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NEWS | March 25, 2019

NRL, Georgetown School of Foreign Service Talk Autonomous Systems

By Jonathan B. Holloway, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory hosted students from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service for a two-day academic exchange with a classroom lecture and tour of the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research facilities (LASR), Feb. 26-27.

Karen Swider-Lyons, Ph.D., Director of the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR) at NRL, talked about autonomous systems research with the Georgetown students.

“Engaging students in fields like these is invaluable, as the research created here [at NRL] will influence policies these students will face in their careers,” Swider-Lyons said.

Georgetown Professor Cara LaPointe, Ph.D., with the Science, Technology and International Affairs program, said her students’ career interests are geared toward national security, a field that relies heavily on science and technology (S&T).

“The goal is to de-mystify these technologies and teach students what it takes to integrate technologies into the complex socio-economic system that is the national security apparatus,” LaPointe said.

“We’ve covered block chain, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, and autonomous systems.”

For the second-day of the academic exchange, Georgetown students traveled to NRL’s DC-campus to tour LASR’s facilities.

They visited specialized facilities supporting autonomous systems research including intelligent autonomy, human-autonomous system interactions, sensor systems, power and energy systems.

“Touring LASR facilities and seeing the research performed is a great help toward educating the next generation of policy leaders,” said Swider-Lyons. “I am impressed by their passion to understand S&T capabilities in national security environments and NRL’s role for the military.”

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