Skip to main content

ORAU Webinar Series

ORAU Webinar Series

For more than 70 years, ORAU has helped our customers advance their mission by providing science, health and workforce solutions. Through our specialized teams of experts and a consortium of more than 120 universities, we connect the right people and resources to help our customers solve our nation’s most challenging issues.

Our 2020 Webinar Series features world-class subject matter experts presenting novel and emerging research in their respective fields. Our goal is to stimulate conversation and collaboration around some of the important research needs facing our country.

Building a Research Agenda—Enabling Greater Effectiveness and Efficiency in Government (A Virtual Collaboration)

This is a joint effort of ORAU and The MITRE Corporation, and represents the first in a series of information sessions to develop a research agenda framework.

The President’s Management Agenda lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, Public Law 115-435 (January 14, 2019) "Evidence Act" and the OMB M-19-23 (July 10, 2019) set in place the foundation for the creation of the Federal Learning Agenda, which establishes multi-year cross agency priority goals and strategic plans. 

ORAU and MITRE have joined forces on assisting the government in developing a research agenda framework that supports the key drivers of transformation: IT Modernization – Data, Accountability and Transparency – People/Workforce for the 21st Century. By establishing “communities of interest” involving academia and private industry, we will be able to:

  • Reimagine the possibilities for how citizens interact with government
  • Rethink how government delivers citizen services and data
  • Reform core processes of federal agencies from IT to finances to procurement
  • Explore creative ways to develop, reskill, and redeploy the public-sector workforce.

Developing the Research Agenda and How You Can Help: The Cross Agency Priority Goals identify key government-wide management challenges affecting most agencies. However, to develop a more comprehensive research agenda framework, ORAU and MITRE are interested in gaining your input on how we can adequately address the following questions:

  • What should the research areas be?
  • What questions should the government be asking?
  • What are possible priorities for future research?
  • What strategies/approaches/challenges should be proposed for possible projects?

Please review the Research Agenda template that will be populated during the virtual event.

ORAU and MITRE want to lay the foundation for where government operations and services need to be in 5, 10, and 20 years. The output of this Research Agenda is designed to inform the government in its development of the 2021 Learning Agenda and set up the framework for more detailed research with the proposed OMB Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center initiative in 2021. 

Date: Tuesday, August 18, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Register now

Opening Remarks:

Ken Tobin

Ken Tobin, PhD
ORAU

Dr. Kenneth W. Tobin serves as vice president of University Partnerships. In this role, he enhances ORAU’s scientific research opportunities and expands partnerships with universities, national laboratories and private industry. Under his direction, the University Partnerships office provides awards to ORAU member universities, identifies and promotes funding opportunities by facilitating inter-institutional relationships, and leverages relationships with other organizations to support increased funding for scientific research and education.

Facilitators:

Dan Ward

Dan Ward
MITRE Corporation

Dan Ward is a senior principal systems engineer at the MITRE Corporation. His primary focus is on improving defense acquisition policy and enabling greater flexibility, speed, & innovation for military technology development. He is one of the creators of MITRE’s Innovation Toolkit, which aims to democratize innovation and help teams “go beyond brainstorming.” Dan served for more than 20 years as an acquisition officer in the US Air Force, where he specialized in leading high-speed, low-cost technology development programs. He is the author of three books LIFT: Innovation Lessons From Flying Machines That NEARLY Worked and the People Who ALMOST Flew Them (2019) The Simplicity Cycle: A Field Guide To Making Things Better Without Making Them Worse (2015) and F.I.R.E.: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation (2014).

Debra Zides

Debra Zides
MITRE Corporation

Debra is Principal Program Manager and Agile Acquisition Subject Matter Expert, Defense Acquisition & Policy Department in the MITRE Corporation's National Security Engineering Center (NSEC). The NSEC is a federally funded R&D center sponsored by the Department of Defense and operated within the MITRE National Security organization. Prior to joining MITRE, Debra served 20 years active duty in the Air Force and was also a Department of Defense Federal employee leading the Air Force’s counter small drone urgent operational need portfolio. Today, she applies her leadership and acquisition deep expertise to enable government agencies to incorporate innovation and accelerate the fielding of capabilities to end users. Debra received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She also holds a master’s degree in organizational management from George Washington University, a master’s degree in gastronomy from Boston University, and a master’s degree in military operations from Air University. She is DAWIA Level III certified in program management and PMP certified.

Presenters:

Dan Woolley

Dan Woolley
MITRE Corporation

Dan Woolley leads the MITRE team responsible for developing a MITRE Research Agenda for the Government Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiative, which will be used to inform the 2021 Government Learning Agenda. Dan is also a principal in MITRE’s technology transfer organization where he helps MITRE guide technologies to markets. Dan is also a retired USAF Lt. Col. who spent the bulk of his 22 years assigned to the Pentagon identifying, acquiring, and deploying emerging innovation. In addition to Dan’s MITRE role, he was elected in 2018 to the Board of Directors of SecurView, a portfolio company of RAG-Stiftung Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (RSBG) and serves on numerous Boards of Advisors for several MACH37 graduate companies such as NormShield, Huntress and Atomicorp. 

graves.png

Russ Graves
MITRE Corporation

Russ Graves leads MITRE's activities focused on building new pathways in innovation ecosystems to discover, accelerate, and deliver innovative solutions from non-traditional sources. Russ has extensive experience applying emerging technologies as novel solutions. His research interests include neural networks, data analytics, and risk analysis. Through public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, MITRE works across government and industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation. This is done by leveraging MITRE's R&D capabilities and world-class talent to anticipate future disruptions and business innovations to better deliver on our mission of solving problems for a safer world.

