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    SMART Scholar and Mentor Research Revolutionizes the Department of Defense Standards for Cross-Laminated Timber

    SMART Scholar and Mentor Research Revolutionizes the Department of Defense Standards for Cross-Laminated Timber

    Courtesy Photo | Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholar Juliet Swinea...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    SMART Scholarship Program

    Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholar Juliet Swinea and her SMART mentor, Pete Stynoski, Ph.D., both individually accomplished researchers, have joined forces through the SMART Program to revolutionize Department of Defense (DoD) ballistic design standards.

    Swinea and Stynoski were awarded the SMART Scholar and Mentor of the Year (SMOTY) Award, given to scholar and mentor pairs who demonstrate exemplary achievements throughout their SMART careers. Specifically, the pair are being acknowledged for their groundbreaking research and collaboration evaluating the properties of western hemlock cross-laminated timber (CLT), a potential alternate construction material.

    Together, Swinea and Stynoski assess the performance of CLT and its resilience against ballistic impacts. CLT is a sustainable type of wood that could be very useful for making temporary housing quickly during military operations and disaster response. “Ms. Swinea’s research on the fundamental behavior and properties of CLT is contributing directly to the widespread use of this new class of construction materials in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the DoD, advancing our force protection mission,” said David W. Pittman, Ph.D., senior executive service director of the U.S. Army Engineer and Research Development Center (ERDC).

    The pair’s research has been published in the International Journal of Impact Engineering and a USACE Engineering and Construction Bulletin, which disseminates critical information about emerging construction practices to USACE engineers. Additionally, Swinea presented their research at the 6th International Conference on Protective Structures, an international platform for discussing the integration of sustainable materials into DoD construction. Currently, they are drafting a Criteria Change Request (CCR) along with partners at Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory and USACE Protective Design Center.

    In the military, a CCR is a formal process where individuals propose modifications or updates to existing DoD standards, guidelines, or criteria that govern various aspects of military operations, equipment procedures, or policies. The current standard for wood ballistic design equations date back to 1966. Swinea and Stynoski began evaluating whether the current standards were valid for wood composites like CLT, which is a relatively new building material with limited experimental data. They discovered that the existing methods for measuring wood properties didn’t fully account for how well CLT absorbs energy or handles fractures. The CCR rectifies and modernizes the official guidance communicated by the DoD-wide standard.

    In addition to their successful modernization efforts, Swinea and Stynoski are well-versed in achievement. As an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University, Swinea was valedictorian of her civil engineering class and received the Scholarly Achievement Outstanding Senior Award for excellence in the classroom for her contributions as a research assistant in the Constructed Facilities Laboratory. Now a third-year doctorate student in civil engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a SMART scholar at USACE ERDC Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Swinea works closely with Stynoski.

    A SMART scholar himself, Stynoski earned his doctorate in civil engineering through the SMART Scholarship and continues to serve and mentor the next generation of DoD civilian researchers. Stynoski’s dedication to his role as a civil engineer at USACE ERDC has persisted beyond his service commitment, as he continues to work with his original SMART Sponsoring Facility.

    Stynoski’s accolades don’t stop with the SMOTY Award. Focusing on a variety of engineering disciplines to enhance civil works, force protection, and installation resilience capabilities at all technology readiness levels, he has earned the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award, the Civilian Service Achievement Medal, the NASA Team Silver Achievement Medal, the USACE Innovation of the Year Award, the L.R. Shaffer Research and Development Achievement Award, and the ERDC Award for Outstanding Team Effort for his distinguished service.

    As Swinea’s mentor, Stynoski has been instrumental in her SMART journey. He has drawn upon his own experience as a SMART mentee and accomplished DoD civilian to advise the training and opportunities that would develop Swinea as a researcher and leader for a successful and impactful career in the DoD. “Dr. Stynoski leads by example and shows me how to be a compassionate leader and mentor,” says Swinea. “My partnership with Dr. Stynoski has simply set me up for success, and I am excited to continue broadening the impact of my career as a DoD researcher.”



    Date Taken: 05.06.2024
    Date Posted: 05.06.2024 10:56
    Story ID: 470407

    Web Views: 121
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