Director of U.S. military research visits infectious disease, energy, computer vision labs

Steven Walker’s public presentation on DARPA, May 31, 2018. 

Steven Walker, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), toured several Colorado State University research spaces during a May 31 public visit to campus.

Walker visited the Infectious Disease Research Center at the CSU Foothills Campus, where he had lunch with Vice President for Research Graduate Fellows and was given a tour of infectious disease research facilities. That included BioMARC, a lab that produces biopharmaceutical products for non-clinical, clinical, and commercial use under Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) and BSL-2 containment, and Select Agent biosecurity conditions. Hosted by BioMARC director John Wyckoff, they also visited the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory, an interdepartmental program focused on reproductive biology of domestic animals.

Walker’s visit included a stop at the Powerhouse Energy Campus, home to the CSU Energy Institute. Bryan Willson, executive director of the Energy Institute, showed Walker the Smart Village Microgrid Lab, the Engines and Energy Conversion Lab, solar panels, wind turbines, and a solarium mounted on the roof of the state-of-the-art, LEED-certified building.

The last stop on Walker’s campus tour was the Computer Vision Lab in the Department of Computer Science. Bruce Draper, professor of computer science, demonstrated a new prototype in human computer interfaces. The interface embodies an intelligent avatar, named Diana, which can interpret gestures and words. Diana is able answer the question “What am I pointing at?” and understands a head shake or a thumbs up.

During Walker’s public presentation “Delivering Disruption,” he spoke about DARPA and its current programs as part of the Leadership in Innovation Speakers Series hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Steven Walker visit powerhouse campus

Energy Institute Director Bryan Willson and Vice President for Research Alan Rudolph guide DARPA Director Steven Walker on a tour of the Powerhouse Energy Campus.