Collaboration and Coffee Kicks off ECBC’s 100th Anniversary

6th Annual Coffee with Colleagues event gives employees a chance to share ideas.

CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | January 13th, 2017

Collaboration and Coffee Kicks off ECBC’s 100th Anniversary

ECBC’s Sixth Coffee with Colleagues showcase was held on January 11. Approximately 350 people attended. The showcase was the lead off of festivities for ECBC’s 100th Anniversary year in 2017.

ECBC’s sixth Coffee with Colleagues poster session was held on Jan. 11 at the Chemical Demilitarization Training Facility at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Approximately 350 people attended, including the ECBC civilian workforce, contractors and partners. The showcase, normally held annually in December, was delayed until January to lead off the festivities for this year’s 100th anniversary celebration of ECBC.

“This is the initial event of the 100th anniversary and I can’t think of any better way to start it than with this competition,” said Peter Emanuel, Ph.D., chief scientist at ECBC and founder of Coffee With Colleagues. “We’ve gone from being an arsenal to a research and development center and this event is the best example we have to demonstrate how we’ve evolved as an organization.”

The event provides various teams within ECBC an opportunity to show their work on major projects from the previous year. Attendees filtered through the aisles viewing the 140 posters on display, some brought in actual technologies to display, interacting with the team members who stood by their projects. A separate, secure room contained posters from classified and sensitive projects.

“I’m delighted when we’re able to hold events like this,” said ECBC Director Joseph Corriveau, Ph.D. “It brings out not only the best of ECBC but shows the great work we do to others across the center as well as other stakeholders. It’s an opportunity for people to get out of their labs and shops, meet people from across the center and collaborate. It’s like a celebration.”

Winners were selected in seven categories: Chemistry, Biology, Physical Sciences, Design, Operations, Classified and People’s Choice.

The winners from the 2017 ECBC Coffee with Colleagues event
The winners from the 2017 ECBC Coffee with Colleagues event

Bob Kristovich, Ph.D., chief of the Molecular Toxicology Branch at ECBC, who managed the classified entries in the showcase, concurred. “We had a very robust session this year and the judges emphasized the extremely hard time they had making a decision this year” among the 19 entries, he said.

Initially, Coffee with Colleagues began as an event for one division within ECBC, then grew to two divisions, but at the last showcase in December 2015, the program was expanded to include the entire center. “It’s gotten better and better as we expanded beyond biosciences to research and technology to the entire center,” said Augustus Fountain, Ph.D., senior research scientist for chemistry in the Research and Technology Directorate at ECBC, who presented the Chemistry award. An early supporter of Coffee With Colleagues, Fountain lauded the expanded awards program. “This event shows the intellectual capital of our entire organization. You can see why we’re proud to be a part of ECBC.”

ECBC Engineering Director Michael Abaie thanked Emanuel and his team for putting the program together and led the audience in a round of applause for them as well as for the individual contributors who produced the posters. “It’s an incredible amount of work,” he said, before announcing the winner in the Design category.

“I’m totally overwhelmed by this,” said Mary Peck in accepting her Edgy award for the winning Design poster. Peck, a specialist in the Packaging Branch of the Engineering Directorate, thanked not only her colleagues who worked on the project featured in her poster but also her colleagues throughout the organization. “Thanks to all of you who took time to explain your posters to me,” she said. “I’m very appreciative of the work you do.”

Tim Blades, director of operations for the Directorate of Program Integration and head of the CBARR business unit accepted the Edgy for the Operations category in the winning team’s absence. Blades also presented the People’s Choice Award, which was voted on by attendees who filled out ballots at the event.

As people were congratulating the winners after the awards ceremony, Corriveau reflected on the overall meaning of the program and his organization. “This is one of the first major events this year for the 100th anniversary of ECBC, but I look at it as the kickoff to the next 100 years” he said. “Just think, 100 years ago, we were concerned with how to protect soldiers in the trenches. Here we are, 100 years later, and we’re working on innovative technological solutions for the warfighter, to meet the national security needs of our citizens and our great Nation.”

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (CCDC Chemical Biological Center) is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering and field operations. The Center has achieved major technological advances for the warfighter and for our national defense, with a long and distinguished history of providing the armed forces with quality systems and outstanding customer service. The CCDC Chemical Biological Center is located at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.