Georgia Tech Students Brief Military on Disruptive Technology for National Security

Posted May 18, 2017

At the beginning of May, a group of Ph.D. students from across Georgia Tech, all part of the Sam Nunn Security Program (SNSP), travelled to Tampa, Florida to brief U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) senior leadership on disruptive and game-changing technologies for national defense.

In Fall 2016, as part of their year-long SNSP Fellowship, the students self-organized and selected the topic for their year-long project. A team of eight advanced doctoral level researchers from the schools of Aerospace Engineering, Public Policy, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Public Policy, and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs worked on this project under direction of the Margaret E. Kosal, SNSP director and associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. During the academic year, the team consulted with mentors from USSOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University, Nunn School Distinguished Professors General Phil Breedlove, USAF (retd) and Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld, USN (retd), and others on their project titled “Development, Use, and Proliferation of Disruptive and Game-Changing Technologies.” 

The students explored emerging technologies ranging from the future of non-lethal weapons; the importance of tacit knowledge in additive manufacturing and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation; meta-materials for adaptive camouflage; machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and counter-WMD efforts, disruptive energy technologies and programmatics implementation; human performance modification; and the Internet of Things (IoT).

As part of the project, the team created two scenarios: “Feral City” and “WMD Trafficking in the Caribbean.”

In addition to helping orient and understand the complex national and international security drivers, the class research also served to illustrate the integrated nature of the individual projects.

Bridging across cutting-edge science and technology with national security policy – that’s what we do!

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Jessica Palacios

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