Dr. Patricia Tatem Receives Women of Color Technology Award for Lifetime Achievement

8/14/2001 - 27-01r
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Dr. Patricia Tatem, head of the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Combustion Modeling and Scaling Section of the Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability, has received the Women of Color Technology Award in Government and Defense for Lifetime Achievement. The award was presented at a ceremony on July 21.

The Career Communications Group presented its Lifetime Achievement award to Dr. Tatem at their First Women of Color Government and Defense Technology Awards Conference. Career Communications Group was "founded almost 20 years ago with a unique mission: To promote significant minority achievement in engineering, science and technology." According to the citation, "This year's Women of Color honorees come from corporations and government agencies that are doing something about the 'glass ceiling' that has limited women to 3 to 5 percent of the executive force of the Fortune 500; and the 'Digital Divide,' which threatens to marginalize talented minorities."

Dr. Tatem began her career at NRL in 1967, as a technical editor in the Technical Information Division's Editorial Branch. From 1978-1984, as a researcher in NRL's Chemistry Division, she continued her academic pursuits, culminating with her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from George Washington University. Currently, Dr. Tatem is responsible for research and development work relevant to combustion with an emphasis on fire safety. All of Dr. Tatem's projects are directly transferable to the civilian maritime community.

Dr. Tatem notes, "My career-long tenure at NRL has been both rewarding and satisfying. I feel that the greatest responsibility I have as an NRL scientist is to make a difference in the quality of life of a sailor. One of the most gratifying rewards that I have experienced has been seeing the impact of my fire safety/damage control research on the fleet in the new construction and backfit programs of naval platforms. I know that these improvements have created a less hazardous environment for sailors to go about their daily duties."

She is the author/co-author of 29 papers in refereed journals, 20 NRL formal reports, 33 NRL Memorandum reports, 85 NRL Technical Reports, 49 papers presented in Professional Society Meetings, 54 other technical papers, and 43 other technical presentations.

For her professional achievements, Dr. Tatem received the prestigious honor of being named "Black Engineer of the Year ­ Professional Achievement" in 1986. Other awards she has received include NRL Group Achievement Awards in 1981 and 1991, an individual Special Achievement Award in 1984 and two Alan Berman Research Publication Awards ­ 1973 and 1983. Dr. Tatem was also selected to appear in "Who's Who Among Black Americans" in 1987, and "The World Who's Who of Women" in 1988. She participated in the NRL Edison Memorial Graduate Fellowship Program in 1978-1981 (Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry awarded, the George Washington University, 1984); The Council for Excellence in Government Fellows Program in 1994-1995; and the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University Program "Congressional Operations" on Capitol Hill in 2001.

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