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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 17, 2005 | Vol. 35 No. 7
John Sommerer Appointed Director of Science and Technology at APL

John Sommerer

By Kristi Marren
Applied Physics Laboratory

John Sommerer has been appointed the first director of Science and Technology at APL. In his new position, Sommerer is charged with ensuring APL's technological strength will meet current and future challenges in light of rapidly advancing technology and the globalization of technology and technical capabilities.

Additionally, Sommerer will ensure the Lab's technical strategy is aligned with its various business area goals. "It's important for our business areas to focus on technical challenges of appropriate scope and significance, and I'll help to ensure that they have the right resources — both internal and external — to carry out their tasks," Sommerer said.

He will help form partnerships with outside organizations, Johns Hopkins academic departments, other universities and high-tech laboratories to augment APL's skills and expertise so that the Lab can better meet a sponsor's needs. "It's incumbent on us to maintain and strengthen our technical prowess, and [to] make sure the government doesn't experience technological surprise in the areas for which we serve as their chief advisers," Sommerer said.

He will continue serving as the Lab's chief technology officer and as chair of APL's Science and Technology Council.

Sommerer is an internationally recognized expert in nonlinear dynamics and complex systems. During his 25-year career at APL, he has served as director of the Milton S. Eisenhower Research and Technology Development Center and in other supervisory and project management roles associated with submarine technology, tactics and operations.

Sommerer is vice chair of the U.S. Naval Research Advisory Committee and a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Technical Assessment Board for the Army Research Laboratories. He holds a doctorate in physics, and master's and bachelor's degrees in systems science and mathematics.


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