News and Events 

2016-2017 News and Events

Dr. Kenny McDonald was recently awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant to support the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) in assessing their programs and developing education outreach.  This is the first Fulbright grant awarded in this region.  Dr. McDonald will spend much of November in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and on the island of Ebeye working education and infrastructure assessment for the CMI.  Dr. McDonald is using this project to help frame a larger cadet capstone project for System Engineering and Engineering Management majors.  The cadets are currently working with the CMI as well as local Ebeye city officials to conduct a soft systems analysis of the educational system of the RMI.  The CNRCD has a long history with the Marshall Islands and has worked several development and infrastructure problems for the Army staff.  


While on sabbatical last year, Dr. Bruce Keith served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia where he taught Ph.D. students and conducted research on water resource management.  He is partnering with numerous national laboratories and universities to work on water resource management in Sub-Saharan Africa and issues concerning human displacement brought about by the confluence of population growth and climate change on the African continent.  Dr. John Farr spent the summer of 2013 assisting with the reform and assessment of engineering curriculum at the University of Technical Education, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Dr. Farr plans to return to Vietnam to work on water and economic issues surrounding the Mekong River Basin.


Dr. Bruce Keith

2015-2016 News and Events

Dr. Bruce Keith served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia where he taught Ph.D. students and conducted research on water resource management.  He is partnering with numerous national laboratories and universities to work on water resource management in Sub-Saharan Africa and issues concerning human displacement brought about by the confluence of population growth and climate change on the African continent. 

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  For more information on the program, please see .  

2014-2015 News and Events 

Bruce Keith (Professor of Sociology in the Department of Systems Engineering and Senior Associate in the Center for Nation Reconstruction and Capacity Development) was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Academic Year 2015-16.  Bruce will spend the year at the Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, which is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Bruce’s activities will involve teaching research methodologies and system dynamics to graduate students at the university as well as continuation of his research on water management within the Nile River Basin. 

Dr. Bruce Keith attended an international conference on "Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security", organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) during May 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The purpose of the trip was twofold: (a) to increase knowledge and understanding of extant environmental stressors in the Nile River Basin based on water and population dynamics within the region and (b) to develop potential partnerships for research opportunities in the Nile River Basin.  Dr. Keith, who also attended the USIP and AUSA summit, was invited to present work from his cadet capstone at Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar Universities in Ethiopia.  This work, which is the culmination of a joint effort between West Point’s Systems Engineering Department and undergraduate Sustainability Development majors at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, focuses on the projected impact of climate change on streamflow in the Nile River Basin during the 21st Century.  Dr. Bruce Keith and 2LT Jonathan Lee (Class of 2014) attended the 2014 International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC) in Delft, Netherlands during July, 2014 (see ) to present this work.

2013-2014 News and Events

Dr. Bruce Keith (D/SE) collaborated with Dr. Radley Horton (Columbia University), Dr. Diane Dittrick (Barnard College), and Allison Lee (Columbia University graduate research assistant) on a joint student capstone project involving six undergraduate students from Columbia University and four West Point cadets.  The cadets’ two-semester capstone involves the development of a dynamic systems model to estimate the propensity for conflict in the Nile River Basin throughout the 21st Century based on water resource constraints brought about by the fill rate of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam and regional population growth.  In order to accurately estimate changes in the volume and flow of the Nile River, the cadets sought valid estimates of precipitation and temperature change, which became the focus of a capstone project for a team of environmental sustainability majors at Columbia University.  The Columbia University team provided Dr. Keith with their final project brief and a well-written 58 page report on Wednesday, 18 December 2013.  Their work incorporated annual and seasonal estimates for four targeted regions in the Nile River Basin from data generated by 33 separate global climate models at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University.  The West Point cadets intend to use data from the Columbia University report as an integral component of their model.  Dr. Keith and Dr. Horton are currently assessing the feasibility of building upon this successful inter-university capstone initiative for AY14-2.  Dr. Keith received financial support for the cadet capstone project from the Engineer Research Development Center (ERDC), Vicksburg, Mississippi.  

Joint Capstone

Dr. Bruce Keith is shown below with Dr. Diane Dittrick and Columbia University students at the culmination of a joint capstone project; Dr. Radley Horton took the picture. The Columbia University students, from left to right include Nikhil Krishnan, Alex O’Hagan, Etsegenet Wakjira, Keith, Dittrick, Perihan MacDonald, Erica Bower, Andrew Pinelli, and Allison Lee. The West Point cadet team, who were unable to attend the briefing because of conflicts with their final exams, included Jonathan Lee, Robert Mayville, Kevin Epp, and Michael Houghton. 

Cadets Peter Fugate, Grace Hamilton, Elaine Gill, and Robert Jolly were all awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Environmental Laboratory of the Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC).  Presenting the award is LTC Steve Hart, ERDC Engineering Fellow at West Point.  Their work on life cycle costing of environmental remediation techniques for wastewater effluent from the manufacturing of insensitive munitions was used to fund major capital investments at an Army ammunition plant.  This research will be published as an ERDC technical report later this year.



