Director, Advanced Collaborative Environments Lab






Brief Biography:


Dr. Grace M. Bochenek is the director of the Advanced Collaborative Environments (ACE) Laboratory and is a senior research engineer with the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Commandís National Automotive Center in Warren, MI.She leads efforts to integrate virtual simulation, modeling and virtual reality into Army vehicle system life cycle processes.


Dr. Bochenek has more than 15 years of technical and managerial experience in the areas of simulation, virtual reality, system design and acquisition, virtual prototyping, research, development, engineering, program management and joint international programs.


She developed a program strategy to integrate emerging virtual environment technologies into the product design and development process to reduce cost, product development cycle time, and to improve overall product quality.She is responsible for academic, industry and government collaborative research in virtual environment application to product design and development.


As such, her ACE Groupís revolutionary modeling and simulation methodology is compressing the acquisition process.ACE's powerful toolset empowers engineers, soldiers, contractors, testers, trainers and maintainers through its connectivity: a real-time, on-demand, 3-D life-size immersive virtual environment capitalizing on commercial technologies to facilitate collaboration between relevant stakeholders - which nearly negates reliance on hardware mockups/prototypes.


Her team maintains TACOMís immersive Virtual Distributed Collaborative Environment not only at its Warren headquarters, but also at key remote sites throughout the country.Her ACE Group is currently focused on integrating both web-based and virtual environment technologies to support Army ground vehicle development, with particular emphasis on the vehicles that will help propel Army transformation.Customers who use ACEís web-based integrated data environment can access distributed data, search and find information, respond more quickly to taskers, and most importantly, everyone in the process has the same valuable information at their fingertips.Bochenek and her group are working closely with both PM, Brigade Combat Team, and PM, Future Combat System.A materiel development watershed, ACE is a true Transformation enabler.


Dr. Bochenek also provides technical direction and contract management for simulation-based Dual-Use Science and Technology programs supporting the Defense Departmentís simulation-based acquisition initiative and the Armyís Simulation, Modeling, Acquisition, Requirements and Training program.


She holds a bachelorís degree in electrical engineering from Wayne State University, a masterís degree in engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering with a concentration in virtual environments and applications in collaborative product design from the University of Central Florida.


She was one of 10 Army civilians selected in 1994 for a fully funded research fellowship to conduct joint research between the Army and the University of Central Florida in the areas of simulation, virtual reality, human-computer interface design, and applications to product design.Dr. Bochenek also served as the technical chairperson of the NATO Working Group for Vehicle Electronics for Battlefield Management Systems from 1993-96.This international effort developed common electronic components, standard electronic architectures and technologies for improving battlefield interoperability and enhanced battlefield management systems.