The U.S. Army Research Laboratory selected a new director for its Vehicle Technology Directorate, a 120-person operation that pursues mobility-related science and technology. The lab named Dr. Jaret C. Riddick to lead its science and technology efforts to develop advanced capabilities and improved reliability for Army air and ground vehicles.
Riddick is now responsible for guiding the strategic vision and operationalization of new science that primarily supports the lab's Science for Maneuver Campaign, which seeks to establish novel technologies to enable and augment unmanned autonomous systems and manned vehicle platforms envisioned for air and ground operations for year 2030 and beyond.
The directorates areas of emphasis include energy and propulsion; platform mechanics; platform intelligence; and logistics and sustainability.
Technologies to enable manned-unmanned teaming of Soldiers with autonomous platforms such as ground robots or unmanned aerial systems in support of the Army modernization priorities in future vertical lift and the next generation combat vehicle is a main focus of the directorate and the lab's maneuver campaign.
Army researchers collaborate with U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command partners at the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center in Alabama and the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Michigan, to ensure project alignment and support of the larger mission of supporting the Army chief of staff's modernization priorities.
Before becoming VTD director, Riddick served as acting chief of the VTD Mechanics Division, where he supervised research efforts to reduce the logistics burden, as well as operation and maintenance costs, of future Army air and ground, manned and unmanned vehicle platforms. He accepted a special duty assignment as staff specialist in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, directly supporting the deputy director for Land Warfare and Munitions. There he served as the primary coordinator of acquisition oversight for the DOD tactical wheeled vehicle programs, including the multi-billion dollar Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.
Riddick holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Howard University; a master of science in mechanical engineering with a concentration in mechanics of materials from North Carolina A&T State University; and a doctorate in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech. He has published more than 50 refereed journal articles and conference papers; and delivered more than 100 conference presentations and technical briefings. In 2017, he was awarded the Office of Secretary of Defense Award of Excellence and the Department of the Army Commander's Award for Civilian Service.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.