The Army Research Lab (ARL) has chosen the University of Maryland. $78.2M Cooperative Agreement: Merging Engineering and Data Science for Advanced AI and ML


  • The Army Research Lab (ARL) has partnered with the University of Maryland for an ambitious project merging engineering and data science.
  • The five-year, $78.2 million cooperative agreement aims to spearhead the Data Driven Engineering Research (DataDrivER) program.
  • Goals include developing advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to extract knowledge from large datasets and improve decision-making for humans and autonomous systems.
  • The program focuses on data visualization techniques to enhance data absorption and interaction.
  • DataDrivER operates on an accelerated timeline, delivering research outcomes within 18 to 24 months.
  • Six projects are planned for the partnership’s first year, addressing areas such as ultra-fast data parsing, cybersecurity threat mitigation, and the development of hybrid AI architectures.
  • The University of Maryland’s proximity to government research institutions provides unique collaboration opportunities.
  • The partnership aims to inspire further collaborations and merge big data with classical engineering principles.

Main AI News:

In a groundbreaking move to drive innovation and technological advancement, the Army Research Lab (ARL) has chosen the University of Maryland to lead an ambitious initiative that combines engineering and data science. This collaborative effort aims to revolutionize various projects, including the development of a cutting-edge “smart nose” for detecting hazardous materials and lightning-fast “fingerprinting” of radio-emitting devices such as cell phones.

Under the recently awarded five-year, $78.2 million cooperative agreement, the A. James Clark School of Engineering will spearhead the Data Driven Engineering Research (DataDrivER) program. This collaboration reflects the convergence of engineering and data science, propelling them into uncharted territories.

Don Woodbury, Director of Innovation and Partnerships for Maryland Engineering, emphasizes the significance of this endeavor, stating, “DataDrivER offers us a unique opportunity to expedite the merger between engineering and data science.” By leveraging the power of data-driven approaches, this program will push the boundaries of hardware and software development, incorporating advanced AI, machine learning algorithms, and analytics to extract invaluable knowledge from vast datasets. The goal is to enhance human decision-making and empower autonomous systems to make informed choices.

One of the key aspects of DataDrivER is the exploration of data visualization techniques that enable individuals to absorb and interact with data more effectively. This enhanced understanding of data will lead to actionable insights and informed conclusions.

Woodbury emphasizes that DataDrivER is not your typical academic research and development initiative. Instead, it operates on an accelerated timeline of 18 to 24 months, akin to the swift development of COVID-19 vaccines by pharmaceutical companies in 2020. The program builds upon a solid foundation of fundamental research discoveries and leverages a workforce at the forefront of emerging technologies. This unique combination allows for the efficient delivery of compelling research outcomes, a feat rarely seen in traditional university research.

The partnership’s first year will see the implementation of six carefully planned projects, each tackling critical challenges at the intersection of engineering and data science. These projects include investigating ultra-fast reservoir computing for real-time parsing of massive datasets, developing tools to analyze complex cyber-physical systems, integrating large datasets into modeling environments for performance assessment, creating a groundbreaking device for direct information transfer between biological sensors and microelectronic interfaces, advancing mobility analytics for efficient movement across multimodal networks, and designing hybrid AI architectures inspired by living neural networks.

The University of Maryland’s proximity to the nation’s capital and prominent government research institutions like ARL provide a unique advantage for collaborations of this nature. Clark School Dean Samuel Graham, Jr. recognizes the immense potential of this partnership, stating, “We strive for impactful innovations and groundbreaking discoveries in all engineering disciplines. From industrial AI to autonomous systems, we are dedicated to serving our service members with cutting-edge solutions.” Graham hopes that this ARL partnership will inspire future collaborations, both within and beyond the university, and lead to groundbreaking solutions that merge big data with classical engineering principles.

By bringing together the expertise of engineers and data scientists, the DataDrivER program aims to unlock new frontiers of knowledge, revolutionize decision-making processes, and pave the way for transformative advancements in various sectors. As the journey begins, the world eagerly awaits the remarkable breakthroughs that will emerge from this visionary collaboration.


The cooperative agreement between the Army Research Lab and the University of Maryland signifies a pivotal step toward integrating engineering and data science. This collaboration will drive innovation and accelerate the development of advanced AI and machine learning solutions. By bridging the gap between academia and real-world applications, this partnership has the potential to reshape the market by revolutionizing decision-making processes, enhancing data-driven insights, and fostering multidisciplinary collaborations. The market can expect to witness groundbreaking solutions and advancements that merge big data analytics with classical engineering principles, leading to transformative breakthroughs in various sectors.