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Posted 12/8/2015

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By Marie Darling
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs

ERDC Director Dr. Jeffery Holland recently announced the selection of seven ERDC team members, including CRREL Research Mechanical Engineer Michael R. Walsh, for promotion to DB-V level, the laboratory demonstration project equivalent to the General Schedule 15 level.

A resident of Weathersfield, Vermont, and graduate of Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering, Walsh has been engaged in a wide variety of cold regions projects for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the National Science Foundation during his 29-year career at CRREL. He has worked in Greenland, Antarctica, and Alaska on projects as diverse as the structural analysis of icecap radar stations, development of a towed snowplow, tunneling at the South Pole, military energetics research, and environmental cleanup. He has led multi-million dollar research efforts involving foreign and domestic research organizations, academia and industry. Additionally, Walsh is the inventor or co-inventor of eight U.S., Swedish, and Canadian patents.

Much of his research is centered on the performance and environmental impacts of energetics on military training ranges. His recent research focuses on the new generation of insensitive munitions. Findings have allowed the U.S. military to avoid billions of dollars in environmental liabilities from perchlorate contamination.

As co-chair of a Research Task Group within NATO on the characterization, fate, and transport of munitions related contamination, Walsh is recognized in the international community in the field of munitions impacts on military ranges. He initiated CRREL’s Junior Solar Sprint program, an engineering-based program for junior high school students, and is active in the local American Society of Mechanical Engineers chapter.

He is a member or has been appointed to serve on numerous professional organizations, has received many prestigious awards, and has more than 200 publications.

Walsh was chosen through a four-phase process that takes in account a variety of factors including the ability to lead, job history, program and project development, and significant projects and publications. A comprehensive application package was submitted by those aspiring to be considered for the DB-V level. For most, it is the highest achievable rung on the career ladder and only 130 such positions exist within ERDC.

“Although the 15 process [DB-V level equivalent] was quite onerous, it was amazing to put together almost 30 years of information in a package and see what I have done over the years,” said Walsh. “I am so focussed on what is happening at the moment and trying to ensure that I have funding for the future that I never really looked back on what I did in the past. It was an interesting exercise.”