FEB 28, 2022

The AIRC Defense Data Grand Prix Announces Heat 1 Winners

Heat 1 of the Defense Data Grand Prix concluded with an award ceremony on February 14, 2022. Sponsored by the Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC), the Grand Prix is designed to encourage and leverage innovation of faculty and students while engaging them on practical DoD acquisition problems. It is structured to maximize interaction between sponsors and competitors while rewarding innovation and shareable findings.

Strategic sponsors are the DoD Chief Data Officer and the Office of Acquisition Enablers (AE) within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment in partnership with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). These organizations are inviting and encouraging involvement from other DoD components, commands, and agencies.

Since September 2021, teams worked directly with problem owners from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to provide innovative analytics solutions and recommendations for improving access to data.

During the award ceremony, keynote speaker, Dr. Lindsey Saul, DLA Chief Data and Analytics Officer, thanked the participants for their dedication and insights. Dr. Saul stated that “Heat 1 of the Defense Data Grand Prix has been beneficial in increasing the awareness of the DLA’s data challenges, processes, and decisions within academia, as well as encouraging innovation from a fresh perspective to produce new findings on data access and usability.”

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
SSW565 Team: (top to bottom) Professor Ying Wang, Savannah Bergen ’22 and Aboubacar Diawara ’21 | Photo credit: Stevens Institute of Technology

The top three winners of Heat 1 are:

  • First place ($40K): SSW565 Team including Dr. Ying Wang, Ms. Savannah Bergen, and Mr. Aboubacar Diawara (Stevens Institute of Technology) with a project titled Industrial Capability Program Production Input Material Identification with the DLA Acquisition organization
  • Second place ($30K): Collective Design Lab Team including Dr. Paul Grogan (Stevens Institute of Technology) with a project titled Lead-Time Variability Model with the DLA Aviation organization
  • Third place ($20K): The Lunch Pail Defenders Team including Dr. Christian Lucero, Mr. Sam Rizzuto, Mr. Ryan Kaplan, Ms. Danielle Sebring, and Mr. Preston Childress (Virginia Tech) with a project titled Purchase Request Workload Management Tool with the DLA Land and Maritime organization
Dr. Paul Grogan, Stevens Institute of Technology
Dr. Christian Lucero, Virginia Tech

Rankings were based on the impact, acceptability, suitability, and feasibility of the proposed approaches by the teams. The SSW565 team led by Dr. Ying Wang was awarded first place because their approach demonstrated the most positive impact towards the sponsor’s mission by increasing the efficiency of the program, and potentially enabling comprehensive insights into the deeper level effects across the area of interest. The SSW565 team clearly addressed the problem area, and their data engineering efforts not only meets the needs of the sponsor but is done in a way that supports scalability and addresses changes in the data elements.

Heat 2 of the Defense Data Grand Prix focuses on the implementation and demonstration of a scalable approach to data access for analyses as well as the sharing and transformation of synthetic defense acquisition data.

For further information about the Defense Data Grand Prix, visit https://acqirc.org/defense-data-grand-prix/.