As the director for the Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Lab (ARL) Army Research Directorate (ARD), Cynthia Bedell is responsible for the basic and applied research internal to ARL in the eleven competency areas: Biological and Biotechnology Sciences, Electromagnetic Spectrum Sciences, Energy Sciences, Humans in Complex Systems, Mechanical Sciences, Military Information Sciences, Network, Cyber, and Computational Sciences, Photonics, Electronics, and Quantum Sciences, Science of Extreme Materials, Terminal Effects, and Weapons Sciences. Additionally, she has technical oversight for critical cross-cutting research as well as for the state-of-the-art high performance computing assets, to include artificial intelligence computational capabilities for ARL, DA, and DoD. ARL is the U.S. Department of the Army's foundational research laboratory, strategically placed within the Army Futures Command (AFC).
Previously, as the director for DEVCOM ARL's Computational & Information Sciences Directorate, Cindy was responsible for basic and applied research into Network and Information Sciences, Cyber Defense, and Battlefield Environments. She helped establish efforts such as the Internet of Battlefield Things, Collaborative Research Alliance and the Artificial Intelligence for Mobility and Maneuver, Essential Research Program.
As the Regional Lead for ARL West, Cindy established the first remote research campus for the US Army Research Lab, in Los Angeles, thus making ARL and its researchers more accessible to academics as well as commercial business research leaders on the west coast. ARL West's strategically focused partnership goals are to accelerate understanding and capabilities in the field of Human Information Interaction.
Cindy brings with her 30 years of military experience. Prior to her military retirement, Colonel Bedell led the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Forward Element Command – Atlantic searching across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, for applicable research and emerging technologies to support current and future warfighters. She also served as the Director of Science and Technology Support for Current Operations for the System of Systems Integration Office, RDECOM. She helped develop science and technology strategies to allow the Army to address technology shortfalls in current and future war-fighting systems.
As Product Manager, Sensors and Lasers, Colonel Bedell was responsible for the Soldier-borne night vision devices such as thermal sensors and sights, as well as laser pointers, rangefinders, and designators. She accelerated the engineering design cycles for several systems; to include the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle and the 25-micron Vanadium Oxide based Thermal Weapons Sight.
She earned her bachelors and masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Material Science and Engineering and Metallurgy. She served as an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department at the United States Military Academy. She attended the University of Texas, as a Senior Service College Fellow. Her military awards include the Legion of Merit and Parachutist Badge. She holds United States Patent 5,413,649, with Dr. David Dunand for a method to enhance superplasticity for ease in forming complex composites in materials that undergo phase transformation.
Dr. Jerrell "Jerry" Ballard Jr., SSTM, has been the Director for the Department of Defense (DOD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi since 2022. He provides strategic direction and leadership for the program's high-end computing portfolio investments.
The HPCMP delivers supercomputing capabilities, high-speed network communications, software applications, and high-performance computing expertise for the DOD science and technology, test and evaluation, and acquisition engineering communities, enabling scientists and engineers to solve the DOD's most mission-critical challenges.
Dr. Ballard began his career in 1989 as a Research Computer Scientist in the Environmental Laboratory of what was formerly known as the Waterways Experiment Station. During his career, he has managed research in a wide range of military engineering and civil works technical areas while serving as Associate Technical Director and Chief of the Computational Science and Engineering Division in the ERDC's Information Technology Laboratory. Prior to his current position, Dr. Ballard was named Associate Director for Software Applications for HPCMP in 2021. He serves customers across the DOD, Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies.
Dr. Ballard has a bachelor's in computer science and a master's degree in mathematics from Mississippi College. He received his doctorate in computational engineering from Mississippi State University.
Dr. Ballard has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Army ERDC Outstanding Achievement in EEO in 2021 and the USACE Innovation of the Year Award in 2020. He has authored and co-authored numerous technical publications.
Dr. Lacey Duckworth is a Project Manager for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Ecosystem within the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program.
A few of Dr. Duckworth's specialties include program/project/product management, leadership, AI and ML Ecosystems, and DevSecOps. She has gained vast experience in the world of AI and ML from her recent liaison role with the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, former Joint Artificial Intelligence Center through a multi-year developmental assignment serving as Business Manager for Operationalized AI Solution in Predictive Logistics. Applying the valuable experience gained through this developmental assignment with preexisting capabilities, Dr. Duckworth is working to understand the current HPCMP AI and ML fingerprint to build out the future HPCMP AI and ML Ecosystem by building relationships with HPCMP end users, understanding their needs, and determining how to help accelerate the development of AI and ML solutions.
