Ewoldt selected to join U.S. Defense Science Study Group


Julia Park

Randy EwoldtGrainger Engineering professor Randy Ewoldt has been appointed to the newest class of the U.S. Defense Science Study Group (DSSG). One of just 16 chosen to participate in the 2024-26 cohort, he was also the only one selected from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The DSSG is a program of study that introduces outstanding science and engineering professors to the country’s security challenges, fostering their talents towards working on these issues. Group members interact with top-level officials from the Department of Defense (DoD), and other government organizations, various intelligence agencies, the White House, and Congress. The program involves visits to the Pentagon, defense laboratories, and military bases around the country.

The program, which began in 1986, is directed by the nonprofit Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Ewoldt was selected from a competitive applicant pool of extremely well qualified scientists and engineers. Selected faculty in this cohort cover a range of expertise including engineering, biochemistry, cosmology, and psychology.

“Past participants in the DSSG report that it is one of the most fulfilling things they have done in their careers. Professor Ewoldt will be interacting with high-level military leaders, learning about our nation’s security needs, and bringing that awareness back to Grainger Engineering and the UIUC campus. This is a significant opportunity, and his selection is a testament to his leadership and research excellence,” said Rashid Bashir, Dean of The Grainger College of Engineering.

The Alexander Rankin Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Ewoldt will bring his expertise in fluid mechanics, rheology and soft matter.

“The ultimate benefit of the DSSG program is to the United States and its citizens, and it’s an honor to serve my country in this way,” said Ewoldt, “I also look forward to an opportunity to strengthen the link between national security needs and our campus, college, and department.”