Science & Technology Corner
DoD STEM Program Launches Navy Researcher’s Career – and
Potential Game-changing Technology
When she was a teenager, Kristina Dronenburg’s family played a unique game around the dinner table with her family.
Kristina Dronenburg, 23, Physicist, Naval Air Station, Patuxent River
“The game was called ‘Wouldn’t It Be Cool If,’” she says. “The rule was there was no bad idea and nothing was shot down. One day, I said, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if you could collect sound from a microphone and store it in a battery?’”
It was that moment in time that set Dronenburg on an unforgettable course, from high school valedictorian, to Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholar, to a Navy scientist who may just change the world.
Dronenburg recently tested her idea to transfer sound into energy during Naval Air Station, Patuxent River’s Innovation Challenge and currently has a patent pending. Her journey to DoD, and the realization of a lifelong dream, would not have been possible without the SMART program. SMART is a scholarship-for-service program that funds all education expenses for DoD’s next generation of scientists and engineers. SMART scholars immediately enter the DoD workforce upon graduation. For Dronenburg, SMART created opportunities she never imagined.
“SMART gave me the path to make my dreams a reality,” she says. “SMART gave me the ability not to worry about school loans. All I had to do was learn. It gave me a chance to start my career at a very young age and provided me a direct path into the Navy. It brought me from not knowing where I was going, to giving me a clear path to not only help the military, but to also develop technology for the Navy.
“SMART launched my career, and it was truly a blessing,” she said.
For more information on the SMART program, please visit https://smart.asee.org
Past S&T Corner Features
- DOD Names 2015 Class of National Security Science and Engineering Fellows
- STEM: DoD Engineers in the Community
- Solving the Electromagnetic Spectrum Issue, 02/08/15
- Small Businesses: Innovating for the Department of Defense
- Prototyping: A Critical Enabler to Increasing the Pace of Innovation
- U.S. Department of Defense Names New Class of National Security Science and Engineering Fellows
- U.S. Department of Defense to Enable Entrepreneurs to Accelerate Technology Transfer Outside of Laboratories, 6/24/14
- Value Engineering Saved More than $5.5 billon in 2013, 6/20/14
- Recap from the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival, 6/5/14
- Department of Defense Announces Research Equipment Awards, 5/27/14
- DoD's STEM Diversity Campaign Participation at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, 3/28/14
- Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Innovates in a New Era of Chem-Bio Defense, 3/28/14
- Technology Watch and Horizon Scanning for the Department of Defense, 3/14/14
- DoD’s Global S&T Strategy, 3/4/14
- Celebrating our Engineers: The 9th Annual Pentagon Engineer’s Week, 2/25/14
- Reliance 21 Operating Prinicples, 2/06/14
- US/Japan Robotics Cooperation in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Recovery, 8/20/13
- Value Engineering Achievement
- Autonomy Research Pilot Initiative, 5/21/13