Our mission is to provide unique value to the nation through our engineering expertise, whether on the battlefield or at home. One of the key ways we do that is through innovative research — developing groundbreaking science and engineering solutions to help the Army and the Nation overcome an array of complex challenges facing our Nation and our Soldiers. We do this research in USACE labs around the country as part of our Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), which has been named one of the top Army R&D Laboratories for five of the last eight years.
We recently received another honor that I want to highlight because it represents international recognition of a generation’s worth of positive contributions to the science community. ERDC has been named the winner of the 2011 National Association of Corrosion Engineers International Distinguished Organization award for providing 35 years of advanced technologies for infrastructure corrosion prevention and control.
On the surface, preventing and controlling corrosion may not sound as flashy as inventing a new weapons system or missile. But corrosion–or the degradation of materials–can happen to the infrastructure of virtually everything we build, from the rebar in our concrete to the degradation of wood timbers in bridges. Therefore, by preventing material degradation, we preserve the integrity of a critical structure or facility. Some of our recent accomplishments include designing and implementing the world’s first large load capacity (88 tons) thermoplastic composite bridge — which is a bridge made from some 85,000 pounds of recycled plastics — at Fort Bragg, and the development of a specially coated rebar for use in concrete, a technology recently honored by R&D Magazine as one of world’s top 100 technology developments for 2010. These discoveries are vitally important in our work to building the Army and the Nation to last!
Words cannot express the pride I have for the men and women of ERDC who contribute their talents and ingenuity into helping our Army and Nation each day. I am proud to be part of such an amazing, talented and dedicated family of engineering professionals working together to help build our Nation strong!