Captain Aaron Myers
M.S. Electrical Engineering, 2013
Captain Aaron Myers earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from AFIT in 2013 and is currently working in the Integration and Operations Division at AFRL’s Sensor’s Directorate. His research background includes low observables and radar signaling processing programs.
In 2015, Capt Myers served as the program lead for the annual AFRL Commander’s Challenge - a six-month technology competition targeting junior military and civilian engineers focused on solving a real world problem or event. The focus of this competition was detection and speedy response to active shooters.
Four teams from Hill, Kirtland, Robins, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Bases entered the competition. Capt Myers’ role was to ensure the teams were properly resourced and technically on track. He was also responsible for organizing the competition scenario.
The competition took place at mock school house at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. The scenario included a Red Team as the disgruntled employee/active shooter, a SWAT team trained to respond to these types of incidents, and bystanders. “There was a lot of good feedback from the competition, we had four good solutions, and ultimately the team from Wright-Patterson AFB won because they had a cost effective and comprehensive solution that covered all aspects of the problem. However, one of the runners-up – the team from Robins AFB, submitted their design to the D3 Summit, hosted by the State Department. They were one of six teams selected from nearly 500 applications for an innovative idea or project. They won in two categories for their approach to develop an active-shooter acoustic detection system that could be hardwired into existing fire alarm systems. It was really an innovative use of infrastructure to keep costs down.”
Capt Myers enjoyed the mentoring aspect of the competition; “I was able to use a lot of the skill sets that I developed during my graduate program at AFIT and help to instill that technical rigor into the teams’ solutions.”
Capt Myers learned from this competition as well, especially the benefits of networking and the importance of bringing diversity of thought to the situation. “The teams that did really well had multiple engineering disciplines, even finance personnel, working on their solutions. The result was more creative than it would have been otherwise.”
Recalling his time as a graduate student at AFIT, Capt Myers says; “AFIT was a tremendous experience. The faculty were top-notch with real-world experience so they were able to direct research that was applicable to the warfighter. I couldn’t have asked for a better graduate experience.” He encourages current students to reach out and make connections early on. “I formed some lasting friendships and professional relationships that have continued to help me along in my career.”
More information regarding the active –shooter detection system can be found here.