Recent Webinar: Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Using Wastewater—A Leading Edge Indicator

This webinar was a joint effort of ORAU and The MITRE Corporation. ORAU and MITRE are active members of the national COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition and together are exploring opportunities that could directly benefit ORAU university consortium members.

Monitoring of wastewater for infectious pathogens is an established environmental surveillance technique being used successfully by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help eradicate polio. Early research indicates that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19, can be detected in the feces of infected individuals (including asymptomatic individuals). Substantial work is ongoing to develop and stand up wastewater surveillance capabilities around the world, including within the United States.

The fact that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be detected in wastewater prior to an individual developing symptoms and presenting to the healthcare system for a diagnostic test, gives it the potential to serve as a leading-edge indicator of virus transmission in a community. This type of surveillance is particularly valuable in settings where groups of people are housed in congregate settings such as dormitories, where recurrent universal diagnostic testing is cost-prohibitive, and where there is a need to protect vulnerable populations.

There is a need to define and develop the end-to-end process for implementation of sewage surveillance for relevant and priority use cases. Specifically, there are four critical areas where further work is needed:

  • Define the preferred wastewater collection methods,
  • Define the pre-testing sample processing methods,
  • Develop methodologies for data interpretation in support of decision making, and
  • Develop data sharing standards across multiple efforts.

Moderator:

Dr. Kunal Rambhia

Dr. Kunal Rambhia
MITRE Corporation

Watch the recorded webinar:


We want your feedback!

The University Partnerships Office and the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition welcome your comments and feedback about this webinar. Send an email to university.partnerships@orau.org and/or to c19hcc@mitre.org.

View presentation:

Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Using Wastewater—A Leading Edge Indicator
-Presented by Dr. Monique K. Mansoura, Dr. Rolf Halden, Dr. Lauren Stadler, Dr. Jordan Peccia  

Presenters:

Richard Byrne

Richard Byrne
MITRE Corporation

Ken Tobin

Ken Tobin, PhD
ORAU

Rolf Halden

Dr. Rolf Halden
Arizona State University

Monique Mansoura

Dr. Monique Mansoura
MITRE Corporation

Jordan Peccia

Dr. Jordan Peccia
Yale University

Lauren Stadler

Dr. Lauren Stadler
Rice University

Recent Webinar: NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Research & Technology Portfolio – Engaging faculty and students in collaboration

ORAU, a proud partner of NASA and KSC, hosted a webinar where faculty and students learned about the Kennedy Research and Technology portfolio and how they too can contribute to cutting-edge innovation and technology development supporting premier programs such as Artemis and beyond. Dr. Jose Nunez, NASA KSC Exploration Research and Technology Programs Office, provided an overview of KSC’s research and technology portfolio, as well as details on how researchers can submit proposals for funding as they support NASA missions.

Dr. Nunez presented on focus areas that provide government and commercial space ventures with the technologies needed to work and live on the surfaces of the moon, planets and other bodies in our solar system. His presentation also provided an overview of NASA’s plans to go to the moon, an overview of KSC’s research laboratory and KSC’s small satellite capabilities. Additionally, Dr. Nunez covered NSPIRES for peer review panel opportunities and an overview of current solicitations. Lastly, he discussed undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellowship opportunities, followed by a Q&A session.

ORAU would like to acknowledge and thank Microsoft for their support in working with Dr. Nunez and his partners at NASA.

Moderator:

scott miller

Scott Miller, PhD 
Senior Scientific Advisor
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

Watch the recorded webinar:


 

Presenters:

jose nunez, nasa 

Jose Nunez, PhD, PE
University Partnerships & Small Satellite Capabilities Manager
Kennedy Space Center

ken wright, nasa

Kenneth Wright
Lead for innovative initiatives in the Office of the Chief Technologist
NASA Headquarters

Recent Webinar: Investigating ultrastructural mechanisms of TBI using X-ray diffraction

In the United States in 2018, it is estimated that were 2.8 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) with more than 280,000 of those requiring hospitalization and more than 55,000 deaths. These numbers do not reflect the TBIs recorded for our service members. According to the Defense Medical Surveillance System, our military personnel suffered than 383,000 TBIs between 2000 and early 2018. Brain injury is now being described as the “signature wound” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   

While a patient may present with cognitive or behavior issues, the structural damage inside the brain can be almost invisible. On Wednesday, March 4, ORAU hosted a webinar featuring a team of researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory and the Illinois Institute of Technology to discuss how they are using X-ray diffraction to better understand the structural impact of a TBI. 

Moderator:

malone.png

Jim Malone (PhD)
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

Watch the recorded webinar:


 

Presenters:

orgel.png 

Joseph Orgel (PhD)
Professor of Biology & Biomedical Eng.
Associate Director of BioCAT
Illinois Institute of Technology

eidsmore.png

Ashley Eidsmore
Electrical Engineer & TBI Researcher
Combat Capabilities Development Command’s
Army Research Laboratory (CCDC ARL)

mcdonald.png

Jason McDonald (PhD)
Physicist
Combat Capabilities Development Command’s
Army Research Laboratory (CCDC ARL)