Brown to Lead U.S. Army in Engineering Science Research

April Brown, the John Cocke Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, has been tapped by the U.S. Army to lead its extramural engineering research enterprise.  

As the chief scientific leader in defining the strategy of the Army’s extramural basic engineering research program, Brown will play a pivotal role in identifying critical research opportunities and programs, providing technical advice to the engineering sciences director and shaping the Army’s science and technology investment for the future.

Brown’s own research focuses on new materials and electronic devices, specifically exploiting molecular beam epitaxy—a technique used to build layers of crystalline materials for advanced, high-performance devices that support applications such as advanced sensing and communications. Outside of Brown’s own field, her experience helping to lead Duke’s engineering research program as the Pratt school’s senior associate dean for research from 2007 to 2010 will provide the Army with the guidance and expertise required for the growth of their scientific portfolio.

Brown’s new role, effective January 2015, is a temporary detail executed through the Army’s Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program. She will serve for two years.

“In 1989 I was a program manager at ARO, and I am very excited that I now have the opportunity to build upon that experience, augmented by many years in the academy, both at Duke and Georgia Tech, and in industry, at Hughes Research Laboratories,” said Brown. “I’m looking forward to working with the leadership and program managers at ARO to establish new directions in the Army’s basic research portfolio.”

“This is a wonderful and well-deserved opportunity for April to expand on her already impressive wealth of knowledge and experience,” said Tom Katsouleas, Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. “The appointment will also benefit Duke by increasing our understanding of the Department of Defense’s scientific and engineering needs, which will hopefully lead to further partnerships and collaborations.”