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College of Engineering and Computing

Faculty and Staff

Juan A. Vitali

Title: Adjunct Professor
Department: Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computing
Email: jvitali@mailbox.sc.edu
Office: 2600 Army Pentagon, Room 2A514B
Washington DC 20310
Headshot of Juan Vitali

Background

Dr. Vitali serves as Chief, Army Nuclear Power Branch, Office of The Chief of Engineers. Previously he served as Division Chief, Integrated Logistics Support HQDA G44M overseeing acquisition programs for the HQDA G4. He also served as Strategist and Chief of Future Operations/Strategy Division at HQDA G-43/5/7 where he was responsible for integrating future operations capabilities, concepts and strategies for the Army G-4 including PESTEL analysis of mobile nuclear power plants for ground operations.

In his previous job as Chief Engineer and Chief for S&T programs at Logistics Innovation Agency (LIA), Dr. Vitali lead the development of S&T strategies for the G-4 and the development of the LIA Corporate Strategy 2015-2019 as well as Operational Energy and Microreactor strategies.  Prior to his stint at LIA, Dr. Vitali was the Chief of Test and Evaluation at the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense. In that position, he oversaw the testing and evaluation of over $4 billion in joint service assets and provides key leadership to ensure that all acquisition programs incorporate thorough testing.  Coauthored the White House-sponsored, National Technology Council Goals and Policy for Standardization in the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defense. When he joined the Army in 2005, he served as Division Chief for Aircraft, Unmanned Air Vehicles and Support Systems at the Army Evaluation Center/Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), he exercised test and evaluation oversight of all of the Army’s unmanned air systems programs, the Cargo and Utility Helicopter acquisition programs. Prior to that position, Dr. Vitali was Principal Research Faculty for eight years at Georgia Tech Research Institute, and was Director of the Washington Office for the Electro-Optics Environment and Materials Laboratory. He also served at the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Director of Operational Test and Evaluation/Live Fire office (DOTE/LFT&E) as a specialist in fire and explosion protection systems for weapons. Earlier in his career, he was a Senior Scientist for the Air Force Research Laboratory and the 46th Test Wing, at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Throughout his career, Dr. Vitali has maintained a dedication to excellence not only in science and technology but, in general, quietly effecting change through increasing leadership roles. In 2000, his work in halon replacements earned him the International US-EPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award.  Dr. Vitali, completed studies at National Defense University/Eisenhower School and obtained a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies and Resource Strategy in 2013. While there he focused on World Economic Trends, Global Strategies on the Asia Pacific Rebalance, Iran’s Plausibility of a Nuclear Program, Defense Resource Strategy Planning, and Information Operations in North Korea. Dr Vitali is a Harvard University Senior Executive Fellow.

Dr. Vitali holds a Doctorate in Engineering Physics/Nuclear Engineering (1992) (Nuclear Space Power Concepts for the Mars Mission), a Master of Engineering (1987) (Food Irradiation Technology Design), and a Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude in Engineering Physics/Nuclear Engineering (1984), all from the University of Florida. Dr. Vitali is a certified DAWIA acquisition professional (Level III, Test and Evaluation, Level II PM, Senior Acquisition, National Defense University) and member of the Army Acquisition Corp.  

He is a Life Member of Tau beta Pi – the National Engineer’s Honor society, Alpha Nu Sigma (Nuclear Engineering Honor Society) - and Florida Blue Key Leadership Honorary Society. Dr. Vitali is a Private Pilot (General Aviation). He has been awarded the Superior Service Civilian Award in 2021 as a result of his thought leadership in nuclear power engineering. 

Dr. Vitali is married to the former Kathryn Bowler of Needham, MA.

Education

  • Ph.D., Nuclear Engineering, University of Florida, 1992
  • Master of Engineering, University of Florida, 1987.
  • B.S., Nuclear Engineering Cum Laude, University of Florida, 1984
  • Certificate in Public Leadership, Brookings Institution, June 2016
  • Master of Science in National Resource Strategy (Senior Acquisition Course), The Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University (formerly ICAF), 2013
  • Fellow, Harvard Senior Executive Fellowship, 2018

Research Overview

Interest in microreactor design concepts, advanced fuel design,  LENR, transportable reactors, molten salt, liquid metal and other designs

Awards

• International Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, 2000 (US-EPA)
• Selected Member, Hall of Fame, University of Florida, 1989
• Titans of Nuclear Podcast, Guest,  “The Future of Electrification,” August 2019
• Hillary Clinton for President, Policy Committee on Caribbean trade policy, Summer 2007
• Clean Energy for Biden, Co-Author, Policy Volunteer, Advanced Nuclear Demonstration and Commercialization, October 2020
• Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, 2021

Other Positions

  • Member of National Security Council Nuclear Interagency Process Committee, White House.

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