Dr. Charles R. Welch, a senior scientist and research physicist in the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg has been named the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Researcher of the Year for his work with carbon nanotube (CNT) research. Welch’s research on material development and supercomputer modeling in the molecular field of nanomaterials has been groundbreaking, providing quantum leaps forward in the development and growth of CNT. The Nov. 2008 issue of Civil Engineering magazine stated the resulting research technologies “have the potential to significantly change the way materials are developed.”
Welch has a bachelor’s in physics from Old Dominion University, a master’s in engineering mechanics from Mississippi State University and a doctorate in engineering mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has published over 80 journal articles and technical reports, has given more than 60 presentations and lectures and has three patents, including one based on CNT developments.
In addition to his research, Welch is a member of the ITL senior staff, providing direct consultation to the ITL director and other senior staff members. Recently, he collaborated with Nobel Laureate Robert Curl and Curl’s Rice University research group on a successful basic research proposal on CNT coatings.
Welch, whose past positions at ERDC include directing multiple divisions within ITL, was presented with the Researcher of the Year Award at the Senior Leaders Summer Conference in Orlando, Fla.