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AFIT professor earns Harold Brown award
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Dr. Peter Collins, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering within AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management, was presented with the 2013 Harold Brown award for his research on weapons systems survivability. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer presented Collins with the award during Spencer’s visit to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Jan. 22.

 The Harold Brown award is the Air Force’s highest award given to a scientist or engineer who applies scientific research to solve a problem critical to the needs of the Air Force. The award's namesake was a physicist who served as secretary of the Air Force from 1965 to 1969 and secretary of defense from 1977 to 1981.

Collins, who earned his doctorate and master’s degree from AFIT in electrical engineering, developed several new signature reduction and radar techniques to improve weapon system survivability and effectiveness. Most notably, his radar cross section measurement concept, which has been submitted for a U.S. patent, demonstrated a three order-of-magnitude reduction in contaminating clutter. Collins authored five peer-reviewed journal articles and four conference papers on this and related topics.

Collins is quick to share the accolades with others, stating that “while the award focused on the technological contributions, the most enduring contribution to the Air Force’s operational effectiveness is the AFIT students who performed the work.” 

One of those students, Maj. Jason Paul, served as the narrator for the award presentation. Paul earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from AFIT in 2013 and currently is working in AFRL’s Sensors Directorate.  Other students and graduates who played key roles in the award winning research include: Capt. Brian Acerson, Capt. Joshua Hardin, Capt. Aaron Myers, and 1st Lt. Russell Wilson.