Christine Ortiz, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was recently namedÂ aÂ 2009 National Security Science and Engineering Fellow (NSSEFF) by the Department of Defense forÂ herÂ research projectÂ titledÂ "Natural Armor: An Untapped Encyclopedia of Engineering Design for Protective Defense Applications."
NSSEFF provides grants to distinguished, top-tier faculty and scientists from U.S. universities to conduct long-term, unclassified, basic research addressing some of the most challenging technical issues underpinning the DoD.Â TheÂ awardÂ includes aÂ $600,000 grant, in direct funds,Â each year for five years. NSSEFF fellows will be engaged with senior DoD officials, as well as scientists and engineers in DoD laboratories in order to share their expertise and explore potential collaborations in DoD-relevant topical areas.
Ortiz was also selected to the 2008-2009 Defense Science Study Group (DSSG), run through the Institute of Defense Analysis and sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The DSSG introduces outstanding young professors of science and engineering to national security challenges. During the two-year program (~ 22 days per year), DSSG members visit military bases, DoD laboratories, industrial facilities, government organizations, intelligence agencies and Congress.