Penn State improves logistics support to Marines in Iraq, Afghanistan

October 13, 2004

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State researchers helped analyze wireless technologies and diagnostic systems for ground equipment for imminent use by the U.S. Marines in current operations, and made recommendations to enhance their use for future operations.

Supported by the Marine Corps Research University (MCRU), Penn State researchers recently completed two mutually supporting technical studies. The first $554,000 award supported a 13-month study to recommend an integrated diagnostic system that could be applied to Marine Corps' ground equipment. Utilizing lessons learned from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Penn State team provided a number of recommendations that support integrated diagnostics into the conditioned based maintenance of all Marine Corps ground equipment.

The ability to analytically determine when a piece of equipment needs to be maintained without waiting for it to fail in the field, increases equipment availability and reliability to Marines conducting combat operations overseas and training in the United States.

This project focused varying technical expertise from the College of Engineering; the School of Information Sciences and Technology; the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory; the MCRU; and Marine Corps Logistics Fellows from the Smeal College of Business.

The second $510,000 award dealt with how portable wireless technology could be used to support the Marine Corps' Logistics Transformation Program. The Logistics Transformation Program is adapting 21st century technology to enhance logistic support to the Marines in the field.

The Penn State study evaluated all present and future wireless technologies and provided recommendations on how best to implement them. Faculty and graduate students from the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering of the College of Engineering, The School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), The Pennsylvania Transportation Institute and Marine Corps Logistics Fellows from Smeal College of Business.

David Hall, associate dean of IST, and Dr. Soundar Kumara, distinguished professor of industrial engineering, were the co-principal investigators on the integrated diagnostics project and also on the second logistics project, joined by Zoltan Rado, research associate, Pennsylvania Transportation Institute. Col. Barney A. Grimes III, USMC (retired) of the MCRU was the overall project coordinator of both studies.

The MCRU is a research and academic resource of the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps designated Penn State as its research university in May 1999. To date, more than 139 projects have been funded, engaging the talents of over 60 faculty members and 75 graduate students.

Last Updated March 08, 2010