Works of Scholarship

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 22
  • Item
    Profit-Minded Suppliers: The WMD Pathways and Combating Convergence
    (CTC Sentinel, 2019) Hummel, Stephen G.; McNair, Douglas; Burpo, Fred J.; Bonner, James
    Knowledge, materials, infrastructure, personnel, finances, and lines of communications are all components of both a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation network and an improvised explosive device (IED) facilitation network. Convergence describes occasions when profit-minded suppliers of an IED facilitation network use their transnational linkages to proliferate the critical components for WMD development and facilitate their employment by non-state actors. Convergence, however, does not necessarily lead immediately to a non-state actor possessing a WMD. There are several gaps that must be overcome that are dependent on the type of WMD involved and its delivery mechanism. Upon examining the risk associated with convergence of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons networks, it is unlikely that profit-minded suppliers will be able to overcome the acquisition hurdles for obtaining the special nuclear material required to make a nuclear device. Convergence will, however, assist non-state actors in developing and employing biological and chemical weapons of minimal complexity, with its biggest contribution likely in propagating raw materials and knowledge similar to current IED proliferation. Combating the convergence of WMD and IED networks is difficult because much of the critical material and information required for the development of a WMD is not illegal.
  • Item
    Army Officer Corps Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Foundation Gaps Place Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Operations at Risk - Part 3
    (Countering WMD Journal, 2023-06) Lagasse, Bryan; Bowers, Patrick; Kick, Andrew R.; Gettings, Matthew; Chin, Jeffrey; Calangi, Nicholas; McMahon, Robert; Burpo, Fred J.
    This is the third and final article of the series where the authors have outlined potential risks the Army may face in future Joint operations due to the shortage of STEM competencies in the Army Officer Corps. To assess this risk, we utilized the Joint Operational model, Notional Phasing for Predominant Military Activities, from JP 3-0, Joint Operations as the framework. In parts 1 and 2 we described how the current efforts in Phase 0 (Shape) and Phase 1 (Deter) were insufficient to develop the STEM competencies in the Army Officer Corps at large. As the United States Army is not directly engaged in a direct or decisive action conflict, our assumption is that we are currently in Phases 0 and 1. During these phases, the focus is on the ability of military leaders to understand the operational environment and develop competencies in preparation for offensive operations. In this article, we shift to address the potential future conflicts and how the lack of STEM competencies could impact the Army’s ability to win our Nation’s wars. During Phase 2 (Seize the initiative) and Phase 3 (Dominate) the focus for military leaders is on executing offensive operations and the abilities of those leaders to develop an operational plan leading to mission accomplishment. In Phase 4 (Stabilize) and Phase 5 (Enable Civil Authority) the focus shifts to stability operations and the leaders’ abilities to use information to enable local leaders to re-establish authority and control of the operational environment. With the continued introduction of innovative technology, it is critically important that military officers at echelon have foundational STEM competencies in order to effectively integrate the technology into operations.
  • Item
    Army Officer Corps Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Foundation Gaps Place Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Operations at Risk – Part 1
    (Countering WMD Journal, 2021-12) Kick, Andrew R.; Hummel, Stephen G.; Gettings, Matthew; Bowers, Patrick; Burpo, Fred J.
    This is the first of three articles from the authors describing the risk to Joint Operations incurred by an Army that is vulnerable to the STEM challenges faced in a great power competition involving CWMD operations. In this article, we describe the problem. In articles two and three of the series, we will elaborate on the problem utilizing the Joint Publication 3-0 as our guide and recommend solutions to address this gap.
  • Item
    Army Officer Corps Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Foundation Gaps Place Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Operations at Risk – Part 2
    (Countering WMD Journal, 2022-06) Kick, Andrew R.; Lagasse, Bryan; Hummel, Stephen G.; Gettings, Matthew; Bowers, Patrick; Burpo, Fred J.
