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Sep 21 2021

Army Research Laboratory in Chicago: What Are They Doing Here Exactly?

MIE Department Seminar

September 21, 2021

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


ERF 1043 or on Zoom at


842 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607

Army Research Laboratory in Chicago: What Are They Doing Here Exactly?

Location: ERF 1043 or on Zoom at

Presenter: Mark Yschopp, PhD, Regional Lead, ARL Central, DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory

Abstract: The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is part of the Combat Capabilities Development Command for the Army Futures Command, the result of the largest reorganization of the Army in 45 years. The ARL is the Army's research laboratory, focused on operationalizing science for transformational overmatch. What does that mean? What kinds of research does the Army need for the future? What sorts of programs are we pursuing and how does this relate to your technical expertise? What mechanisms are there to collaborate and work on joint projects within the ARL? What opportunities are there for students, for postdoctoral positions, for staff?  This talk will discuss the ARL mission, our people, our support of the Army and the Soldier through the Army’s Open Campus initiative and our large corporate research thrusts.

This talk will also discuss the ARL’s recent venture into the Midwest, termed ARL Central. ARL Central is motivated by the “Open Campus” initiative, a new business model for building an integrated work environment with academia, industry, and government, thus fueling innovation through cooperative Research and Development collaboration. ARL Central is establishing a presence in the Midwest to jointly solve the Army’s technological needs, establish close ties with partners, access the large pool of subject matter experts in the region, and to hire from the talented regional ecosystem.

I’d also like to talk about some of the thrusts as of late. Did you know I gave a Star Wars-infused Machine Learning short course that reached more than 2,000 people over the last year? Did you know my background is as a technical scientist in materials, mechanics, manufacturing, and modeling? Did you know that we are in the final stages of an Educational Partnership Agreement with UIC?  Did you know that one of our HBCU/MI Centers of Excellence is at UIC? Or that we have a number of efforts associated with UAS Propulsion & Power at UIC? Do you know how to engage with the ARL? Did you know that our summer internship ads open Oct. 1?

Speaker Bio: Dr. Mark A. Tschopp is the GS15+ Regional Lead for ARL Central at the DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, the corporate R&D laboratory for the Army. He has held positions as a materials engineer, team leader, and branch chief in the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, discovering and operationalizing science for materials in soldier, vehicle, and weapon applications. In his current role, his mission is to accelerate discovery, innovation, and transition of science and technology to the Army through forging strategic partnerships with academia, industry, and other DoD/government partners in the Midwest.

He received his BS/MS degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. His DoE-funded manufacturing research uncovered the mechanisms of defect formation in the lost foam casting process, garnering the Best Paper Award at the American Foundry Society conference. He received a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His NSF-funded research shed light on atomic-scale mechanisms and solid mechanics related to grain boundary-dislocation interactions in nanocrystalline/polycrystalline materials, recognized with the Sigma Xi Best PhD dissertation award and the top Engineering Mechanics student award.

Before joining ARL in 2012, he spent four years in manufacturing R&D at GM Powertrain, two years in high temperature material sustainability and mechanics at the Air Force Research Laboratory, and more than four years as faculty in the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at Mississippi State University, where he received the Mississippi State Pride Faculty Award for excellence in research, teaching, and service.

His primary research focus is accelerated materials design using a combination of modeling and simulation, data science, machine learning, and design optimization. Innovative discoveries at the intersection of these areas include nanoscale dislocation nucleation mechanisms, grain boundary structure-property relationships, ICME methodology for poly/nano-crystalline materials, constitutive model scale bridging, atomistic defects in nuclear materials, and even ML techniques for additive manufacturing, to name a few. He has published more than 180 journal papers, book chapters, conference papers, and technical reports with more than 5,000 citations for the 100+ peer reviewed journal papers in materials science, mechanics, computational science, and design (Google Scholar, h-factor of 40). He has presented more than 160 presentations and seminars, including giving more than 120 invited talks/seminars at national/international conferences, universities, etc. He received the silver medal award from ASM International in 2016 (top mid-career ASM award), the distinction of Fellow of ASME (mechanical engineering) in 2017, and the distinction of Fellow of ASM International (materials) in 2018. He is driven by his passion for learning, science, mentorship, working with others, and making a broad impact for the Army. Part of this broad impact is bringing everyone—not just computer scientists—up to speed with the math, concepts, and application of AI and ML, where his recent “Machine Learning for Everyone: May the Fourth (Be with You)” event was a huge success, with more than 800 registered participants (450 across DoD).


Prof. Kenneth Brezinsky

Date posted

Sep 16, 2021

Date updated

Sep 16, 2021