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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
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.
Point of Contact for content of this page:
Dr. Robert E. Davis
Pagemaster for this page:
Jane G. Mason