Dr. Bhakta Rath Receives Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive


6/19/2006 - 38-06r
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Dr. Bhakta Rath, Associate Director of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the Naval Research Laboratory, is a recipient of the 2005 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive. Annually, the President recognizes a small group of career Senior Executives with the President's Rank Award for exceptional long-term accomplishments. Winners of this prestigious award are strong leaders, professionals, and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.

The Presidential Rank Award honors Dr. Rath for his outstanding leadership and for his exceptional vision in the broad field of physical sciences and their potential applications for naval needs. He is cited for his exceptional ability to lead change and innovative approaches to provide new technologies to our fleet and war fighting efforts in Iraq. Dr. Rath's vision in establishing the NRL Nanoscience Institute has provided a number of advances in sensors, detectors, chemical and biological defense, and nanoelectronics for the Navy and Marine Corps applications. He has directed multidisciplinary efforts focused on optical, electronic, magnetic and structural materials development to provide transformational technologies to the Navy.

Dr. Rath's recent leadership in providing advanced flexible, lightweight and breathable materials for protection of extremities for our soldiers has been a singular success. These protection systems, compatible with existing armor protection for the soldier, have been designed, developed and put under manufacture for deployment in Iraq. His group effort to analyze airborne pollutant transport in urban environments has successfully provided real-time information on the release of smoke, chemical, biological and radiological agents released in battlefield environments or in urban areas as a result of terrorist attacks. The goal of his research group to develop a new, low-cost method of indefinite power generation in the ocean sediments, without need for battery replacements, to support the energy requirements of undersea sensors, has been successfully demonstrated through extraction of energy by electrochemical means at the ocean sediment interface. The Advanced Concept Technology Development for epidemic warning is a revolutionary breakthrough that has the potential to transform diagnostic medicine. Members of his staff have been recognized with the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, National Academy of Engineering membership, a Homeland Defense Award, a Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and numerous fellowships in professional technical societies. His Directorate has 75% of the NRL CRADA income and 95% of its license income. NRL receives 45% of the total royalty income among the services.

Dr. Rath began his career at NRL as head of the Physical Metallurgy Branch. Within six years, Dr. Rath was selected to head the Materials Science and Technology Division. Then within four more years, he was appointed the Associate Director of Research for Materials Science and Component Technology for NRL.

During his career, Dr. Rath has participated in the formulation of materials science programs in and for the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and in connection with international bodies in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and China.

Dr. Rath is a Fellow of The Materials Society, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Metals, the Indian National Academy of Engineers, and the British Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He is the chairman of the American Society of Metals International Committee and serves on the society's Education Foundation Board, in addition to having served as the society's president during 2004-2005. He has received numerous honors and awards including the Presidential Rank Award, for sustained outstanding achievements of a Senior Executive (1999) and the NRL Lifetime Achievement Award. He serves as a member of the advisory boards and review boards for several government agencies and a number of universities, and as a member of the editorial board of five international scientific journals. He also served as the Executive Chair of the Materials and Processes Group for The Technical Cooperation Program. In this position, Dr. Rath developed coordinating strategies with other countries for more than fifty collaborative research and development projects to leverage the expertise of defense research facilities in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, along with U.S. Army and Air Force Laboratories. He is a member of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science and Technology Council (OSTP NSTC) Subcommittee on Large Scale Science. Most recently Dr. Rath has been appointed by the Secretary of the Navy to represent DoD in developing collaborative R&D plans with the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration on a congressionally initiated major program on Methane Hydrates - An Alternate Energy Source.



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