Representatives from the Army recently visited UNT to recognize the importance of emerging technology from the university in supporting their mission to strengthen national defense.
During the visit, officials from the U.S. Army Reserve’s 75th Innovation Command, First Innovation Group, toured the UNT College of Engineering and labs working on research with nano-materials and tribology, learned about the college’s research endeavors and discussed the commercialization initiative of the Division of Research and Innovation. Officials also recognized the efforts of Marty O’Neill, associate professor of biological sciences, who developed RE-PLAN, a cloud-based computer program to help state and local public health agencies distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure its timely availability according to each state’s guidelines.
Maj. Andrew Word, a tech entrepreneur and a reservist tech scout for the 75th Innovation Command, has led the development of an informal partnership with UNT faculty and staff, including Jon McCarry, senior director of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Michael Rondelli, associate vice president of Research Commercial Agreements, and most recently, O’Neill, who is also director of the Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis.
“I wanted to bring all the great things I see going on at UNT to more of my friends in the Army to show why I am so passionate about this collaboration,” Word said.
In addition to learning more about the new and exciting work being done at the university, the group presented O’Neill with a Certificate of Appreciation for his efforts in educating senior 75th Innovation Command leadership on the logistics of Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership initiated by the U.S. government to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
“As a brand-new Army Reserve command, RE-PLAN was one of the first valuable tech developments that we were able to share with our commanding general to aid our national defense,” Lt. Col. Patrick Freshwater said while presenting the certificate. “We see your passion for national defense, and we want to thank you for your partnership with us. We really want you to know our appreciation for your national defense research and technology. We will continue to be champions of your work.”
Watch a demonstration of how RE-PLAN can be used for COVID-19 vaccination planning and distribution.