    This is the second of three articles from the authors describing the risk to Joint Operations incurred by an Army that is vulnerable to the STEM challenges faced in a great power competition involving CWMD operations. In Part 1, we described the problem: “The Army’s failure to emphasize STEM competence in the Army officer corps outside of Functional Areas creates risk to mission accomplishment in CWMD multi-domain operations. The Army must prioritize STEM education in accessions and throughout PME to prepare commanders for effective science and technology (S&T) informed decision making within mission command in CWMD multi-domain operations”. For Parts 2 and 3, we utilize the Joint Operational Model, Notional Phasing for Predominant Military Activities, from JP 3-0, Joint Operations, to describe the risk of an Army officer corps lacking STEM dominance for CWMD operations during a regional or great power competition involving CWMD operations. In this article, we address the risk of our current efforts as we operate in Phase 0 (Shape) and Phase 1 (Deter) while our final article (Part 3) will examine the transition to decisive action / unified action with Phase 2 (Seize the Initiative) through Phase 5 (Enable Civil Authority).
  • Item
    Synthesis and Characterization of Fe and Ag Core/Shell Nanoparticles
    (2020 SoutheastCon, 2020) Cook, Sarah; Richardson, Lance; Woronowicz, Kamil; Burpo, Fred J.; Duncan, Kate J.
    This paper presents current results of the synthesis and characterization of Ag/Fe and Fe/Ag core/shell nanoparticles, as well as the future applications of these materials. By manipulating the introduction time of Silver Nitrate into a solution of Sodium Borohydride, Trisodium Citrate, and Iron (II) Sulfate we were able to demonstrate the control of the material that forms the core and shell of the nanomaterial. Different introduction times of Silver Nitrate have yielded different material configurations (Ag/Fe vs Fe/Ag - core/shell).
  • Item
    Salt-Mediated Au-Cu Nanofoam and Au-Cu-Pd Porous Macrobeam Synthesis
    (Molecule, 2018) Burpo, Fred J.; Nagelli, Enoch; Morris, Lauren; Woronowicz, Kamil; Mitropoulos, Alexander
    Multi-metallic and alloy nanomaterials enable a broad range of catalytic applications with high surface area and tuning reaction specificity through the variation of metal composition. The ability to synthesize these materials as three-dimensional nanostructures enables control of surface area, pore size and mass transfer properties, electronic conductivity, and ultimately device integration. Au-Cu nanomaterials offer tunable optical and catalytic properties at reduced material cost. The synthesis methods for Au-Cu nanostructures, especially three-dimensional materials, has been limited. Here, we present Au-Cu nanofoams and Au-Cu-Pd macrobeams synthesized from salt precursors. Salt precursors formed from the precipitation of square planar ions resulted in short- and long-range ordered crystals that, when reduced in solution, form nanofoams or macrobeams that can be dried or pressed into freestanding monoliths or films. Metal composition was determined with X-ray diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Nitrogen gas adsorption indicated an Au-Cu nanofoam specific surface area of 19.4 m2/g. Specific capacitance determined with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was 46.0 F/g and 52.5 F/g for Au-Cu nanofoams and Au-Cu-Pd macrobeams, respectively. The use of salt precursors is envisioned as a synthesis route to numerous metal and multi-metallic nanostructures for catalytic, energy storage, and sensing applications.
  • Item
    Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective
    (Frontiers in Immunology, 2017) Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M.; Bezbradica, Jelena S.; Kaer, Luc Van; Joyce, Sebastian
    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective.
  • Item
    Inkjet-Printed Carbon Nanotubes for Fabricating a Spoof Fingerprint on Paper
    (ACS Omega, 2019) Soum, Veasna; Park, Sooyoung; Brilian, Albertus Ivan; Kim, Yunpyo; Ryu, Madeline; Brazell, Taler; Burpo, Fred J.; Parker, Kevin Kit; Kwon, Oh-Sun; Shin, Kwanwoo
    A spoof fingerprint was fabricated on paper and applied for a spoofing attack to unlock a smartphone on which a capacitive array of sensors had been embedded with a fingerprint recognition algorithm. Using an inkjet printer with an ink made of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), we printed a spoof fingerprint having an electrical and geometric pattern of ridges and furrows comparable to that of the real fingerprint. With this printed spoof fingerprint, we were able to unlock a smartphone successfully; this was due to the good quality of the printed CNT material, which provided electrical conductivities and structural patterns similar to those of the real fingerprint. This result confirms that inkjet-printing CNTs to fabricate a spoof fingerprint on paper is an easy, simple spoofing route from the real fingerprint and suggests a new method for outputting the physical ridges and furrows on a two-dimensional plane.
