Iowa State scientist named to national security group

AMES, Iowa -- Surya Mallapragada will join a study group that assists the United States with the science and technology of defense and national security.

Mallapragada, an Iowa State associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and an associate scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, will join the Defense Science Study Group in 2006. The study group is part of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a non-profit corporation funded by the federal government that administers three research and development centers.

Each year the study group invites 12 to 15 young scientists from the nation's universities and research centers to take part in its two-year program focused on defense policy, research and development. The study group also looks at the systems, missions and operations of the U.S. military. Researchers are nominated to the group by academic officers in their home institutions, study group alumni or members of the U.S. defense establishment.

"The (study group) doesn't go strictly by people who are doing typical defense-type projects," said Mallapragada, whose research includes designing polymers for various bioengineering applications, including medical applications. "It's a chance to meet other researchers working in similar areas and, more importantly, to see what needs are out there and come up with some exciting new ideas."

Study group members annually participate in a series of four sessions at various defense installations and military contractors across the country. The program commits participants to about three weeks per year. Mallapragada's appointment will begin in 2006 and continue through 2007.