Posts Tagged NSRDEC

Soldiers of the future will generate their own power

A Soldier conducts dismounted maneuvers wearing Lightning Pack's Rucksack Harvester, Bionic Power's Knee Harvester and MC-10's photovoltaic, or PV, Solar Panel Harvester during an energy harvesting technology demonstration held at Ft. Devens, Mass. by the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

A Soldier conducts dismounted maneuvers wearing Lightning Pack’s Rucksack Harvester, Bionic Power’s Knee Harvester and MC-10′s photovoltaic, or PV, Solar Panel Harvester during an energy harvesting technology demonstration held at Ft. Devens, Mass. by the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

By Jeff Sisto, NSRDEC Public Affairs

Wearable technologies may provide U.S. Soldiers with on-the-move, portable energy and reduce the weight of gear they carry into combat.

Researchers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are developing Soldier-borne energy harvesting technologies.

During the Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment, or MFIX, a combined, multi-phase joint training exercise held in September 2014 at Fort Benning, Georgia, researchers tested prototype energy harvesting technology solutions.

“My initial impression is that they fulfill a need for instant power generation on long-range missions when displaced from traditional resupply methods,” said Sgt. 1st Class Arthur H. Jones, an infantryman with the Maneuver Center of Excellence who participated in the demonstration.

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Army researchers develop pocket-sized aerial surveillance device

A British Soldier holds a Prox Dynamics' PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are testing the Black Hornet to provide squad-sized small units with organic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability. (Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense)

A British Soldier holds a Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are testing the Black Hornet to provide squad-sized small units with organic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability. (Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense)

By Jeffrey Sisto, NSRDEC Public Affairs

Researchers at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are developing technologies for a pocket-sized aerial surveillance device for Soldiers and small units operating in challenging ground environments.

The Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program, or CP-ISR, seeks to develop a mobile Soldier sensor to increase the situational awareness of dismounted Soldiers by providing real-time video surveillance of threat areas within an immediate operational environment.

While larger systems have been used to provide over-the-hill ISR capabilities on the battlefield for almost a decade, none deliver it directly to the squad level where Soldiers need the ability to see around the corner or into the next room during combat missions.

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Natick studies link between body armor fit, performance

Rachel Terveer measures a Soldier's cross body reach as part of a study at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center that seeks to understand the link between body armor fit and Soldier performance. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Rachel Terveer measures a Soldier’s cross body reach as part of a study at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center that seeks to understand the link between body armor fit and Soldier performance. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 9, 2014) — Body armor has saved countless lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, but an Improved Outer Tactical Vest, or IOTV, that doesn’t fit properly can actually hinder a Soldier’s performance in combat.

That’s why members of the Anthropology and Human Factors Teams at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are conducting a range-of-motion and encumbered anthropometry study to better understand the link between fit and performance with the IOTV Gen III.

“We have this belief that if the fit of the body armor is really good, then the performance is going to be maximized,” said Dr. Hyeg joo Choi, the principal investigator for the study. “So the question is, how can we quantify a good fit so that Soldiers’ performance is maximized?”

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Natick’s cognitive science research helps steer Soldiers in the right direction

Photo Credit: David Kamm Dr. Tad Brunye guides a Soldier participating in a navigation virtual reality exercise at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. Brunye, who is on the Natick Cognitive Science Team, is investigating various influences on choices people make when choosing a route.

Photo Credit: David Kamm
Dr. Tad Brunye guides a Soldier participating in a navigation virtual reality exercise at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. Brunye, who is on the Natick Cognitive Science Team, is investigating various influences on choices people make when choosing a route.

NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 2, 2014) — When the going gets tough, Dr. Tad Brunyé wants to help. A member of the Cognitive Science Team at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Brunyé is investigating spatial and non-spatial influences on Soldier navigation choices.

Spatial influences pertain to things in an actual space, such as topography, local and distant landmarks, or the position of the sun. Non-spatial influences are a little harder to define and can include a Soldier’s emotional state, level of stress, mission and task demands, skills, abilities, traits, and his or her past experience in a geographical area, all of which can affect navigational choices.

“We are still trying to identify and characterize the full range of spatial and non-spatial influences and how they interact with emerging representations of experienced environments,” Brunyé said. “We all have our current mental states. So, you may see the same landmarks as I do, you may see the same topography that I do, but I might be in a very different state that leads me to interpret and use that same information in very different ways.

“How confident do I feel in my environment? Is there a history of enemy activity? Are there certain areas I want to avoid? Are there certain safe spots that I want to keep in mind? There is always interplay between what you sense in the environment, what you perceive, what you know, what you predict will occur, and ultimately how you act.”

