Celebrating a Decade of Energetics Work

Last month, the Clark School's Center for Energetics Concepts Development (CECD) faculty, students, alumni and guests gathered at the Inn and Conference Center on the University of Maryland campus to celebrate CECD's 10th anniversary.

CECD joins Clark School faculty with government experts at the nearby Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, to conduct research and provide energetics expertise for U.S. military personnel around the globe.

Energetics research involves any material, chemicals or end products used in the making of pyrotechnics, explosives and propellants.

The CECD also trains scientists and engineers working in energetics through its graduate education and research programs, and it was key in establishing the Energetics Technology Center, a private, nonprofit R&D enterprise in southern Maryland.

Keynote speakers at the event included Mary Lacey (B.S. '78, mechanical engineering), a member of the Clark School's Board of Visitors and former technical director of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, where she was responsible for a $4 billion business base and 16,000 employees. Lacey is now deputy director of the AEGIS ballistic missile defense program.

"We celebrate our tenth birthday with great pride and considerable amount of satisfaction," said Professor and CECD Director Davinder Anand as he opened the event and welcomed all gathered. "We have a decade of solid achievements and contributions in science and technology related to Energetics and at having established a good and mutually valuable relationship with the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head. As we celebrate the past decade we are eager to face the challenges of the ensuing decade."

The CECD is working on other high-priority projects for the U.S. military that are related to its core research mission in explosives and propellants. These include: developing new protective armor for military vehicles; improving energetics training, testing and assembly processes through innovative virtual reality software; designing ultrasensitive sensors for explosives that are able to detect a single atom of explosive material; and working with the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore to study mild traumatic brain injury caused by nearby explosions.

Among the guests were University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan, Maryland State Sen. Thomas (Mac) Middleton, Delegate John Bohanan, and Naval Surface Warfare Center officials Steve Mitchell and Robert Gates. U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)was represented by Dick Myers.

Published June 18, 2009