DOD program gives Joe Jewell unparalleled access to defense policy, operations and science

Author: Alan Cesar
AAE professor has accepted an invitation to join the prestigious Defense Science Study Group

For a total of 40 days over the next two years, Joe Jewell will join an exclusive group of researchers for a behind-the-curtain look into military science and technology. By accepting an invite to the competitive Defense Science Study Group (DSSG), a DARPA-sponsored program run by the Institute for Defense Analyses, he will receive unique exposure to the military’s science, technology, policy and R&D needs. Jewell is the John Bogdanoff Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue.

Mark Lewis, CEO of the Purdue Applied Research Institute (PARI), sees this appointment as a strong endorsement of both Jewell and Purdue.

“The DSSG is designed to expose the very top faculty talent at American universities to the science and technology problems and opportunities in the Department of Defense, with the goal of building a deep bench of expertise,” says Lewis, who nominated Jewell for this spot.

“Prof. Jewell is a perfect choice for this prestigious program. He is a national leader in hypersonics, an area of vital interest to the Department of Defense, and has already shown an abiding interest in contributing to national defense.”

According to the DSSG website, group members interact with top-level officials from the DoD, other government and intelligence agencies, the White House, and Congress. They also visit military bases throughout the United States, meet with senior commanders, tour defense laboratories and other research facilities.

Members also conduct studies on national security issues of their choice, bringing their knowledge from an academic environment to issues of concern to the DoD.

DSSG participants are an exclusive group: there have been just over 200 participants since the program began in 1986. Roughly 10% of nominees are selected for each cycle of the two-year program.

Jewell is excited to see how his work in hypersonics – the study of objects traveling Mach 5 or faster – fits into the broader scope of defense science and engineering. He’s also looking forward to where it could lead: Jewell has seen this program serve as a steppingstone for some of his colleagues, leading to more impactful service with the DoD. “The typical participant is a newly promoted Full Professor from a top research university, with a lot of them going on to some very interesting work — like my former advisor Werner Dahm, who became chief scientist of the Air Force; and Thomas Rosenbaum, who is now president of Caltech.”

Jewell was nominated for DSSG by Mark Lewis and former DSSG member Prof. Gene Spafford of the Purdue University Department of Computer Science.

Publish date: September 21, 2023
Author: Alan Cesar