The Medal for the Advancement of Research was established in 1943 to honor an executive whose major role is the production, fabrication, or use of materials and to recognize the achievements of members of the materials science and engineering community. Recipients are selected from those that, over a number of years, have been consistent champions for research and development, and by foresight and actions have helped substantially to advance the arts and sciences relating to materials science and engineering.
As ADOR, Rath heads NRL's Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate, responsible for fulfilling multidisciplinary research programs to discover and exploit new improved materials, generate new concepts associated with materials behavior, and develop advanced components based on new and improved materials and concepts.
Rath began his career at NRL in 1976 as head of the Physical Metallurgy Branch. Within six years, he was selected to head the Materials Science and Technology Division, and in 1986 was appointed ADOR for Materials Science and Component Technology for NRL. Rath holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics from Utkal University, a Master of Science in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University, and a Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
During his professional career he has published over 240 archival papers and patents and received a number of national and international awards and honors, including recognitions from U.S. presidents, Secretary of Defense and the President of India. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.