Information Directorate chief engineer earns top award

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The newly appointed chief engineer for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate will receive an Engineer of the Year award during the 65th annual Mohawk Valley Technical Awards banquet April 23 in New York Mills, New York.

The Mohawk Valley Engineers Executive Council is recognizing Dr. Bryant Wysocki for numerous achievements. These range from Wysocki's contributions in neuromorphic computing, to nanoelectronics, to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) mentoring activities, as well as community outreach participation.

Neuromorphic computing
The term refers to an up-and-coming computer engineering field involving development of systems that are inspired by the working mechanisms of the human brain. Wysocki successfully advanced this field through breakthroughs in fundamental and applied research.

According to Wysocki's nomination package, in 2014 he acquired and led two Air Force Office of Scientific Research-funded grants in the neuromorphic computing area: "Reservoir Computing for Process Perception, Prediction and Control" and "Methods for Developing Secure Nonlinear Computer Architectures." Both efforts explore fundamental phenomena for neuromorphic computing applications.

Achievements in nanoelectronic technology
Wysocki also developed advanced nanoelectronic technology for neuromorphic computing applications.

A specific contribution involves the development of technology to advance the state-of-the-art of memristive devices, or 'memristors' - a new type of electrical component that combines the terms 'memory' and 'resistor'. Memristor technology has shown promise to foster a giant leap toward the development of nanoelectronic systems that can harness the computational decision making capabilities of a human brain.

Wysocki is the co-inventor on two inventions that advance memristor technology and apply it to cyber security. He also led a team that developed a new memristor model for improving the reliability of memristor devices. Wysocki's inventions could impact future electronics by enabling more secure and trusted computing by providing unique methods for integrated circuit chip identification. Identifiable chips, based on his technology, could provide a means to thwart the use of counterfeit or refurbished products in defense systems - a problem that can potentially impact defense electronics and lead to system failure or compromise.

STEM and community outreach
In the summer of 2014, Wysocki mentored five professors and 10 student interns, all working with him in the neuromorphic and nano computing areas. 

The acting President of the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute recognized Wysocki's technical expertise and presentation skills by inviting Wysocki to teach the spring 2014 bachelor of science-level course "Introduction to Nanoelectronic Systems."  This was accomplished as an adjunct professor under an educational partnership agreement between AFRL and the institute. It was the first nanotechnology course ever taught at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, helping lay the foundation for the forthcoming nanotechnology center that will be housed at the institute in Marcy, New York.

Wysocki is on the board of directors for the Oneida County Cornell Cooperative Extension, where he connects Cornell's and ARFL's STEM programs to maximize the local impact. He organizes and leads regional STEM events, such as the STEM Workshop on Laser Physics and The Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Science Day. 

Wysocki also is a leadership board member of the Oneida County 4-H program - further promoting STEM education and community involvement. 

"(Dr.) Wysocki has a passion to introduce local educators, parents, and children to careers in science, Air Force engineering, and to STEM in general," said Joseph Caroli, chief, High Performance Systems Branch within the Information Directorate.

Wysocki also is the general chairperson for a new Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Symposium on "Computational Intelligence for Security and Defense Applications."  The symposium will take place in June 2015 at the Turning Stone Conference Center in Verona, New York. It will bring a diverse collection of scientists and engineers to the Mohawk Valley to exchange information on neuromorphic computing and related applications.

AFRL's Information Directorate is located in Rome, New York. The Information Directorate is responsible for Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Intelligence (C4I) technologies.