ECBC’s Joseph Wienand Retires; Spirit of Innovation Continues Through New Director
As the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) continues to counter WMD threats as part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command in 2015, it does so on a foundation most recently built by Joseph Wienand, former director of ECBC.
Wienand stepped down from his role as ECBC Director when he retired from government service on Oct. 2. He served ECBC for a total of 15 years, including four as director, as well as various positions in the federal government since 1979. His tenure will be remembered for his constant encouragement for innovation, whether it was delivering new detection, protection or decontamination products and services for the Warfighter, or introducing new leadership training and professional development programs for employees.
“Over the past decade, we’ve worked very hard at ECBC to ensure that we are not only meeting the needs of our Army customers but also addressing the increasing demand for support from our joint service customers as well,” says Wienand. “I am proud that the men and women of ECBC are so often acknowledged by our government, academic, industry and international partners as the best in the industry at what we do.”
Wienand was recognized during an Oct. 2 retirement ceremony for his leadership in expanding ECBC’s mission from military applications to homeland defense, and developing more comprehensive research and engineering capabilities that addressed emerging WMD threats across the entire chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives spectrum. Wienand had adopted a vision of ECBC working toward a world free of WMD, including an advanced elimination capability in chemical demilitarization efforts. The most notable achievement in this arena was ECBC’s role in spearheading the design and manufacturing of the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, the transportable neutralization technology used to destroy 600 metric tons of Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile in 42 days.
“Joe has really transformed ECBC in his time as our leader,” says Joseph Corriveau, Ph.D., current Acting Director of ECBC. “He has been quick to promote innovation and has motivated our engineers and scientists to pursue good ideas that can quickly become real world solutions.”
Prior to Corriveau stepping in as Acting Director upon Wienand’s retirement, he served as the director of ECBC’s Research and Technology Directorate. Corriveau is a member of the Senior Executive Service and Department of Defense expert in countering emerging chemical and biological threats. He joined ECBC in June 2003 as the deputy director of R&T after serving in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics as the chief scientist for the DoD Chemical Biological Defense Program. Earlier in his career, Corriveau served as a senior analyst with the U.S. Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center.
Corriveau shares Wienand’s spirit of innovation, which has seen the launch of the Section 219 Innovative Project Proposals program and the Grand Challenge program. Both of these programs give ECBC engineers and scientists internal funding to develop high-potential CB defense ideas into full projects. Programs like these give the workforce a creative space to explore and test their theories in iterative ways, enabling them to fail forward and succeed faster.
Projects like these have the potential to transition to industry, something the Center has done extremely well under Wienand’s leadership. In December 2013, ECBC was recognized with the George Linsteadt Technology Transfer (T2) Achievement Award for its outstanding contributions made to the T2 process, which resulted in mutually beneficial partnerships with federal and state agencies, private industry and academia. A record-breaking number of 105 agreements were executed in fiscal year 2012, of which 65 were new cooperative research and development agreements and technology support agreements.
In April 2014, Wienand accepted the Laboratory Director of the Year Award at the 2014 Federal Laboratory Consortium national meeting in Rockville, Md. This year’s FLC theme, “Accelerating Innovation for Economic Impact,” focused on the creativity and dedication federal scientists have contributed toward advancing T2 efforts in ways that benefit the nation’s economy. Wienand had established T2 has one of his highest priorities after becoming director in 2010, and integrated it into the Center’s strategic goals. Advancing T2 was no less than a matter of national security for Wienand, who had consistently encouraged the Center’s scientists, researchers and engineers to push intellectual property “outside the fence.”
Wienand also received a number of awards of his service during the retirement ceremony, including the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, Outstanding Service in the Army Senior Executive Service Award, the Department of Army Commander’s Award for Public Service, a Department of Army Certificate of Appreciation and a retirement certificate. But it is his spirit of collaboration that has helped established ECBC as a premier national asset whose world-class employees are equipped to solve the nation’s toughest CBRNE problems. He had set the stage for a new way of working. He provided a framework for innovation and dared ECBC’s employees to constantly explore beyond those boundaries. I95