Much of Rebecca Schwartz’s cutting-edge nanotechnology research at Lockheed Martin is classified, but her work is generally geared toward developing technical solutions to reduce the physical burden of troops in combat. It is part of a larger vision she holds of increasing situational awareness for warfighters while making their equipment smaller, lighter and less power-hungry.
She manages the funding of her research and development projects and has provisional patents for solutions based on her ideas. In short order, Schwartz took her division’s first nanotechnology pursuit from concept to a potential real-world application. As she works to support the Defense Department, she is also helping grow nanotechnology as a business at Lockheed Martin.
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“Not only are we looking to advance technology solutions to reduce the burden for warfighters — one of the biggest problems for them today — but we’re looking at strategies…and interfacing with customers to get feedback and really understand what their challenges are,” Schwartz said. “I’m proud seeing a lot of innovations we’re coming up with that are truly things that will help our customers and keep them safe. We’re all about the soldiers, and we’re there to provide technology they need to do their missions.”
Schwartz has been at Lockheed Martin for two years, and the projects she leads often have turnaround times about that long, though some extend for five and even 10 years.
So although she can’t talk about it in detail now, American warfighters might well display and use some of her finest work in the near future.