The institute was started in 2011 to harness the University’s human and capital resources in support of applied research, education and training, with a focus on homeland security, national intelligence and defense challenges.
To facilitate the Applied Research Institute’s charter to serve as a conduit to the vast resources of the entire University, it is arranged under a highly streamlined organizational structure. Bienvenue reports to University Executive Vice President and Provost, Thomas C. Katsouleas.
Before coming to ARI in June 2013, Bienvenue was chief scientist and program manager at Lockheed Martin. There she oversaw a project aimed at developing rapid microfluidic DNA analysis systems. She joined the company in 2008.
Bienvenue’s directorship returns her to Charlottesville and Grounds, as she earned her Ph.D. degree in chemistry from UVA. She also holds a M.S. in forensic science from the University of New Haven and an M.B.A. from the University of Mary Washington.
While a Ph.D. student at UVA, she was a National Institute of Justice graduate research fellow. For her postdoctoral research, she worked as a fellow at the FBI Academy-Quantico. She then joined the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory.
An expert in forensic science, Bienvenue has been member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences since 2001. Over the course of her career she has led several projects focused on the development of new technologies for the purification and analysis of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in forensic casework.
As ARI director, Bienvenue intends to “build ARI into a world-class research center that will enable faculty to interact and work with government agencies and will offer new opportunities for UVA to develop high-level research related to issues of great importance to the United States.”