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NDSEG Program Conference kicks off in San Diego

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program kicked off with a welcome reception followed by poster presentations from the Class of 2019 fellows. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brianna Hodges)

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program kicked off with a welcome reception followed by poster presentations from the Class of 2019 fellows. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brianna Hodges)

Fellows from 15 areas of DOD interest gathered in San Diego, California in the first week of August for the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brianna Hodges)

Fellows from 15 areas of DOD interest gathered in San Diego, California in the first week of August for the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brianna Hodges)

Dr. Jih Fen Lei, deputy director of Research, Technology and Laboratories gave encouraging words during the opening ceremony. (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Jih Fen Lei, deputy director of Research, Technology and Laboratories gave encouraging words during the opening ceremony. (Courtesy photo)

Program officers from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research enjoy fellowship during the lunch keynote. Left to right, Dr. Ali Sayir and Dr. Grace Metcalfe. (Courtesy photo)

Program officers from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research enjoy fellowship during the lunch keynote. Left to right, Dr. Ali Sayir and Dr. Grace Metcalfe. (Courtesy photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. – The premiere Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (NDSEG) conference was held August 5-9 in San Diego, California. For the first time, fellows were gathered from all across the country for the opportunity to network, discuss and learn more about the Department of Defense (DOD). Over 180 NDSEG fellows and 60 DOD civilian and contractor personnel attended the three and a half day event.

During the conference, the NDSEG fellows participated in poster presentations on their current research, participated and attended DOD program officers/program managers technical presentations on current and future basic research, tri-service DOD panel discussions, DOD naval laboratory facilities and SCRIPPS Institute of Oceanography tours, and career fairs. 

The opening and closing keynote addresses were given by leadership in the Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, including Dr. JihFen Lei, Deputy Director for Research, Technology, and Dr. Matthew Daniels, Technical Director for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, respectively.

The future minds of science and engineering were challenged in the opening ceremonies by Deputy Director of Research, Technology and Laboratories, Dr. JihFen Lei.

“You are the future that we depend on to build the next capability for our warfighter,” Lei said.

Established in 1989, NDSEG is a tri service thirty-six month fellowship for S&Es obtaining doctorates in research areas of military importance. There have been 60,000 applications received and just over 4,000 fellowships awarded to fellows. “NDSEG has been very beneficial to me, it has given me the extra motivation and confidence that I deserve it and the financial aspects have made graduate school much easier so I am very grateful to them for that,” NDSEG fellow Mitchell Albrecht.

The Fellowship is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Army Research Office (ARO), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the direction of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Research and Engineering. Fellowships are awarded to applicants pursuing doctoral degrees within 15 areas of DOD interest.

Throughout the week former fellows, program officers and representatives from AFOSR, ARO, and ONR engaged in compelling discussions and tackled inquiries about the resilient mission at hand.

Recent NDSEG fellows join a premier class of former fellows who have used the program as a stepping stone to continue extraordinary research in the science and engineering community.