Diminishing risk to U.S. military personnel is at the heart of research that Ayodeji Coker is conducting, and experts in his field view his work as promising. Coker, a research scientist with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center-Pacific is developing a methodology and tool for predicting the probability of achieving communication between heterogeneous teams of unmanned vehicles operating in maritime and joint military environments. In the words of one of his colleagues, if Coker’s work proves to be successful it will be a “key enabler to the future war fighting capacity of the Navy and military.”
Coker is a graduate of State University of New York at Albany, where he received a bachelor’s degree in physics, and Northwestern University, where he earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. He was awarded his doctorate in computer engineering in 2008 by Texas A&M University. The increased use of unmanned vehicles is a key element of the National Military Strategy. Unmanned Surface Vehicles are expected to carry out missions that require long-term operational independence, such as being able to traverse long distances, assess and avoid potential threats and collect necessary target information independent of direct human operators.
However, communication with these vehicles can be compromised due to enemy jamming and atmospheric factors. Coker’s research is explained as “essential for our U.S. military dominance in this war fighting capability.” He is credited with bringing forth innovative ideas and rapidly advancing the state of the art. Coker is also highly praised for his ability to foster an environment of collaboration.
“Dr. Coker’s leadership and team building skills are unique in that he has tailored his project team to include engineering and scientific expertise from recent college graduate interns to seasoned subject matter military experts.”
He is also involved in a number of organizations and has established and maintained relationships with universities that are referred to as valuable by his colleagues.
“His connection with local San Diego universities and his ties back to his personal academic universities and organizations that he established there have proven to be a valuable umbilical cord to unique, diverse and highly talented scientists and engineers,” said one colleague.