Chief Scientist, 711th Human Performance Wing
Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
Hosted by Professor Chad Mirkin
The United States Air Force (USAF) considers its’ airmen its’ most critical resource. As we move further into the 21st century, developments in human sciences, artificial intelligence and semi/autonomous technologies are changing how we employ our airmen in future operational environments. Several strategic documents anticipate that airmen will need to focus on operational agility, flexibility, adaptability, and their ability to effectively team with increasingly capable technology to enable faster decision speeds. There is a consistent view that amidst these shifting threats, technology developments, and operational changes, humans will remain the key to our success in national defense. Performance requirements for airmen will be increasing during multi-domain operations with reduced forces, increased area denial operations, small specialized force operations, higher cognitive load tasking, and human-machine teaming. Leveraging from the concept of personalized biomedicine, one can envision developing the capabilities to enable, enhance and sustain the airman in a changing battle-space, while increasing availability, efficiency and affordability. Rapid advancement of wearable technology with increasing sophistication can now measure bio-signatures to potentially transform airman health and performance. Flexible hybrid electronic materials represent a breakthrough technology with the potential to significantly impact aerospace medical applications. In my talk I will describe how the research at the 711th Human Performance Wing focused on human sciences is enabling the AF to meet future force operational needs.
Dr. Rajesh R. Naik, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Chief Scientist of the 711th Human Performance Wing of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is the primary science and technology adviser to the wing commander. In this position he provides technical vision and strategy for the wing’s science and technology plans in areas including wearable sensors, synthetic biology and human-machine teaming. Scientifically, Rajesh has research interests in the areas of biosensors, nanotechnology and protein engineering. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles, several book chapters and has 12 awarded patents. He is also active in numerous technical communities.