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Oct 16 2020

Army Research Laboratory – Advanced Electronics including Software Defined Radio

ECE 595 Department Seminar Series

October 16, 2020

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


online at:


Chicago, IL 60607

Army Research Laboratory – Advanced Electronics including Software Defined Radio

Presenters: Mark A. Tschopp, Neil John Vallestero, and. Romero del Rosario, U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Abstract: The Army Research Laboratory is part of the Combat Capabilities Development Command for the Army Futures Command, the result of the largest reorganization of the Army in 45 years. The Army Research Laboratory is the Army's corporate research laboratory, focused on operationalizing science for transformational overmatch (OS4TO, huh?).
In this seminar, Dr. Tschopp will provide an overview of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s recent venture into the Midwest, termed ARL Central. ARL Central is motivated by the “Open Campus” initiative, a new business model for building an integrated work environment with academia, industry, and government, thus fueling innovation through cooperative research and development (R&D) collaboration. Dr. del Rosario and Dr. Vallestero will discuss research within their respective division/branches in the domain of Advanced Electronics and Electronic Warfare (EW). Dr. del Rosario will be discussing the emerging electronic device technologies that ARL is currently working on within the Advanced Electronics division but in the context of the national microelectronics picture, at least in the DoD sense. These include not just the ultrawide bandgap materials for RF and power devices, but also new concepts that directly affect future digital computing both at the device and at computing architecture levels. Dr. Vallestero will then discuss research associated with his role as Associate Branch Chief of the RF EW Branch with special focus on Cyber/EW activities. He has recently started the DOD working group on software-defined radio, and can share his perspective and experiences with research within the RF, EW, and cyber domains.

Speaker's Bios:

Mark A. Tschopp is the regional lead for ARL Central at the US Army Research Laboratory, the corporate R&D laboratory for the Army. His mission is to accelerate discovery, innovation, and transition of science and technology to the Army through forging strategic regional partnerships via the Army’s Open Campus Initiative, connecting their multidisciplinary flagship research programs with that of external partners in academia and industry. Tschopp received his BS and MS degrees in metallurgical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and his PhD in materials science and engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His primary research focus has been on accelerated design of materials using a combination of modeling and simulation, data science, machine learning, and design optimization. He has received numerous recognitions for his contributions including the Best Paper Award at the American Foundry Society conference, the Sigma Xi Best PhD dissertation award and the top Engineering Mechanics student award at Georgia Tech, the ASM Silver Medal Award in 2016, the distinction of Fellow of ASME in 2017, and the distinction of Fellow of ASM International in 2018.

Romeo del Rosario currently serves as the chief of the new Advanced Electronics Division at Army Futures Command (AFC) – Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, MD. Previously, he served as associate director of the Sensors & Electron Devices Directorate at ARL, helping lead the Directorate’s efforts in Energy & Power, Electro-Optics & Photonics, Electronics & RF, and signal & image processing. He previously performed the duties of the Steering Group chair of the Advanced Electronics Community of Interest, chaired GOMACTech, the Government Microcircuit Applications and Critical Technologies Conference, and is a senior member of the IEEE. del Rosario received his bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and his MS and PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

Neil Vallestero is ARL associate branch chief of the RF EW Branch serving with special focus on Cyber/EW activities. From 2017 to 2019, he was assigned at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore where he established the USG Science and Technology Working Group. From 2014 to 2017, he was instrumental in the established of the Army Cyber-research and Analytics Laboratory (ACAL), which serves as a cyber portal for research collaboration, DEVOPS and training. Prior to that, Vallestero completed a tour as regional director to Office of Naval Research - Global (ONRG) located in Santiago, Chile (July 2012 to Aug 2014), covering the areas of South America, South Africa and Canada. His career goes back to his joining Ft. Monmouth at the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) in several areas covering the C4ISR spectrum. Most recently, he has played a number of key roles: associate to the ARL Cybersecurity Service Provider (CSSP) Team, ARL Strategic Planning Teams, Army Joint Urgent Operation Needs (JUONS) coordination, technical advisor to Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Computation and Information Sciences Directorate, networking lead for the ARL International Enterprise Team, and science advisor to the U.S. Army International Technology Center - Atlantic (USAITC-A) in London (2006 to 2010). Vallestero did his undergraduate work at Rutgers University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, receiving a degree in electrical and electronics engineering in 1987. He received his PhD in electrical engineering and physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2000. Vallestero is active in applying his knowledge and skills in enhancing the Army’s research capability. He led several In House Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR) programs with various academic collaborations such as photonic bandgap materials, femtosecond spectroscopy, terahertz communication, and chaotic communication. He has received multiple recognition for his work, including: the Superior Civilian Service Award for acts related to research in free space optical communication, the Tibit’s Award on Excellence in SBIR received by one of his Phase II performers, Discovery Semiconductors, and Ambassador’s Coin from AMB Michael Hammer on his appreciation of Vallestero’s work in three significant science and technology partnerships between the U.S. and Chile.

Faculty Host: Mitra Dutta,

Note: this seminar will not be recorded.


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Date posted

Oct 15, 2020

Date updated

Oct 15, 2020