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Sixty years of partnering

Soldiers install solar shade at the Base Camp Integration Lab at Fort Devens, Mass.

Soldiers install solar shade at the Base Camp Integration Lab at Fort Devens, Mass. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Natick harnesses the benefits of partnerships, collaboration

NSRDEC Public Affairs

Soldier Systems Center opened in 1954, scientists and researchers have worked with a partners from prestigious colleges and universities, industry and other Army and Department of Defense organizations.

More than 700 U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center scientists, engineers, researchers and equipment designers work with their counterparts to provide a wide range of capabilities. There are nearly 90 people who are matrixed from NSRDEC to critical partner organizations. The agreements result in personnel assigned to NSRDEC, but who work for other organizations such as Program Executive Office Soldier and Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems.

“Partnering is the cornerstone of acquisition. As we apply science and technology to change the art of the possible, partnerships enable us to turn the possible into the real….real military and defense capability,” said Dr. Jack Obusek, NSRDEC technical director. “No single organization can do that alone.”

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RDECOM demonstrates advances in Army power, energy at Pentagon

Katherine Hammack (left), assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, talks with Robert Berlin, a mechanical engineer with RDECOM's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, in the Pentagon Courtyard Nov. 14.

Katherine Hammack (left), assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, talks with Robert Berlin, a mechanical engineer with RDECOM’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, in the Pentagon Courtyard Nov. 14.

WASHINGTON (Nov. 14, 2013) — The U.S. Army showcased how its research and engineering centers are enabling advances in operational energy for Soldiers Nov. 14 at the Pentagon.

Subject matter experts from across the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command discussed their work in technologies that included Soldier-borne electronics, ground-vehicle fuel efficiency and sustainable base camps.

Read more:

http://go.usa.gov/WPam

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Energizing base camps of the future

Lt. Col. Ross Poppenberger, Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems (left), speaks with Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, about energy-efficient Rigid Wall Camps, during the Nov. 5, 2013,

Lt. Col. Ross Poppenberger, Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems (left), speaks with Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, about energy-efficient Rigid Wall Camps, during the Nov. 5, 2013, “Base Camp Resource and Energy Efficiency Day” at the Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory, Fort Devens, Mass. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

FORT DEVENS, Mass. (Nov. 6, 2013) — Innovations meant to improve Soldiers’ quality of life during deployments — while saving lives, fuel, water and money — were on display here Nov. 5, at the Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory.

The Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory, or BCIL, hosted its second annual “Base Camp Resource and Energy Efficiency Day.” Situated on 10 acres at Fort Devens, the laboratory features two “Force Provider” 150-person base camps. One contains standard technologies; the other offers a glimpse into the Army’s energy future.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, and Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, Army deputy chief of staff, Logistics, were among those attending the event. They were briefed about shelters, power management, energy storage, waste disposal and waste-to-energy systems, alternative energy, micro-grids, energy-efficient structures, rigid-wall camps, and fuel-fired kitchens.

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Preserving out-of-this-world food

The Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Mass., is looking at compressed bars and dried drink mixes to study essential vitamins in nutrient-dense foods and develop packaging that will better preserve essential vitamins for NASA astronauts on extended missions.

The Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Mass., is looking at compressed bars and dried drink mixes to study essential vitamins in nutrient-dense foods and develop packaging that will better preserve essential vitamins for NASA astronauts on extended missions.

NATICK, Mass. (Nov. 5, 2013) — Getting enough vitamins in one’s diet is tough enough on this planet. Consider the health of astronauts in extended spaceflight.

The depletion of vitamins in astronauts’ food during lengthier missions in outer space is one of the reasons NASA requires a five-year shelf life at 70 degrees Fahrenheit for stabilized foods.

The Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate, or CFD, at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is looking at compressed bars and dried drink mixes to study essential vitamins in nutrient-dense foods and develop packaging that will better preserve essential vitamins for NASA.

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Putting combat rations packaging on a diet

Lauri Kline, with the Advanced Materials Engineering Team with the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Mass., conducts rain testing on packaging materials in the Doriot Climatic Chamber. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Lauri Kline, with the Advanced Materials Engineering Team with the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Mass., conducts rain testing on packaging materials in the Doriot Climatic Chamber. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 23, 2013) — When it comes to combat rations packaging, Lauri Kline would like to put the Defense Department on something of a diet.

Kline, project officer and packaging scientist for the Advanced Materials Engineering Team with the DOD Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center here, has been working on incorporating alternative materials for the pallets, stretch wrap and carton straps for the millions of cases of Meals, Ready to Eat, or MREs, annually provided to service members overseas.

