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Next Generation Chemical, Biological Technologies For Warfighter
by U.S. DoD SMART Scholarship Program
February 13, 2023

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program scholar Joseph Palomba, Ph.D., and his mentor, Joshua Uzarski, Ph.D., are making considerable contributions to the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Soldier Center.

February 10, 2023 - Through collective efforts by SMART scholar Joseph Palomba, Ph.D. and mentor Joshua Uzarski, Ph.D, the DEVCOM Solider Center is generating new collaboration opportunities with government agencies, academia and industry that are ultimately contributing to the Department’s mission of protecting our national security, including new technology for chemical and biological protection for the Warfighter. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. DoD SMART Scholarship Program courtesy graphics.)
February 10, 2023 - Through collective efforts by SMART scholar Joseph Palomba, Ph.D. and mentor Joshua Uzarski, Ph.D, the DEVCOM Solider Center is generating new collaboration opportunities with government agencies, academia and industry that are ultimately contributing to the Department’s mission of protecting our national security, including new technology for chemical and biological protection for the Warfighter. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. DoD SMART Scholarship Program courtesy graphics.)

Through their collective efforts, DEVCOM Solider Center is generating new collaboration opportunities with government agencies, academia and industry that are ultimately contributing to the Department’s mission of protecting our national security. For their collective efforts, Palomba and Uzarski were recently awarded the 2022 Scholars and Mentors of the Year Award for a phase 2 SMART scholar currently fulfilling their service commitment for a doctoral degree.

During Palomba’s academic pursuit as a SMART scholar, he developed project scopes that aligned to his Ph.D. research, while also meeting the critical needs of the DEVCOM Soldier Center. Palomba was able to pioneer new technology for chemical and biological protection for the Warfighter.

His work was published in Chemistry of Materials, and he was selected to present his work at the 2021 Pacifichem conference. These efforts also culminated in the Teddy Traylor Award from the University of California San Diego Chemistry Department.

Currently, Palomba is fulfilling his DoD civilian employment commitment. Palomba was recently a recipient of the 2022 SMART Scholar SEED Grant award for his project, Metal-Organic Framework as Atomic Force Microscope Tip to Build Polymer Interface and Adhesion Model. The SMART Scholar SEED Grant program is a competitive grant opportunity that allows new DoD science and technology professionals to pursue foundational research and engineering efforts, while being mentored by an established member of the DoD science and technology community.

Palomba’s project seeks to establish the next generation of chemical threat protraction using the seamless integration of metal organic frameworks into a range of protective systems. Palomba is collaborating with Professor Keith Brown from Boston University for this project, which was selected for follow-on funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.

Palomba’s academic and professional journey through the SMART scholarship is in large part a testament of his mentor/mentee relationship with Uzarski, a Research Chemist at DEVCOM Solider Center. Through the mentorship of Uzarski, Palomba has transitioned his research from the DEVCOM Solider Center to various government agencies, increasing interagency collaboration, and ultimately leading to the next generation of warfighter technologies.

Combined, the pair exemplifies the vision of the SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program, which is to create a highly skilled technical workforce that competes with the dynamic trends in technology to protect national security.

Annually, SMART recognizes scholar and mentor pairs who embody the SMART vision of creating a highly skilled DoD workforce that competes with the dynamic trends in technology and innovation to protect national security. These awards recognize outstanding scholar achievements as well as the valuable guidance provided by their mentor at a SMART sponsoring facility.

Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) | U.S. Department of Defense

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