#BasicResearch Chatter – Meet our new PO’s – Round 1

Last week during our first ever #BasicResearch Chatter hour, we introduced you to some of the program officers who joined AFOSR this year!

Let’s start at the beginning though, #BasicResearch Chatter is an opportunity for us to host chats about basic research, grants, and doing business with AFOSR during a live Twitter event. These are held once a month, usually on the last Tuesday of the month.

Our chat this month introduced a slew of new PO’s, so many in fact, that we’re going to create a mini-series so that you’re not inundated with all of their names and faces. We’re going to begin at the start of our live Twitter feed and move down the list.

We’re thrilled to welcome AFOSR Program Officers (POs) Dr. Ming-Jen Pan who manages our Aerospace Composite Materials program, and Dr. Laura Steckman who manages our Trust and Influence program.

We’re also pleased to have Dr. Hal Greenwald who manages our Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience program. We asked Dr. Greenwald why he was attracted to AFOSR and he responded with, “being a program officer seemed like a fun job that would allow me to influence the direction of research in my field, and I was particularly excited about the unusual opportunity to build new a #BasicResearch funding program from scratch.”

“My portfolio’s goal is to fund #BasicResearch that advances our understanding of the brain in support of the U.S. Air Force and the Dept. of Defense missions. Including research on the neural mechanisms of perception, cognition, behavior and at the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence.”

He continued with, ” the best way to initiate a conversation with me is to send an email describing your research. It can be just a few paragraphs outlining your idea or a 3-5 page white paper discussing your hypothesis-driven basic research question(s), approach, anticipated benefits to the Air Force and DoD, and approximate anticipated cost.”

Moving right along, we’re happy to welcome AFOSR PO Dr. Michael Yakes who manages our Remote Sensing program! When asked why he was attracted to AFOSR, Dr. Yakes responded, “with a background as a lab scientist, I appreciate how POs connect scientists to the needs of the larger research enterprise. AFOSR has a well-earned reputation as a place where groundbreaking research is undertaken and transitioned to the Air Force — I wanted to be a part of it!”

When asked about his goals for the portfolio, he commented, “this portfolio has a long history of innovative science. I’m looking to continue it by funding inventive projects which greatly improve the performance of existing sensor technologies or provide entirely new methods of gathering information.”

“I’m looking forward to interacting with potential PI’s. Please send a short paragraph explaining your proposed research. If the topic is a good fit to the portfolio, I’ll ask for a white paper to evaluate. Program email: remote.sensing@us.af.mil

We look forward to working with all of our new POs in the future and in our next blog post we’ll highlight the remaining three POs we’re welcoming to AFOSR.