory Team on the Development of a Next Generation NATO Reference Mobility Model (NG-NRMM). 2014-2015
- AVT-248: Development of a NG-NRMM. 2016-2019
- AVT-308: Cooperative Demonstration of Technology (CDT) on NG-NRMM. 2018-2019
- AVT-327: Standard Recommendation on NG-NRMM. 2019-2021
- ET-194: Exploratory Team on Assessment Methods and Tools for Autonomous Military Ground Systems. 2019
- AVT-341: Assessment Methods and Tools for Autonomous Military Ground Systems. 2020-2022
Dr. Gorsich also serves on The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP), a NATO program that includes the nations of the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.