UT Leaders, Faculty Experts Join Army Futures Command to Host Advanced Technology Summit

July 20, 2021

In partnership with The University of Texas at Austin, Army Futures Command hosted the inaugural Advanced Technology Summit, July 21-22, on the UT Austin campus. The event brought together U.S. Army leaders, UT faculty and academic leaders, small businesses and non-traditional industry partners to discuss Army modernization priorities in areas such as energy storage and electrification with panels, keynotes from experts and the Army Innovation Combine pitch competition.

army futures command advanced technology summit logo

Over two days, Army leadership, along with faculty experts and leaders from UT Austin and the local ecosystem as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories, showcased new developments and actively discussed new ways to advance dual-use military and civilian technologies in the U.S. The first day featured two pitching events — the Innovation Combine 2.0 Pitch Competition for teams to pitch technologies for Army-awarded contracts and a problem pitching session for Army subject matter experts and end users to pitch problems they are looking to address in energy storage and electrification.

There were several panels featuring UT Austin leaders and researchers:

  • John Ekerdt, associate dean for research in the Cockrell School, will speak about the vision for advanced energy technology research with UT Austin
  • Arumugam Manthiram, professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of UT’s Texas Materials Institute, will participate in a panel on the future of energy storage and electrification
  • Brian Korgel, professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and director of UT’s Energy Institute, will moderate the energy storage and electrification panel
  • Van Truskett, executive director of the Texas Innovation Center at UT Austin, will participate in a panel on translating technology to the commercial sector
  • Mitch Jacobson, executive director of the Austin Technology Incubator at UT Austin, will moderate the lab to commercialization panel

Gen. John M. Murray, Army Futures Command’s commanding general, as well as Brig. Gen. Edward “Miles” Brown, and from UT Austin, President Jay Hartzell and Executive Vice President and Provost Sharon L. Wood, welcomed the attendees. In addition, Army leaders and representatives toured some of UT’s advanced technology labs, including the Texas Materials Institute and several battery research labs. 

The Advanced Technology Summit was streamed live at afcsummit.fedtech.io.

The summit is the newest in a recent series of initiatives and thought-leadership events between the Army Futures Command and UT Austin. Earlier this year, UT and AFC hosted generals and admirals from across the military to showcase next-generation technology and innovation with dual-use applications. In 2020, UT unveiled a new robotics lab in the newly renovated Anna Hiss Gymnasium, which allows faculty researchers and students to work alongside Army personnel in developing state-of-the-art technology.