SERDP 2017 Project of the Year Award for Munitions Response

SERDP has been sponsoring development of a simple, engineering model of mobility, burial and re-exposure of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and UXO-like objects for a number of years.  Several SERDP-funded investigators are contributing to this development through in-situ and laboratory measurements of the important processes involved and development of environmental predictions.  An essential first step in construction of the model was the compilation of existing measurements on items ranging from UXO and UXO-like objects to river cobbles from across the DoD, engineering, and scientific community and development of a simple framework to reconcile and understand the totality of the prior work.  This framework would have the added benefit of guiding the measurements to be made in the SERDP program.  This year’s SERDP Project of the Year accomplished all this and more through the development of simple, parameterized models from predicating munitions’ behavior underwater.

Dr. Carl Friedrichs’ project was submitted in response to a SERDP Statement of Need, requesting improved methods of detection, characterization, and remediation of munitions found at underwater sites. The parametrized models developed by Dr. Friedrichs provide an improved and unified understanding of fundamental parameters in the interactions of munitions-sized objects with sediments.  Dr. Friedrichs’ project was planned and executed in close collaboration with the overarching model development project directed by Dr. Sarah Rennie and Dr. Alan Brandt, titled “Underwater Munitions Expert System to Predict Mobility and Burial”. The parameterized model relations developed by Dr. Friedrichs have been passed to Drs. Rennie and Brandt for incorporation into their Expert System which is designed to guide DoD installation personnel in the management of underwater UXO sites.

For this important work, Dr. Carl Friedrichs and his project team received the 2017 SERDP Project of the Year Award for Munitions Response.

Project Team

  • Dr. Carl Friedrichs – Virginia Institute of Marine Science
  • Dr. Sarah Rennie – Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Dr. Alan Brandt – Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory 


Photo by Trish Gottesman