She holds a doctorate degree in Computational Science from the University of Southern Mississippi and a graduate of the ERDC Emerging Leaders Group, ERDC Leadership Development Program, and Army Management Staff College Leadership Courses.
Dr. Niki C. Goerger is the Special Assistant for Artificial Intelligence, Modeling & Simulation, and Analysis to the Information Technology Laboratory Director at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS.
She began her career at ERDC in the Mobility Systems Branch, Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory in 1992. In addition to leading numerous research programs at ERDC, she has served as the ERDC Liaison and Research associate to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center (TRAC), the United States Military Academy (USMA), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)). While at USMA, Dr. Goerger was the Defense Model and Simulation Office Visiting Professor for Modeling and Simulation as part of the Education Outreach program. While at ASA(ALT), Dr. Goerger served as the ERDC Liaison and held additional positions as the Acting Deputy Director for Research, Director for the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Deployable Force Protection Program, and Acting Director for the Innovation Enablers Science and Technology Portfolio. She has led and served on numerous Office of the Secretary of Defense and Army working groups and panels including lead for the Stand-Off Weapons Defeat Joint Integrated Product Team Unmanned Aerial Systems Threat Working Group and the Deployable Force Protection Technology Focus Team. In 2012, Dr. Goerger returned to Vicksburg, MS to become the first ERDC Director for Business Development and stood up the ERDC Strategic Integration Office (SIO) and served as its director.
Dr. Goerger has received numerous awards including the Army's Wilbur H. Payne Award for Excellence in Analysis; the ERDC Herbert D. Vogel Award for Outstanding Engineer; and the Society for American Military Engineers' Technology Advancement Medal; and the International Society for Terrain-Vehicle Systems' Sohne Hata Jurecak Award for Excellence in Research; among others. She received the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award while serving in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology. She received Superior Civilian Service Awards from the USMA and TRAC while serving with them. She was awarded the U.S. Army Achievement Medal from ERDC for work in modeling and simulation. Dr. Goerger is a Fellow of the Military Operations Research Society where she served on the Executive Council as Secretary and as Vice-President for Professional Affairs. She is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences and the Military Applications Section, the Order of the Engineer; Phi Kappa Phi; Tau Beta Pi; Omicron Delta Kappa, and Alpha Pi Mu.
Dr. Goerger earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University in 1986, where she graduated magna cum laude. She holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering with a minor in Statistics from Mississippi State University (1988). She attained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1993 where she was selected as a Westinghouse Manufacturing Fellow in Engineering, 1990.
Mr. Ronald Hedgepeth is the Productivity Enhancement and Training (PET) Associate Director of the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.
The program provides productivity enhancement, technology transfer, and training services to meet the computational science expertise that enables DoD scientists and engineers to conduct a widerange of focused development, research, and test activities.
Mr. Hedgepeth previously served as ERDC Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO). He was responsible for assisting the ERDC CIO in managing the execution of the ERDC's IT program with policy and strategic planning. He formulized and developed the ERDC Cloud Computing Environment.
Prior to being in the ERDC CIO Office, Mr. Hedgepeth served as ERDC Program Manager for the U.S. Army Program Executive Office Enterprise Information System Army Logistics Program. This is a joint program falling within the DoD mission area of mobility and transportation for DoD passengers and cargo during war and peace. It automates the process of planning, organizing, coordinating, and overall unit-related deployment activities supporting the DoD's total deployment process.
Mr. Hedgepeth served as Technical Program Manager for the Portal Information Environment (pIE) for the HPCMP. He led a code development team and IT operations.
Mr. Hedgepeth is a past recipient of the DoD Achievement Medal for Civilian Service Award, ERDC Operational Support Award, the Commander's Award for Civilian Service, and 2 DoD Superior Civilian Service Awards.
Mr. Hedgepeth received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Mississippi College. He also earned his master's in project management at George Washington University. He is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps with Level II certification in Program Management. He earned his Project Management Professional certification at University of California Berkeley.
