Press Release

Andrew Merkle Appointed Research and Exploratory Development Mission Area Executive

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 09:42

Andrew Merkle has been appointed the Mission Area Executive for Research and Exploratory Development at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. He assumed his post on Oct. 1.

The RED Mission Area — one of 12 at APL — conducts research across a broad range of disciplines in support of developing new technologies and capabilities for APL sponsors. By design, RED serves as a portal to technological expertise, supporting government sponsors such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the intelligence community, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Institutes of Health. RED also supports other APL mission areas in cross-enterprise initiatives of vital importance to the nation and the Laboratory by making technology breakthroughs and transitioning solutions to sponsors.

Merkle’s experience at APL includes serving as a program area manager, program manager, line supervisor and biomechanical engineer. He arrived at the Laboratory in 2000 as an engineer in the Technical Services Department. After four years, he moved to the National Security Technology Department and began laying the foundation for the Laboratory’s Biomechanics and Injury Mitigation Systems (BIMS) program.

In 2008, he was named program manager for BIMS, developing and leading a team of technical experts who have made significant contributions in advanced human surrogate systems, blast and ballistics research, testing and evaluation of occupant protection systems, developing novel high-rate sensor technologies, and high-speed imaging applications.

He was named RED program area manager in 2014, overseeing the direct-funded efforts within RED; he also led the development and implementation of a new Independent Research and Development (IRAD) process within the department and served as the IRAD chair.

Merkle is a member of APL’s Principal Professional Staff, a designation marking the highest professional stature and individual achievement at APL, with appointment reserved for the most outstanding and consistent contributors in their technical or administrative fields.

He has authored more than 60 refereed publications, conference presentations, invited lectures and technical reports in the area of impact and injury biomechanics. He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering science and mechanics and a master’s in engineering mechanics (biomechanics concentration) from Virginia Tech. He also has an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, lecturing on biomechanics of human movement, and has taught at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health and Whiting School of Engineering.