“We consume so many rations, there’s obviously packaging waste,” Kline said. “So that’s what my team is trying to address.

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Army scientist shares STEM lessons with students, teachers

U.S. Army scientist Stephanie Marcott with some of the experiments and activities used with students and teachers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center.

U.S. Army scientist Stephanie Marcott with some of the experiments and activities used with students and teachers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center.

NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 11, 2013) — Stephanie Marcott takes time out of her busy life, even on the weekend, to enrich others’ lives through her passion for science.

Whether she’s volunteering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the weekends to assist kids with physics projects or collaborating with teachers through her place of work at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Marcott shares her enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, and learning.

“I am a career peer mentor, since high school; it’s just a trend,” said Marcott, a research chemist who also runs the Bill Porter STEM Laboratory at NSRDEC. “Before high school I helped my brother and sister … When I joined the Army, I mentored other Soldiers with their training. I naturally fell into (working on STEM activities) here at Natick and helped out students.”

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Army researchers seek better airdrops

A Caterpillar 924H Wheel Loader -- a multifunctional, front-end bucket loader used in the construction of airfields, roads, and defensive berms -- is prepared on a pallet for aircraft roller load testing to simulate a heavy cargo airdrop, at the Roller Load Test Facility at Natick Soldier Systems Center, Mass. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sisto

A Caterpillar 924H Wheel Loader — a multifunctional, front-end bucket loader used in the construction of airfields, roads, and defensive berms — is prepared on a pallet for aircraft roller load testing to simulate a heavy cargo airdrop, at the Roller Load Test Facility at Natick Soldier Systems Center, Mass. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sisto

NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 9, 2013) — Among the many testing capabilities housed at the Natick Soldier Systems Center, the Roller Load Test Facility offers the unique ability to simulate the roller and rail systems used in aircraft to deliver cargo airdrops — all while still on the ground.

Recently, engineers at the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center used this facility to collect data samples taken during simulated roller load testing in an effort to develop the airdrop requirements of the Caterpillar 924H Wheel Loader — a multifunctional, front-end bucket loader used in the construction of airfields, roads, defensive berms, and demolition on the battlefield.

The facility allows engineers to see the force exerted on the rollers that move a cargo payload out of an aircraft during delivery. By recording and analyzing this force, engineers can identify the stressors placed on the rollers and determine if they meet the requirements to perform an airdrop of certain equipment payloads from various aircraft models.

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New method uses water, motion to develop delicious military food

NSRDEC's Frank DiLeo prepares to use a new retort food processing system

Frank DiLeo, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, prepares to use a new retort food processing system at the DoD Combat Feeding Directorate in Natick, Mass. Photo Credit: David Kamm

NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 17, 2013) –One of life’s greatest necessities, water, is a key ingredient for the new gentle motion retort used by the Combat Feeding Directorate at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center to develop Meal, Ready-to-Eat and Tray Pack products. This simple molecule is heated to 240 degrees Fahrenheit in order to cook and sterilize foods using one of three different thermal processing methods.

After the successful “retort” process items do not require refrigeration because they have achieved commercial sterilization, the removal of certain pathogenic organisms.

The retort vessel installed at the NSRDEC in January 2013 can process 195 eight-ounce MRE pouches or 20 six-pound polymeric Tray Packs at a time using water immersion, saturated steam, water spray or water spray with gentle motion.

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Army team spans globe for science, technology solutions

RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, engineers and technicians discuss prototype integration facility capabilities with senior noncommissioned officers from the 18th Engineer Brigade at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in June 2012.

RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, engineers and technicians discuss prototype integration facility capabilities with senior noncommissioned officers from the 18th Engineer Brigade at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in June 2012.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army science advisors are embedded with major units around the world to speed technology solutions to Soldiers’ needs.

The Field Assistance in Science and Technology program’s 30 science advisors, both uniformed officers and Army civilians, provide a link between Soldiers and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s thousands of subject matter experts.

Read more:

http://go.usa.gov/T9Gd

 

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NSRDEC patents help Army into ‘Top 100 Global Innovators’

Christopher Doona and other researchers at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center were awarded a total of 20 patents in 2012, helping the Army make Thomson Reuters' Top 100 Global Innovators.

Christopher Doona and other researchers at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center were awarded a total of 20 patents in 2012, helping the Army make Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovators. Photo Credit: David Kamm, NSRDEC Photographer

NATICK, Mass. (April 1, 2013) — The U.S. Army and Navy were named among Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovators for 2012. This is the first time any government agency has ever made this list.