  • Item
    Noble Metal Composite Porous Silk Fibroin Aerogel Fibers
    (Materials, 2019) Mitropoulos, Alexander; Burpo, Fred J. ; Nguyen, Chi; Nagelli, Enoch; Ryu, Madeline; Wang, Jenny; Sims, R.; Woronowicz, Kamil; Wickiser, John K.
    Nobel metal composite aerogel fibers made from flexible and porous biopolymers offer a wide range of applications, such as in catalysis and sensing, by functionalizing the nanostructure. However, producing these composite aerogels in a defined shape is challenging for many protein-based biopolymers, especially ones that are not fibrous proteins. Here, we present the synthesis of silk fibroin composite aerogel fibers up to 2 cm in length and a diameter of ~300 μm decorated with noble metal nanoparticles. Lyophilized silk fibroin dissolved in hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) was cast in silicon tubes and physically crosslinked with ethanol to produce porous silk gels. Composite silk aerogel fibers with noble metals were created by equilibrating the gels in noble metal salt solutions reduced with sodium borohydride, followed by supercritical drying. These porous aerogel fibers provide a platform for incorporating noble metals into silk fibroin materials, while also providing a new method to produce porous silk fibers. Noble metal silk aerogel fibers can be used for biological sensing and energy storage applications.
  • Item
    Cellulose Nanofiber Biotemplated Palladium Composite Aerogels
    (Molecules, 2018) Burpo, Fred J.; Mitropoulos, Alexander; Nagelli, Enoch; Palmer, Jesse; Morris, Lauren; Ryu, Madeline; Wickiser, John K.
    Noble metal aerogels offer a wide range of catalytic applications due to their high surface area and tunable porosity. Control over monolith shape, pore size, and nanofiber diameter is desired in order to optimize electronic conductivity and mechanical integrity for device applications. However, common aerogel synthesis techniques such as solvent mediated aggregation, linker molecules, sol gel, hydrothermal, and carbothermal reduction are limited when using noble metal salts. Here, we present the synthesis of palladium aerogels using carboxymethyl cellulose nanofiber (CNF) biotemplates that provide control over aerogel shape, pore size, and conductivity. Biotemplate hydrogels were formed via covalent cross linking using 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) with a diamine linker between carboxymethylated cellulose nanofibers. Biotemplate CNF hydrogels were equilibrated in precursor palladium salt solutions, reduced with sodium borohydride, and rinsed with water followed by ethanol dehydration, and supercritical drying to produce freestanding aerogels. Scanning electron microscopy indicated three-dimensional nanowire structures, and X-ray diffractometry confirmed palladium and palladium hydride phases. Gas adsorption, impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry were correlated to determine aerogel surface area. These self-supporting CNF-palladium aerogels demonstrate a simple synthesis scheme to control porosity, electrical conductivity, and mechanical robustness for catalytic, sensing, and energy applications.
  • Item
    Framework for analyzing placement of and identifying opportunities for improving technical communication in a chemical engineering curriculum
    (Education for Chemical Engineers, 2020) Pfluger, Andrew; Armstrong, Matthew; Corrigan, Trevor; Nagelli, Enoch; James, Corey; Miller, April; Biaglow, Andrew
    Technical communication is an extremely important soft skill for young engineers entering the workplace. Undergraduate engineering programs normally address technical communications, but many do not provide intentionally placed discipline-specific technical communication experiences designed to progressively increase technical communication skills. This study presents an analysis of the technical skill requirement by international accrediting organizations for communication literacy, as well as an analysis of some technical communication education approaches within chemical engineering curricula. This study also presents methods for conducting a crosswalk of graded events with a technical communication component across a curriculum, which can help a program understand the placement of technical communication graded events and identify opportunities for reallocation or scaffolding. This study employs a survey-based approach for gathering information about all technical communication graded events within a chemical engineering curriculum and a method for assessing placement and scaffolding opportunities using a longitudinal crosswalk of all applicable courses from freshman to senior year. Results from this study suggest that the U.S. Military Academy (West Point)'s chemical engineering program has 74 technical communication graded events, which were highly concentrated in the junior year. Most events were lab reports (55 %) assessed for content only or team events (78 %). Opportunities for scaffolding across courses were identified and the content for a 1.0-credit seminar course are presented. The methods presented in this study can be used by other engineering programs to identify gaps in technical communication education and methods for improvement within their curriculum.