Dr. Joseph G. Hennessey is a data scientist with the Data Analysis and Assessment Center at the Army Research Laboratory DoD Supercomputing Resource Center. He assists researchers with visualizing time-varying 3D data from simulations on the HPCMP supercomputers. At ARL, he supports the ParaView and VisIt software packages on all allocated HPCMP systems, providing client/server visualization of large data across multiple nodes/cores of the super computers. He compiles and configures the software on the HPCMP supercomputers to allow client/server access from users on MacOS, Windows, and Linux systems.
Dr. Hennessey previously worked for 20 years at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a computer scientist developing magnetic resonance analysis and visualization software at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and a research associate faculty member in the School of Medicine. He then worked for over 2 years at the National Intrepid Center for Excellence at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center developing image analysis software for functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Dr. Hennessey has an undergraduate degree in physics/computer science from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Leslie C. Leonard, Associate Director for Workforce Development for the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), oversees initiatives that provide the current and future science and engineering workforce opportunities to build HPC skills. Dr. Leonard’s career spans 17 years in research and development for the ERDC. Prior to her current position, she was temporarily assigned to the ERDC Strategic Integration Office (SIO) as a Strategic Integration Officer. In this role, she assisted in the synthesis, integration, and dissemination of information across the ERDC and the geographically distributed SIOs, which includes ERDC's Liaison Officers to external organizations. Dr. Leonard also served previously as Acting Branch Chief of the Cybersecurity Engineering and Analysis Branch (CEAB) at ERDC. She also served as the Cybersecurity Research Lead for the HPCMP Security Team and Code IV Supervisor for the CEAB. Dr. Leonard led cybersecurity R&D for new technologies, tools, and techniques that enable the HPCMP to defend, mitigate, and secure five Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers (DSRCs) and the Defense Research and Engineering Network.
She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Maryland, College Park, MD and her MS and BS in Computer Science from Jackson State University, Jackson, MS.
Dr. David McDaniel began his career serving in the US Air Force conducting flight tests to assess the stability and control characteristics of various military bomber aircraft. He later taught aerodynamics and thermodynamics at the US Air Force Academy where he first entered into the world of computational aerodynamics. He worked as a researcher in the Aeronautics Lab at the Academy for several years developing computational techniques for parallel simulations of various multidisciplinary problems. He continued with this activity as one of the founding developers of the Kestrel fixed-wing product of the CREATE effort managed by the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program. Dr. McDaniel has been a member of the research faculty at the University of Alabama, Birmingham for many years now as part of the CREATE team, eventually serving as the Kestrel Principal Developer, the CREATE-Air Vehicles Project Manager, and currently as the HPCMP Associate Director for CREATE. He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy (BS), The George Washington University (MS), and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (PhD).
Mr. Ralph A. McEldowney serves as the Associate Director for Networking for the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program. In this capacity, he is responsible for the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN). DREN is the premiere high performance wide area network supporting the DoD Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, and Acquisition Engineering communities. Mr. McEldowney is responsible for a staff of nearly 60 Government employees and contractor staff, the management of more than 200 DREN sites across 34 US states and the District of Columbia, and a $40M annual budget.
Mr. McEldowney provides program management oversight for the DREN 3 and DREN 4 contracts, both 10-year Firm Fixed Price contracts valued at $750M and $495M respectively. The DREN 4 contract created a new wide area network with enhancements in bandwidth, performance and security for DoD research, test, and engineering data in-transit across the country. Implementation of the new network was completed in June 2023.
Mr. McEldowney assumed his current role in April 2012. He has more than 35 years of Air Force civilian service with 27 years of experience supporting the DoD HPCMP in a variety of roles and responsibilities such as program management and team leadership; technology evaluation, acquisition, and integration; system and network administration; and supervisory responsibilities. Prior to serving as the Associate Director for Networking, Mr. McEldowney served on the staff of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) as Chief of the Advanced Technologies Section at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. In this capacity, he was responsible for the acquisition and integration of next-generation technologies for the AFRL DSRC, including high performance computers, high-capacity storage, and high-performance networking.
Prior to his roles with the DoD HPCMP, Mr. McEldowney served as an Air Force computer engineer in various capacities for the Aeronautical System Center, 88th Communications Group, Acquisition Logistics Division, and HQ Air Force Logistics Command, all at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
Mr. McEldowney is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, and the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing. Mr. McEldowney has served on the Executive Committee of the annual co-sponsored IEEE-CS and ACM Supercomputing Conference as SCinet Chair in 2009, Finance Chair in 2012, and General Chair in 2018.