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Director, Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

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Upon his selection to the Senior Executive Service on October 26, 2015, Mr. Bartley P. Durst became the Director of the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL) at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The ERDC’s research and development supports the Department of Defense and other agencies in military and civilian projects. Principal mission areas include civil works, military engineering, geospatial research and engineering, and environmental quality and installations. Research is conducted in many diverse areas, including airfields and pavements, compliance and conservation, environmental impacts, environmental quality, facilities engineering, flood control, geotechnical engineering and geosciences, geospatial data, hydropower, installation restoration, information technology, mapping, materials, mobility, navigation, oceanography, protective structures, recreation, regulatory functions, structural engineering, sustainment engineering, topography, and winter climatic conditions.

Mr. Durst leads a team of over 450 researchers and support staff in developing technologies primarily within the realm of geotechnical and structural engineering and the geosciences, addressing both civil works and military engineering challenges for the warfighter and the nation. For example, GSL researchers develop innovative technologies in force protection, force projection, maneuver support, and civil works infrastructure, and provide operational support and technology transfer to soldiers and civilians around the world. Mr. Durst also leads ERDC’s Military Engineering Business Area, which focuses on warfighter support in force protection, force projection, and maneuver support.

In addition to his previous position as Chief, Geotechnical and Structures Division, Mr. Durst also served as a Senior Scientific Technical Manager (SSTM) for the ERDC. As SSTM, he led strategic R&D programs in the physical and engineering sciences spanning across the competencies of the ERDC enterprise.

Before being named GSD Chief in 2009, Mr. Durst was Program Manager of the ERDC Countermine/Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Phenomenology Program. He led the multi-discipline, multi-laboratory program developing a high-performance computing computational test bed to predict the probability of detecting landmines and IEDs, determining sensor performance, and improving automated target recognition algorithms based on geo- environmental conditions.

Mr. Durst began his ERDC career with the Corps in 1983 as a research civil engineer intern in the Environmental Laboratory at the former Waterways Experiment Station (WES) in Vicksburg. He has served as the research team leader for multiple programs in survivability, force protection, and camouflage, concealment and deception (CCD), which have developed and fielded innovative protection solutions against weapon and sensor threats for our homeland, deployed forces, and forward installations. He has authored or co-authored numerous technical reports and papers on force protection, material development, protective construction, CCD, and target detection. Mr. Durst holds thirteen patents from his survivability and protective structures research initiatives.

Mr. Durst received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Mississippi State University. He is a member of several technical societies, including the Society of American Military Engineers and the International Society for Protective Structures. He has received numerous awards during his career, including the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal, the SAME Ralph A. Tudor Medal, two U.S Army Research and Development Awards, three ERDC Director’s Research and Development Awards, and the Herbert D. Vogel Engineer Award.


Durst ERDC GSL USACE