Andrei Shkel has been presented the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Exceptional Public Service by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. A professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering in UC Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, Shkel served as program manager of the microsystems technology office at DARPA for the past four years. He created and directed a portfolio of technology development programs that reduced the military’s reliance on global positioning systems and substantially increased its ability to guide compact military platforms and dismounted warfighters. “I am honored to receive this recognition,” Shkel said. “DARPA is the crown jewel in defense research and development. It’s in the agency’s genes to go beyond traditional thinking and develop imaginative, innovative and often high-risk research ideas. I’m proud I was able to help in identifying technological gaps of strategic importance for the Department of Defense and create the programs, on a national scale, that attempt to solve these problems.” For more information, click here.