Dr. Bhakta Rath Wins 2005 Saalfeld Award

9/22/2006 - 58-06r
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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 2005 Fred Saalfeld Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Science. Dr. Rath is recognized for his "outstanding scientific and technical achievements in support of the Navy and the nation and his immeasurable contributions in the field of materials science and engineering."

This award is named in honor of Dr. Fred E. Saalfeld, the Office of Naval Research Executive Director and Technical Director from 1993 to 2002. The award recognizes a naval research scientist for extraordinary lifetime achievements in science that contributed substantially to the knowledge and capabilities of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, and the nation. It is the highest scientific award the Office of Naval Research confers on a naval research scientist. Dr. Rath is the fifth recipient of the award.

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 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 Materials 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 (1999, 2004, 2005) 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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