DEVCOM CBC Researchers Explore 3-D-Printed Sensors

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Two scientists performing an experiment in a laboratory.
Source: U.S. Army photo by Ellie White

May 16, 2024 | Originally published by U.S. Army on April 9, 2024

Dr. Brian Hauck, a U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) research chemist, and his research team started out with a question:  What if you could 3-D print a sensor that changed color in the presence of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals?

If it worked, it would be on-demand, low-cost, small, very light, easy to carry, and easy for a Warfighter or first responder to use.

That is just the kind of high-risk, high-reward idea that DEVCOM CBC provides seed money to explore. Hauck and his research team received a grant of $30,000 to find out.

The source of that seed money was DEVCOM CBC’s “Quick Empowerment Leads to Successful Tomorrows” Program, or QUEST for short. There are no limits on ideas that can qualify for funding, so long as the idea is tied to DEVCOM CBC’s mission. Projects of any size from $5,000 to $100,000 are considered. Applicants get 10 minutes to pitch their idea before members of Center leadership followed by five minutes for questions. Hauck and his team were one of 12 pitches out of 26 to receive funding in 2023.

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