Forensic Expert Joan Bienvenue Appointed Director of U.Va.’s Applied Research Institute

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Joan Bienvenue, formerly chief scientist and program manager at Lockheed Martin, took the helm as director of the University of Virginia’s Applied Research Institute on June 1.

Located north of Charlottesville at the University of Virginia Research Park, the institute was created in 2011 to leverage the University’s human and capital assets to support applied research, education and training with a focus on homeland security, national intelligence and defense challenges.

The institute’s mission is to create research opportunities for faculty, staff and students; develop and provide education and training programs relevant to its partners; foster pan-University research initiatives; provide U.Va. students unique analytical, research and development opportunities; and facilitate faculty/scientific exchanges with industry and government. It has been led by Alfred Weaver, a computer science professor in U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, who will remain involved as a researcher and associate director, in addition to his other teaching and research endeavors.

Faculty in U.Va.’s Engineering School, School of Medicine and the College of Arts & Sciences are involved in research in the institute. Research partners to date include Northrop Grumman, Syracuse Research Corporation, TASC, Signature Science and Battelle, among others, working on projects related to undersea power units, cyber security, custom integrated circuits, scientometric analysis of scientific literature, bioinformatics and infectious disease.

“In searching for a new director for ARI, we were looking for an individual with executive experience successfully leading and managing national organizations and programs and with demonstrated excellence working within the Department of Defense and the national intelligence community,” John D. Simon, executive vice president and provost, said. “We couldn’t be more pleased that Joan Bienvenue accepted our offer. I am confident that she will move ARI forward in ways that benefit the University and the wider community.”

A native of Auburn, N.H., and a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences since 2001, Bienvenue holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from Rivier University in Nashua, N.H., an M.S. degree in forensic science from the University of New Haven (Conn.), a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Mary Washington.

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