Secure Your Spot on the Next X-Force Team
Date: December 12, 2022
By Ashley Guernsey
Applications for National Security Innovation Network’s X-Force Fellows are open. In 2021, an X-Force Fellowship team including UAF student Lindy Guernsey collaborated with Eielson Air Force Base and the Iceman Spark program, which empowers airmen to innovate. Together they worked with UAF to solve problems faced by the U.S. Department of Defense in the Arctic due to extremely cold temperatures.
“It's really fun to collaborate across different types of organizations and that sharing of ideas can be extremely powerful,” said UAF electrical engineering student Lindy Guernsey.
Guernsey and her team of students from across the United States worked with Iceman Spark innovation coaches to fully understand and appreciate the complexity of a problem posed by Eielson Air Force Base personnel on runway snow depth, and ice depth and density, uniformity, and slickness.
“We were given the scope of how to improve the efficiency of their runway snow and ice removal,” said Guernsey.
Guernsey’s team worked toward a solution for the problem and ultimately created a prototype to let the snow removers check the snow and ice depth and density remotely.
Every year, there are new sets of challenges posed to the X-Force teams. Guernsey suggests students seek the opportunity to participate. “Put in an application to see if your skills match what they're looking for that year.”
The X-Force Fellowship Program is open to U.S. citizens at the undergraduate and graduate level. Successful fellowship applicants possess a diverse set of skills ranging from mobile and web app development, data analysis and visualization, hardware prototyping, social media strategy, and technology scouting. Fellows have the opportunity to work on a mission-focused real-world project, participate in a professional development opportunity, work directly with military and national security leaders, and gain perspective as to how their skills and experience can have an outsized impact on national security.
NSIN uses their X-Force program to link experts in their fields to college students who are learning the material through classes and projects. The program matches highly talented undergraduate and graduate students with operational military commands to deliver rapid, early-stage prototypes that help solve project sponsor needs.
Applications are due by 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.