VICKSBURG, Miss. – A team from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Transatlantic Division and the USACE Protective Design Center was recently recognized with the 2022 USACE Innovation of the Year Award.
The team developed simple and effective bunker enclosure door designs for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to help reduce risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI) to bunker occupants. The new designs sought to reduce the peak pressures experienced by an individual seeking shelter in a bunker by more than 90 percent.
CENTCOM’s area of responsibility encompasses more than 4 million square miles and stretches from Kazakhstan to Yemen.
“The ERDC team, in coordination with the Transatlantic Division, developed modifications to existing bunker designs to reduce TBI vulnerability and provide design recommendations to the Army to address force protection challenges concerning current personnel bunkers,” said Bart Durst, ERDC-GSL director.
Throughout the research and design process, team members leveraged the Department of Defense’s High Performance Computing systems at ERDC to conduct more than 120 high-fidelity simulations of door designs and configurations.
The innovative solution was developed within a very short timeline using the survivability knowledge maintained through ERDC’s Expedient Passive Protection program and their computational capabilities. The team was able to deliver the project in six months.
“I am extremely proud of ERDC-GSL’s contribution to this team and this project,” Durst said. “These innovations will tremendously benefit warfighters across the globe in the execution of their mission. These retrofits provided rapid solutions to address an urgent need for expeditionary force protection to reduce TBI vulnerabilities.”