  • Item
    West Point Department of Chemistry and Life Science – Nexus of Army Chemical and Biological Intellectual Capital
    (Countering WMD Journal, 2018) Burpo, Fred J.; Hummel, Stephen G.
    Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) is highly prioritized in nearly every strategic guidance document identifying threats to the United States and its allies as our adversaries continue to pursue a range of new capabilities.1,2,3 Joint Publication 3-40 defines a WMD as “chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons or devices capable of a high order of destruction and/ or causing mass casualties.”4 Whether criminals, terrorists, or nation states, their “increased access to expertise, materials, and technologies heightens the risk that these adversaries will seek, acquire, proliferate, and employ WMD.”5 The recent use of chemical weapons by both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Syrian Government, the continued testing of nuclear devices by North Korea, aggressive posturing by Russia, and the Iran nuclear framework are issues concerning weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that confront combatant commands around the globe. Recent viral outbreaks such as Ebola in Western Africa, reports of a defecting North Korean soldier with anthrax immunity, as well as legacy bioweapons programs throughout the former Soviet Union suggest continued biological threats from naturally occurring events to state sponsored efforts.
  • Item
    USMA Chemistry and Life Science – Reaction Center for Army Chemical Intellectual Capital
    (Army Chemical Review, 2018) Burpo, Fred J.; Comitz, Richard L.; Hummel, Stephen G.
    The threats and hazards of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) events are as real today as they have ever been. The United Nations has launched several investigations into the accusations of Syria and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant using chemical weapons on civilians. More than 10 incidents from 2014 to 2018 have been investigated; and evidence of the use of chlorine, sarin, and mustard agents has been found.1–5 These threats, in addition to North Korea’s continued testing of nuclear weapons, the aggressive posturing of Russia, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the unpredictability of Iran, make CBRN a vital concern. This is evident in the fact that countering weapons of mass destruction is prioritized in nearly every strategic guidance document identifying threats to the United States.
  • Item
    The STEM Faculty Experience at West Point.
    (Journal of College Science Teaching, 2022) Koleci, Carolann; Kowalski, Eileen M.; McDonald, Kenneth J.
    At conferences or meetings, West Point faculty are often asked, “What’s it like to teach at West Point?” Previously, we reported on this question within the context of the cadet’s West Point experience and how STEM courses and opportunities are integrated. Now we turn our focus to the West Point faculty and their unique position of both educating cadets in a traditional sense and helping with the cadets’ character development. In this article, we discuss who the West Point faculty are; what is expected of each faculty member; and how faculty members within chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering educate and develop future leaders of character for the U.S. Army.
  • Item
    The Great Captains of Chaos: developing adaptive leaders
    (Military Review, 2006) Burpo, Fred J.
    As a JUNIOR staff captain, I observed an officer record brief (ORB) scrub of the majors inbound to my unit. The brigade personnel officer (S1) sorted the ORBs first into U.S. Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) resident and nonresident graduates. The brigade executive officer (XO) then wanted to know which resident CGSOC graduates had served as observer/controllers (O/Cs) at the National Training Center...
  • Item
    The 20th CBRNE Command Transformation – Regionally Aligned CBRNE Task Forces
    (CWMD Operations, 2015) Burton, James B.; Burpo, Fred J.
    As the U.S. transitions from com-bat operations in Afghanistan and publishes new strategic defense priorities, the overarching theme is balancing capabilities, capacity, and readiness, while operating with fewer resources. 1,2, This drives a need for solutions to maintaining and increasing capacity to the greatest extent possible, with little to no growth, and in some cases, with a reduction in organizational structures. The global landscape has fundamentally changed with increasingly hostile, fragile, or failed states posing a continued threat of transnational, non-state organizations, and alliances seeking to expand their influence...
