A group of 16 faculty from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will join colleagues from across the University of Nebraska System to boost research contributions tied to national security.
The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska (NU) launched NSRI Fellows to amplify the university’s research contributions to the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agencies with a focus on national security missions.
The inaugural interdisciplinary cohort includes 74 researchers from across the NU system including 16 from UNO. Together, NSRI Fellows will contribute their expertise, talent and foresight to build multidisciplinary teams that develop solutions for complex problems across the spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) threats.
“As a DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), it is our responsibility to continue to look ahead to the next threat and the next solution,” said Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI interim executive director. “NSRI Fellows will bring our institute even closer together with the experts across the university system, so we can continue to deliver on our core competencies and maintain the research and development expertise, capabilities and technology the nation needs today — and will need tomorrow.
UNO Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., thanked UNO’s appointees for stepping up to the challenge and ultimately helping improve national security. “The University of Nebraska at Omaha is committed to safety, security, and wellbeing of our state and our nation,” Chancellor Gold said. “I applaud our researchers for rising to this opportunity and applying their skills to make a positive difference in a wide array of national security topics.”
Since it was established in 2012, NSRI has conducted and facilitated 124 projects through $180 million of contracts and grants with NU and the federal government. In September 2020 its UARC status was renewed by its sponsor, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), with a $92 million contract vehicle.
NSRI Fellows provides an opportunity for several of the appointed fellows from UNO to expand their work in collaboration with NSRI. Several of UNO’s researchers from UNO have previously led or contributed significant deliverables to these projects that help reach the nation’s national security objectives including:
- Developing technology for monitoring, analyzing soldier readiness alongside the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Soldier Center (CCDC SC)
- Research with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to work toward developing multipolar deterrence conceptualization
- Efforts to streamlining database processes, helping to drive efficiencies and insights for USSTRATCOM
“As a long-standing beneficiary of NSRI-related activities, I am thrilled to see the research opportunities provided by NSRI extended to our UNO faculty,” said Ken Bayles, UNO associate vice chancellor for research and creative activity. “The NSRI fellows program will be a great way for our faculty to learn about DOD opportunities and to explore new research avenues that directly benefits national security.”
NSRI Fellows from the University of Nebraska at Omaha include:
- T. Lynne Barone, Ph.D., Sociology and Anthropology
- Michelle Black, Ph.D., Political Science
- Chris Burcal, Ph.D., Health and Kinesiology
- Paul Davis, Ph.D., Biology
- Paul Denton, Ph.D., Biology
- Doug Derrick, Ph.D., Information Science and Technology
- Robin Gandhi, Ph.D., Information Science and Technology
- Alexey Kamenskiy, Ph.D., Biomechanics
- Erin Kearns, Ph.D., Criminology
- Brian Knarr, Ph.D., Biomechanics
- Jeremy Lipschultz, Ph.D., Mass Communications
- Jody Neathery-Castro, Ph.D., Political Science
- Lana Obradovic, Ph.D., Political Science
- Roni Reiter-Palmon, Ph.D., Psychology
- Dustin Slivka, Ph.D., Health and Kinesiology
- Dustin White, Ph.D., Economics
This is the inaugural class of NSRI Fellows who were nominated by NU campus leaders and NSRI directors. Nominations can be sent to NSRI from NU and NSRI leadership any time.
NSRI Fellows are led by Dr. Neal Woollen, NSRI senior research strategy officer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a vivid example of how CBRNe threats impact all of society,” Dr. Woollen said. “It emphasizes the need for broad, inclusive and effective countermeasures to enhance readiness, deny effects, protect service members and society, make society more resilient and deter intentional use. NSRI Fellows are another mechanism NSRI will employ to contribute to these objectives. We have the expertise through the University of Nebraska, and we must continue to find new ways to leverage it.”
View the full list of fellows at nsri.nebraska.edu/fellows.
About the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI)
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats. nsri.nebraska.edu
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.