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   CRREL Home > About Us > CRREL's History
  CRREL's History  
The history of CRREL goes back to long before its inception in 1961. In the 124 years since Alaska was purchased from Russia, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been involved in cold regions research and development. During World War II, organizations were created which, in 1961, were brought
Groundbreaking ceremony at CRREL.
The cornerstone-laying ceremonies. Left to right: Brig. Gen. Duncan Hallock, Chief, Research and Development Division, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Washington, D.C.; Gov. Wesley Powell, State of New Hampshire; Brig. Gen. Alden K. Sibley, Division Engineer, New England Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Dr. John Sloan Dickey, President, Dartmouth College.
together to form the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory at Hanover, New Hampshire. At no time in that long history have the forces of change been stronger than they are today.

On 27 August 1947, R.L. Tolbert of the Engineer Research and Development Division, of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, wrote a proposal to Colonel Dean, then commanding the Division. It was entitled, "Snow Mechanics Laboratory." This was the beginning of SIPRE, the Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment. On 1 February 1961, The Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) was established by the redesignation of SIPRE and the merger with the Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory, as directed by U.S. Army General Order No. 3. On this date CRREL was officially created.

CRREL's future involves service as a contributing member of the Corps family and its worldwide leadership role in cold regions research. Major challenges remain in the area of environmentally sustainable development of major energy reserves beneath Alaska's North Slope, reducing freeze-thaw damage to military facilities in the northern tier and Alaska, developing more effective year-round construction methods, capitalizing on current and developing remote sensing technologies to meet management and emergency response needs, and helping the nation to restore a rapidly deteriorating infrastructure. And, as always, there is a continuing challenge to improve the fighting capability of the military in the cold environment. CRREL's vision today will determine its success tomorrow.

PDF Download CRREL's First 25 Years (PDF, 7.5 M)
PDF Download CRREL Retrospective, 1986–1990 (PDF, 2.8 M)
Camp Century Video Thumbnail View The City under the Ice, Camp Century (RT 31:48; MP4, 131 M)

(This may take several minutes to download or launch in a player.)

CRREL 50th Anniversary Logo View CRREL's 50th Anniversary Celebration (RT 1:36:17; WMV, 1.6 G or 1600 M)

(This may take a very long time to download or launch in a player.)

Trichloroethylene Trichloroethylene: background and status.

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