AFRL selects fellows from Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

  • Published
  • By Donna Lindner
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Two scientists from the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate were recently chosen as Air Force Research Laboratory Fellows.


Dr. Allan Katz, High Temperature Silicon-Carbide-Fiber-Reinforced Silicon Carbide Composites for Turbines program manager and Dr. Ajit Roy, Computational Nanomaterials principal engineer and group lead were two of six scientists selected as AFRL Fellows.


The AFRL Fellows program recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers in research achievements, technology development and transition achievements, or program and organizational leadership.


“This is my first time performing this honor [of notifying recipients] and the experience solidifies my belief that first and foremost, our AFRL workforce is our singularly most important asset,” said Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley, AFRL commander.


Katz and Roy were selected for this honor representing the top 0.2% of AFRL's professional cadre. They are considered to be among AFRL’s most distinguished and exceptional scientists, at the pinnacle of their careers.


Katz was selected in the achievement category under technology development and transition. He is an authority on aerospace ceramics and an acknowledged international leader in ceramic matrix composite technology for high temperature aerospace applications.


Katz led pioneering research on high temperature behavior of CMCs in the early 1980s. He has led multiple development and technology transition efforts to bring advanced CMC materials to fruition for turbine engine applications.


Silicon-carbide-fiber-reinforced silicon carbide CMCs, with heritage to the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and Katz, were successfully demonstrated under the Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engine Program and have transitioned for maturation to next generation engines under the Air Force’s Adaptive Engine Transition Program.


The Navy and Army have also adopted SiC/SiC CMCs as high pressure turbine shrouds for the T700 engine that powers their helicopters. Contractors will be testing similar shrouds in engines that power Air Force platforms.


“I have been repeatedly telling our colleagues that I am truly humbled by this great honor and most appreciative of this recognition,” said Katz. “Though it is a personal award, it is in many ways a team award, since credit goes to many past and current colleagues for helping to make this happen. It doesn't get much better than this for a scientist in AFRL when it comes to being recognized for one's contributions.”


Roy was selected in the achievement category under research. He has over 30 years of experience in AFRL and is internationally recognized for exceptional scientific contributions and leadership in research and development of the structural, thermal, and electronic properties of carbon materials.


He pioneered the development of carbon foam technology and matured it to establish the manufacturing technology base of 11 manufacturers. Roy also assisted in transferring the technology to XSS-11, XSAS-11 spacecraft and Autonomous Nanosat Guardian for Evaluating Local Space satellites as well as heat exchangers in Boeing 787-9 aircraft.


Roy, with his comprehensive multi-scale materials modeling methodology, connected the physics of the atomistic scale material response to bulk performance. This greatly improved fidelity in materials design, thus enabling innovation, development, and accelerated tech transition of tailored materials functionalities.


With over 240 publications; 400 presentations, including numerous invited/plenary talks; several patents and over 8,500 citations, Roy also found time to lead a $46 million materials Partnership Agreement between Department of Defense-Defense Research and Development Organization (India).


“I'm extremely honored by this special recognition,” Roy said. “I have been fortunate to work with a lot of creative people in AFRL, academia and industry. The stimulating work environment in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and across AFRL, and research support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research also contributed heavily to this achievement.”


“I am ecstatic for both Allan and Ajit. Although they have contributed to the mission of AFRL differently, the fact that we can recognize the breadth of our people’s activities is a real strength to the AFRL Fellows program,” said Dr. Timothy J. Bunning, Chief Scientist, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. “I am so happy for not only them, but all of their local colleagues, who should share in their recognition. Although given to the individual, all successful scientists and engineers stand on the back of their colleagues.”


This year's AFRL Fellows inductees brings the total up to 191 since its inception in 1987.


In addition to recognition, each new AFRL Fellow receives a two-year, $300,000 research grant ($150,000 per year) to further their chosen research.


A banquet will be held in their honor at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on the evening of October 26, 2017.