Leaders are chosen using a propriety program based on metrics regarding each company’s multiple innovative patents.

The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, patented 20 different technological advancements for the Army in fiscal year 2012 alone.

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Greater than the sum of its parts

Collectively, we’re the Lucius Fox for the U.S. Army.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Dale Ormond, director of RDECOM, stopped at Picatinny to deliver an important message. Click the link to find out what he had to say.

Click here to read more.

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Army engineering team marks a year of solutions in theater

 

Daniel R. McGauley (left), executive officer of the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, describes a Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station thermal imager protective cover that was designed and fabricated by the RFAST-C at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 15. McGauley briefs (from left) Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, deputy for acquisition and systems management at ASA (ALT); Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; and Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A team of U.S. civilian engineers and technicians deployed to Afghanistan recently marked one year of solving Soldiers’ technological hurdles.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, Forward Deployed Prototype Integration Facility provides a platform for its subject matter experts’ knowledge and talents to be translated into battlefield solutions, said Michael Anthony, the team’s director.

To read more:

 http://go.usa.gov/4krY

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Female body armor named among best inventions by Time Magazine

Members of the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade will be the first to test the new female body armor, which was named one of Time Magazine's best inventions of 2012, in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Members of the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade will be the first to test the new female body armor, which was named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2012, in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

NATICK, Mass.  — An innovation that will leave female Soldiers safer and more comfortable on the battlefield was named one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year 2012.”

A collaborative effort between the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and Program Executive Office Soldier resulted in an improved outer tactical vest, or IOTV, designed specifically for women. The 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade will be the first unit to test the new female body armor in Afghanistan.

The new armor was designed to offer better protection and to prevent bruised hip bones that women experienced when wearing IOTVs meant to fit smaller men.

Maj. Joel Dillon, assistant product manager, Product Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, PEO Soldier, called the Time story a motivator for those involved in the body armor’s development.

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‘Ironman’ A game-changer on the battlefield

The Ironman system uses a MOLLE medium frame designed to carry up to 60 pounds. In addition to the cargo area for ammunition, Soldiers can carry at least two pouches for mission-essential gear. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

The Ironman system uses a MOLLE medium frame designed to carry up to 60 pounds. In addition to the cargo area for ammunition, Soldiers can carry at least two pouches for mission-essential gear. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MEHTAR Lam, Afghanistan — It all began during an intense 2 1/2-hour firefight with the enemy earlier this year in Afghanistan.

As members of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard, sat around later at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam and discussed the engagement, they talked about how three-man teams manning crew-served weapons struggled to stay together over difficult terrain in fluid battles.

Someone mentioned actor Jesse Ventura in the movie “Predator.” His character brandished an M-134 Mini-gun fed by an ammo box on his back. After the Soldiers had a good laugh over that thought, Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski asked why a gunner couldn’t carry a combat load of ammo. He decided to pursue the idea.

 

Read more: <a href=”http://go.usa.gov/gm2H” rel=”nofollow”>go.usa.gov/gm2H</a>

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Natick official named to Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council

Donna Bulger of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, receives congratulations from Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray after she was sworn in as a member of the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Advisory Council. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Donna Bulger of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, receives congratulations from Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray after she was sworn in as a member of the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Advisory Council. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

NATICK, Mass. – An official from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center was named to the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM, Advisory Council in Massachusetts.

Donna Bulger, acting director, Business and Operations, NSRDEC, was sworn in by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray in a recent ceremony at Natick Town Hall. Later, Murray talked of the longstanding relationship between Natick Soldier Systems Center and STEM.

“Governor Patrick and I value collaborating with our partners in both the public and private sectors,” said Murray, chair of the STEM Advisory Council. “We appreciate Donna’s leadership and participation on the STEM Council, and I look forward to working with her as we increase STEM awareness and promote opportunities for students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.”

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NOVA features Natick food technologist’s ‘secret life’

 

Tom Yang, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center food technologist, stands in the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate lab, holding a piece of osmotic meat. He will be featured on NOVA's 'Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers," because of his karaoke hobby. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Tom Yang, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center food technologist, stands in the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate lab, holding a piece of osmotic meat. He will be featured on NOVA’s ‘Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers,” because of his karaoke hobby. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

NATICK, Mass. — As he described his work and personal life, Tom Yang asked, “So, am I a nerd?”

You decide.

Yang has been a food technologist at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center for 26 years. He came to the U.S. from Taiwan 36 years ago, where he had earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Fu-Jen Catholic University. Yang went to graduate school at Mississippi State University and earned a master’s degree in food science before going to the University of Illinois for his Ph.D. He then taught at the University of Maine for a few years.

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