Associate Director of Research for Materials Science and Component Technology

Dr. B. B. Rath

Dr. B. B. Rath was born in Banki, India. He received a B.S. degree in physics and mathematics from Utkal University, an M.S. in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University, and a Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Photo of Dr. Rath

Dr. Rath was Assistant Professor of Metallurgy and Materials Science at Washington State University from 1961 to 1965. From 1965 to 1972, he was with the staff of the Edgar C. Bain Laboratory for fundamental research of the U.S. Steel Corporation. From 1972 to 1976, he headed the Metal Physics Research Group of the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories in St. Louis, Missouri, until he came to NRL as Head of the Physical Metallurgy Branch. During this period, he was adjunct professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Maryland, and the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Rath served as Superintendent of the Materials Science and Technology Division from 1982 to 1986, when he was appointed to his present position.

Dr. Rath is recognized in the fields of solid-state transformations, grain boundary migrations, and structure-property relationships in metallic systems. He has published over 230 papers in these fields, organized more than forty international conferences and edited over twenty published conference proceedings.

Dr. Rath serves on several planning, review, selection committees and advisory boards for both the Navy and the Department of Defense, as well as for the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation, Carnegie-Mellon University, University of Virginia, Colorado School of Mines, University of Maryland, University of Connecticut, Florida Atlantic University, Lehigh University, and the University of Florida. He serves as the chairman of the Technology Advisory Board of the International Advanced Research Center (ARCI) in Hyderabad, India and is the principal advisor to the Advanced Materials Research Center (CEAMR) in Bhubaneswar, India. He is currently the Navy representative to the DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary's advisory and planning committee on methane hydrates. He served as the Navy representative and as the Executive Chair, materials group of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) countries (US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand), appointed by the US Undersecretary of State as a member of the joint commission for Indo US S & T Initiative (PL 480 program, 1985-2001). During this period, he designed and directed more than 75 collaborative research projects between US and Indian institutions, generating more than 700 archival papers and edited 20 proceedings of Indo US workshops.

Dr. Rath is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has been elected as a fellow of several technical societies including The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), American Society for Materials-International (ASM), Washington Academy of Sciences, Materials Research Society of India, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Materials of the United Kingdom. In 2007, Dr. Rath received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Michigan Technological University and was elected to deliver the commencement address to the graduating class. In 2008, he received the Illinois Institute of Technology Mechanical Materials & Aerospace Engineering Department 2008 Alumni Recognition Award. In 2010, he received a doctorate of science honoris causa from Ravenshaw University in Orissa, India and in 2012 he received a D. Sc. Honoris causa from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar.

Dr. Rath has received a number of honors and awards, most recently an Award for Excellence from the Undersecretary of Defense; Honorary Membership in the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME); the Royal International Award for Excellence from the Royal Charitable Trust, India; the Michigan Tech Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award. His other awards include the Padma Bhushan Award of Honors and Excellence bestowed by the President of India; the Acta Materialia J. Herbert Hollomon Award (now called the Materials and Society Award of Acta Materialia); the DOD Distinguished Civilian Service Award, presented by the Secretary of Defense, D. H. Rumsfeld, for distinguished accomplishments and sustained superior service; the Fred Saalfeld Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Science presented by the Chief of Naval Research; the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive presented by President Bush; the NRL Lifetime Achievement Award; National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies; two Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Awards (1999 and 2004) presented by Presidents Clinton and Bush, the S. Chandrasekhar Award and Medal, Orissa Academy of Science; and the Award of Merit for Group Achievement from the Chief of Naval Research. He received the George Kimball Burgess Memorial Award; the Charles S. Barrett Medal; and the prestigious TMS Leadership Award for his contributions to Materials Research. The American Society for Materials International and The Metals, Minerals, and Materials Society have jointly recognized him with the TMS/ASM Joint Distinguished Lectureship in Materials & Society Award; and the 2001 ASM Distinguished Life Membership Award. He served as the President of the American Society for Materials. He also has served as a member of the Boards of Directors/Trustees of TMS, ASM-International Materials Education Foundation, the Federation of Materials Society (FMS), as a member of the editorial boards of five international materials research journals, and as chairman of several committees of Technical Societies.

Michigan Technological University and Colorado School of Mines have established Bhakta B. Rath Research Awards for the best doctoral theses in science and engineering. Following his donation of rare technical books, the Colorado School of Mines has established a departmental library in his name.

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