  • Item
    STEM Education Within the West Point Experience
    (Journal of College Science Teaching, 2021) Koleci, Carolann; Kowalski, Eileen M.; McDonald, Kenneth J.
    At conferences or meetings, West Point faculty are often asked, “What’s it like to teach at West Point?” To answer this question we present the unique model that West Point uses to bridge traditional higher education and the United States Army. The West Point model stems from its mission to develop cadets as leaders of character who are prepared to be the future leaders of the U.S. Army. To fulfill the mission, cadets meet physical and military requirements, in addition to earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Here we discuss how the West Point student body, curriculum, and mission affect courses and opportunities in STEM.
  • Item
    Engineered Pathogens and Unnatural Biological Weapons: The Future Threat of Synthetic Biology
    (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 2020) Wickiser, John K.; O'Donovan, Kevin; Washington, Michael; Hummel, Stephen G.; Burpo, Fred J.
    Recent developments in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology have made it possible to engineer living organisms. Although these developments offer effective and efficient means with which to cure disease, increase food production, and improve quality of life for many people, they can also be used by state and non-state actors to develop engineered biological weapons. The virtuous circle of bioinformatics, engineering principles, and fundamental biological science also serves as a vicious cycle by lowering the skill-level necessary to produce weapons. The threat of bioengineered agents is all the more clear as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the enormous impact that a single biological agent, even a naturally occurring one, can have on society. It is likely that terrorist organizations are monitoring these developments closely and that the probability of a biological attack with an engineered agent is steadily increasing.
  • Item
    Small Groups, Big Weapons: The Nexus of Emerging Technologies and Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism
    (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 2020) Hummel, Stephen G.; Burpo, Fred J.
    Historically, only nation-states have had the capacity and resources to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This was due to the significant capital, infrastructure, and intellectual capacity required to develop and maintain a WMD program. This paradigm, however, is shifting. To be clear, non-state actors have been interested in WMD for decades. In fact, over a 26-year period, there were 525 incidents by non-state actors involving nuclear, biological, and chemical agents. But the scale of these incidents was relatively low level when compared to the impact of terrorist attacks using conventional weapons. However, this reality must be reexamined given the commercialization of emerging technologies that is reducing the financial, intellectual, and material barriers required for WMD development and employment. This report serves as a primer that surveys the key challenges facing non-state actors pursuing WMD capabilities, and the potential for certain emerging technologies to help overcome them. While there are numerous examples of such technologies, this report focuses on synthetic biology, additive manufacturing (AM) (commonly known as 3D printing), and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). There is a wide range of expert opinions regarding the dual-use nature of the technologies discussed in this report, the ease of their possible misuse, and the potential threats they pose. The varied opinions of scientists and government officials highlight the challenges these technologies pose to developing a cohesive strategy to prevent their proliferation for nefarious use by non-state actors. Much of the risk and threat associated with these dual-use technologies resides in the intent of the user.
  • Item
    Combating Dengue: A US Military Perspective
    (Virology & Retrovirology Journal, 2019) Melanson, Vanessa R.; Ryu, Madeline; Gagnon, Megan; Hall, Grant; Mackey, Kristina; Min, Jessica; Turner, Michael; Burpo, Fred J.; Barnhill, Jason
    Throughout history, dengue virus infections have negatively impacted the mission capabilities of US Service Members. Currently, the expansion of dengue into new regions via the spread of the Aedes genus along with the global presence of the US Military, poses an increased risk for Service Members to contract the virus. Dengue virus infection would not only lead to significant medical costs and a lack of military readiness, but to mission impairment and failure. Therefore, it is important that the US Military explore the virulence, outbreaks, and treatments of dengue virus infection to help prevent its spread and determine solutions for its eradication. This review examines current dengue epidemiology by Combatant Commands, field detection, treatments, preventive measures, prophylactic capabilities, and directions of future research.