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2009-2010 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory
There are several crown jewel projects in which SEDD researchers are leading the field. Most notable is the work in quantum detectors and III-nitride materials for sources and detectors. SEDD’s leadership in this field stems not just from its top-notch scientific staff but also from the world-class fabrication facilities that it maintains. Another area of SEDD leadership is in acoustic processing and electromagnetic field sensing. SEDD researchers in this area can point to immediate impacts on the battlefield: several systems from this group have been deployed in recent years. Semiconductor power switching and conditioning devices are also an area of leadership. This results from a combination of quality staff, excellent facilities, and a direct application to Army requirements. Although its participation in the Flexible Display Center is not an internal program, it is important to note the role that SEDD plays in the center. Flexible display technology promises potentially extensive consumer and military applications. However, in some specifications, devices for these two markets may not coincide. The participation of SEDD in this center, generally to assist in the advancement of the technology, but additionally to see that military needs are met, shows significant foresight by ARL and SEDD management.
In general, the quality, enthusiasm, and morale of SEDD staff are excellent. Such indicators of the scientific culture of an organization can be as important as quantitative measures such as papers, citations, and patents for assessing the quality of the science. Interactions among enthusiastic colleagues lie at the forefront of scientific advances, because often ideas are sparked during both formal and informal conversations with colleagues. SEDD is clearly fertile ground for such interactions.