Dr. Bhakta Rath Recognized with DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Award

12/12/2006 - 76-06r
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Dr. Bhakta Rath, Associate Director of Research and Head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the Naval Research Laboratory, is a recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award. The Distinguished Civilian Service Award is presented to a small number of civilian employees whose careers reflect exceptional devotion to duty and extremely significant contributions of broad scope in policy, scientific, technical, or administrative fields of endeavor that have led to increased effectiveness in the operation of the Department of Defense. The award was presented to Dr. Rath by the Honorable Gordon England, Deputy Secretary of Defense, in a ceremony held at the Pentagon.

Dr. Rath is recognized for "fostering new innovations in materials science and engineering contributing to the Department of Defense's ability to provide superior warfighting capabilities for the military, such as effective new armor to protect the limbs of United States ground troops from the blast of improvised explosive devices. Other promising advances applied toward vexing national problems in homeland security include the high-priority program for epidemic warning that successfully responded to high-level concerns for military and civilian health during events held for the 2005 Presidential Inauguration. He also fostered scientific collaborations including those that advance national policy to include managing a major Indo-United States Science and Technology Collaboration Program at the request of the Department of State."

Dr. Rath began his career at NRL as head of the Physical Metallurgy Branch. Within six years, he was selected to head the Materials Science and Technology Division. Then within four more years, he was appointed the Associate Director of Research. In his current position, Dr. Rath manages a multidisciplinary research program to discover and exploit new improved materials, generate new concepts associated with materials behavior, and develop advanced components based on these new and improved materials and concepts. Scientists in this Directorate perform theoretical and experimental research to determine the scientific origins of materials behavior and to develop procedures for modifying these materials to meet naval needs for advanced platforms, electronics, sensors, and photonics.

Dr. Rath is a fellow of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), American Society for Materials-International (ASM), Washington Academy of Sciences, Materials Research Society of India, and the Institute of Materials of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Rath has received a number of honors and awards, most recently the 2005 Fred Saalfeld Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Science, the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive (2005), the NRL Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies (2001), the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Award (1999 and 2004), the S. Chandrasekhar Award and Medal, and the Award of Merit for Group Achievement from the Chief of Naval Research. He received the 1991 George Kimball Burgess Memorial Award, the Charles S. Barrett Medal, and the prestigious TMS Leadership Award and Life Membership 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 has served as the 2004-2005 President of the American Society for Materials. He also has served as a member of the Boards of Directors/Trustees of TMS, ASM-International, and the Federation of Materials Society (FMS), as a member of the editorial boards of three international materials research journals, and as chairman of several committees of TMS, ASM, FMS, and American Association of Engineering Societies, and served for the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense as the Executive Chair of Materials and Processes Research Group, developing many collaborative research projects with the Defense Laboratories of U.S., Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand (TTCP Countries).

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