NEWS | Jan. 19, 2012

Dr. Bradley Ringeisen Honored with Commanding Officer's Award for Achievement in the Field of Equal Employment Opportunity

By Donna McKinney

Dr. Bradley Ringeisen, a research chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory, has received the Commanding Officer's Award for Achievement in the Field of Equal Employment Opportunity for Supervisory Employees.

Ringeisen is recognized for the way he has demonstrated with reverence his belief and commitment toward the principals of EEO by his unwavering dedication to recruiting and mentoring students in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities intern program. His enthusiasm and drive are not only exemplified in his state-of-the-art research, but his leadership at the Naval Research Laboratory and his drive to excite young Americans to pursue science and engineering as a career.

Ringeisen has worked as a research chemist within the Chemistry Division for nine years. His development of Biological Laser Printing (BioLP) to produce three-dimensional heterogeneous biological tissues and more recently his research in microbial fuel cells for alternative energy has shown his capability of using innovative means to address future scientific needs. He now serves as Section Head of the Bioenergy and Biofabrication Section.

As a leader in using laser induced forward transfer for biological printing within the Department of Navy and DoD, Ringeisen has successfully transitioned this technology to the private sector. He collaborates with a number of universities including the University of Southern California, Harvard University, Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of Texas El Paso. Ringeisen has published more than 45 peer-reviewed publications with over 1400 citations. He has received numerous awards including the ARPAD/Berman Award, NRL Edison Award, NRL Group Achievement Award and the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award.

In addition to all of his research responsibilities, Ringeisen has enthusiastically demonstrated and supported diversity in the workplace and equal employment opportunities for all. He has served as co-director and been a driving force in the success of the NRL summer internship program for minority students, which has been in existence for 19 years. This internship program is focused primarily, but not exclusively, on undergraduates who attend the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities (HBCU/MI/TCU's). The internship program gives interns hands-on experience in research for a 10-week period at various laboratories at NRL. The program also provides the interns with mentors who serve as role models, encouraging them to pursue advanced degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Ringeisen has served as a mentor for a number of students in this program since 2002. And he has served as co-director of the NRL program since 2009. Since his initial involvement in the program in 2002, Ringeisen has personally mentored four HBCU students, and personnel in his Section have taken on an additional three students. Two of Ringeisen's students from Bowie State University returned for work at NRL during winter breaks and for an additional summer through NRL's HBCU internship program. Many of the past interns have spoken highly of him and his enthusiasm for the program and their well-being.

As co-director, Ringeisen has worked to promote the minority summer program, taking on an array of responsibilities without compromising his own research projects. Ringeisen's numerous responsibilities for the HBCU program include: 1) co-oversight of the program; 2) recruitment and site visits to HBCU/MI schools; 3) contributing to the National Science Foundation renewal grant writing process; and 4) organizing special tours (i.e., Pentagon, US Capitol) as well as other teambuilding outings like attending the Washington Nationals Baseball Game. He has been instrumental in helping students as far away as from the University of Puerto Rico to make the adjustment of living away from home in the DC area. In spite of his demanding work schedule, Ringeisen has participated in recruiting trips to Howard University, University of Texas-El Paso and Bowie State University. In addition, he has visited the District of Columbia public high schools (McKinley Tech, Ballou Senior High) and in Virginia (Thomas Jefferson) to present his current research and to promote STEM.

Out of Ringeisen's many accomplishments, perhaps his greatest accomplishments happened this past year when Ringeisen helped spearhead the effort in securing future funds from the Office of Naval Research to keep the HBCU/MI internship program going. His relentless enthusiasm in meeting with ONR executives and his execution and presentation of the minority internship research proposal built on a continuum approach were phenomenal. In the many years that we have known Ringeisen, we can say without a doubt that when he is passionate about something he will energize and motivate all others around to accomplish the task. His desire to expand the HBCU/MI internship program from only undergraduates to include also K-12, post-graduates, high school teachers and university faculty, is a prime example of the vision required for maintaining a strong Navy S&T workforce.