AFRL Inspire 2023
Dr. Richard Beblo, a mechanical engineer in the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL’s, Aerospace Systems Directorate, delivers his talk “Groundbreaking Innovation at the Speed of Failure” at the seventh annual AFRL Inspire event at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Kenney Hall, Oct. 26, 2023. Beblo opened his talk by recounting a time when he and his research team conducted a sled test — a type of nondestructive experiment that reproduces the dynamic conditions of a full-scale crash scenario — that “failed” spectacularly. While others present at the testing site deemed the test a total flop, Beblo said, he and his team were ecstatic about their supposed failure. “We were excited because we knew the test just gained value,” Beblo said. “We knew we were about to learn things that we hadn’t even anticipated as things we needed to learn.” The quickest path to success is to fail fast and fail often, Beblo said, and this perspective applies to the development of new technologies. (U.S. Air Force photo / Cherie Cullen)

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Photo by: Cherie Cullen |  VIRIN: 231026-F-XH843-0138.JPG