Dr. John Farr from the Department of Systems Engineering and the Center for Nation Reconstruction and Capacity Development spent 3 weeks this summer in Vietnam at the University of Technical Education (UTE) in Ho Chi Minh City as part of his Fulbright Scholarship.  During his 3 weeks in Vietnam he lectured to the faculty and university leadership on engineering management, assessment, and accreditation.  He also helped them plan a conference on engineering education. UTE has over 20,000 students mainly in engineering.

McDonald Retirement

2012-2013 News and Events

LTC Kenny McDonald retired after over 28 years of active service on 31 May 2013.  LTC McDonald graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1985 with a BS, Civil Engineering and was commissioned as a 2LT in the US Army Corps of Engineers.  During his career, LTC McDonald served as a combat Engineer throughout the US to include Ft Belvoir, VA; Ft Still, OK; Ft Devens, MA; Ft Campbell, KY; Ft Leonard Wood, MO; and Manhattan, NY.  He also deployed several times.  In 1991, he deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq for Operation Desert Storm while serving with the 20th Engineer Battalion.  In 1999, he deployed as construction Engineer to Kosovo in support of EUCOM's efforts.  In 2001, he deployed to Korea and served as the Deputy Commander for Base Operations and Engineering, 19th Theater Support Command.  From 2006 to 2008, LTC McDonald volunteered for Iraq and served as the Deputy Commander, Southern District, US Army Corps of Engineers where he was responsible for over $1 billion worth of construction projects which included the Basrah Children's Hospital (the first oncology hospital in the region).  LTC McDonald served three tours at the United States Military Academy.  In 1995 and again in 2002, he served in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering where he taught courses in geomorphology and environmental Engineering.  In 2005 he taught civil Engineering for the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering.  From 2009 to present he has served in the Department of Systems Engineering as the Engineering Management Program Director (2009 - 2012).  He is currently an Associate Professor and Associate Director for the CNRCD.

2011-2012 News and Events

Dr. Bruce Keith, Center for National Reconstruction and Capacity Development, visited the Nanjing University Posts and Telecommunications (NUPT) from June 7-12, 2012 to determine the feasibility of sending engineering majors to the university as participants in a semester abroad program. NUPT has a entered into a joint agreement with the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) to establish an international exchange program for students and faculty in the fields of electrical engineering, computer science, and business. While students are completely immersed within a Chinese context (i.e., living in dorms with other Chinese and international students), they are permitted to complete technical courses from their majors in English. They are, of course, also permitted to take courses in Chinese, including instruction on the Chinese language. Dr. Keith, who met with the presidents of both NUPT and NYIT as well as numerous members of the administration and staff while in Nanjing, felt that cadet opportunities for semester exchanges were both feasible and realistic through both a pilot and a potentially sustainable program over the next several years. Nanjing is located about 170 miles west of Shanghai, which is about 90 minutes by high speed train. Two cadets were accepted to participate in this exchange during AY13-1: Cadet Matthew Abreu, an electrical engineering major at USMA, and Cadet Ethan Salgado, an international economics major at USAFA. This exchange represents a joint, collaborative effort on the part of both USMA and USAFA.

NUPT Image

On June 17-19 Drs. Bruce Keith and John Farr from the Center for Nation Reconstruction and Capacity Development (C/NRCD) visited the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.  The Center is developing a memorandum of understanding to jointly support research and education with IPSS and the African Union.  Next year the two organizations will jointly study systems modeling of how water drives conflict in sub Sahara Africa with a focus on the Nile River Valley.  Drs. Farr and Keith will also help supervise PhD dissertation for the university and hopefully teach courses as part of their PhD program in Peace Studies.    

CDT Michael Rodriguez, Class of 2012, briefs the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment on his group’s capstone efforts in support of the Army’s NetZero Initiative (May) - During USMA's annual projects day, Cadets supporting the center's research efforts in energy had the opportunity to brief the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Honorable Katherine Hammack, on their respective work in support of the Army’s Net Zero Initiative. In the picture below, CDT Michael Rodriguez highlighted his group’s efforts on developing a resource prioritization methodology relating energy security to NetZero. The client for this project was the ACSIM.



Cadets and LTC McDonald visit te Marshall Islands (January) - Two teams of cadets along with LTC McDonald visited Kwajalein Atoll and Ebeye before the start of the second semester.  Under sponsorship of the ACSIM, during the academic year these two teams of cadets have worked on resource prioritization scheme for ACSIM on the facility at Kwajalein in support of their Directorate of Public Works.  Cadets are also working on project to create a Comprehensive Master Plan that focuses on the capacity development of Ebeye.

2010-2011 News and Events

Dr. John Farr and LTC McDonald visited AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany and the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa in Djibouti, Africa (June) - The purpose of the trip was to out-brief the results of the cadet work on conflict indicators for the Sudan conducted during AY 10-11 and to start gathering requirements for projects in AY 11-12. Under the sponsorship of AFRICOM and ERDEC cadets will be conducting assessment and complex systems modeling during the upcoming academic year.


Center Staff Visit PACOM and Kwajalein Atoll (July) -  At the request of the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Dr. John Farr and LTC Kenny McDonald visited PACOM, Kwajalein Atoll, and other surrounding islands in the Republic of the Marshall Islands to help support economic development in Ebeye and to help with installation planning on Kwajalein.

Kwajalein Atoll 1

Kwajalein Atoll 2

Kwajalein Atoll 3