Innovation Collaborative Laboratory for Nanotechnologies to Empower the Future Soldier (ICONS)

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Soldier Center have created a one-of-a-kind joint collaborative laboratory titled Innovation Collaborative Laboratory for Nanotechnologies to Empower the Future Soldier (ICONS). The purpose of ICONS is to establish technologies that will protect the soldier through integrated science and engineering.  Through ICONS, JSNN faculty and their affiliates, along with their students (graduate and undergraduate) and postdoctoral fellows to work with scientists and engineers from DEVCOM’s Soldier Center and share research facilities to create next generation technologies.

The partnership is being initiated through a $1.05 M cooperative agreement awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense.  ICONS research projects are co-led by two JSNN professors, Dr. Kristen Dellinger will lead efforts in Nanoengineering, while Dr. Tetyana Ignatova will lead efforts in Nanoscience. Three major areas are the focus of ICONS:

  • Developing new sustainable nanoscale materials that are lighter, longer, safer, stronger and can be incorporated into yarn and weaved into fabric for soldiers, particularly women soldier clothing, and designed to empower them. These materials can also be used as additives for helmets and other devices.
  • The micro/nanodevice group at JSNN will utilize the fabrication facilities to design and establish sensors to detect various chemical hazards that will provide high sensitivity, selectivity, and reusability under extreme environments.
  • The BSL3 lab will allow JSNN researchers in collaboration with Soldier Center scientists to study the effect of biological hazards that are often encountered by soldiers on the battlefield and to develop technologies that detect them rapidly and decontaminate them effectively.

The proximity of JSNN to several military bases in North Carolina allows researchers to directly connect with military soldiers and veterans to better understand soldier needs and to train students to develop solutions from the users’ perspective. JSNN’s unique facilities such as the Computer Assisted Virtual Experimentation (CAVE) lab, a Nanotechnology Textile lab, the Class 1000 clean room and its state-of-the-art equipment opens new collaborative opportunities for DEVCOM SC scientists and engineers. The collaborative lab will allow both entities to leverage their expertise and share facilities to advance technologies to support soldiers and future military needs.

Meet The icons Team

The JSNN Faculty

THe jsnn Students

Jared Averitt

Gerald Boadu

Sharika Cochran

Isaac Fernandez

Ashley Herring Nicholas



Selina Laws

Keshan Lighty







The Soldier Center principal investigators

Gianna ahnrud

Food Protection and Innovative Packaging Team

todd alexander

Emerging Materials Development Team


CB Innovative Material & Ensemble Development Team


Emerging Materials Development Team


Emerging Materials Development Team

Michael Ghebrebrhan

Optical and Electromagnetic Materials  Team

elizabeth hirst

Emerging Materials Development Team

lanaiya kydd

Office of CTO

Rshannon mcgraw-manza

Food Protection and Innovative Packaging Team

ramanathan nagarajan


ken ngo

CB Innovative Material & Ensemble Development Team

joseph palomba

CB Innovative Material & Ensemble Development Team

jason parker

Ballistic and Blast Protection Team

dominique reilly

Food Protection and Innovative Packaging Team

larobert stote

Biological Sciences and TechnologyTeam

kathleen swana

Office of CTO

Joshua Uzarski

CB Innovative Material and Ensemble Development Tean

Michael Wiederoder

Food Protection and Innovative Packaging Team

Current Research

WP Data Tables

For any inquiries please email