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Immediate Release

Defense Department Selects Scientists to Participate in LUCI Program

Sept. 25, 2018

The Defense Department announced selection of ten scientists working across Department of Defense (DoD) Laboratories to participate in the Laboratory University Collaboration Initiative (LUCI) program. These researchers will receive $600,000 over a three-year period to explore their proposed basic research ideas.

 “LUCI strives to capitalize on the unrestrained curiosity driven research and innovative spirit of universities by focusing their energy and ideas on defense research,” said Dale Ormond,  acting director for the Basic Research Office.

 “We endeavor to realize this innovation through a partnership with a scientist at a DoD research laboratory and one of our current research fellows where the primary goal is to bring better capabilities to the future warfighter, and a secondary goal of introducing young scientists and engineers to our DoD hard problems,” Ormond stated.

 The LUCI program supports a broad range of scientific topic areas including: applied mathematics, cognitive neuroscience, engineering biology, novel engineered materials, quantum information science, manufacturing science, and other areas of interest. LUCI also adds value to the defense enterprise by funding high risk basic research projects and providing adequate time to DoD researchers to cultivate their ideas for potential long-term research. This investment results in new knowledge and insight that can be used to fill capability gaps, generate patents, bring in human capital to the defense research enterprise, and build stronger relationships with academic researchers.

 The scientists for the fiscal year 2018 LUCI class are the following:


FY18 LUCI Fellow

Topic Area

Service Laboratory

Nathaniel Bridges

Cognitive Neuroscience

Air Force Research Laboratory

Katherine Brodie

Oceanography/Remote sensing

Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory

Matthew Dickerson

Additive manufacturing and self-assembly

Air Force Research Laboratory

Alexander Efros and John Lyons

Nanophotonics/2D materials

Naval Research Laboratory

Elizabeth Goldschmidt

Quantum sensing

Army Research Laboratory

Michael Goodson

Synthetic Biology

Air Force Research Laboratory

Mark Griep


Army Research Laboratory

Michelle Johannes

Topological materials

Naval Research Laboratory

Keith Knipling

High temperature structural materials

Naval Research Laboratory

Matthew Marge and Gordon Briggs

Human Machine Interaction

Army Research Laboratory and Naval Research Laboratory


LUCI started in 2016 to promote, and competitively fund, three-year basic research collaborations between leading DoD scientists and Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows and Principal Investigators for Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) at U.S. universities in fields of critical interest to the defense enterprise.  The DoD Basic Research Office, oversees and manages the program.