AFRL Fellows and Early Career Award recipients honored at awards banquet

  • Published
  • By Bryan Ripple
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Rapid change is the new norm when it comes to securing our nation’s future and can also be a major vulnerability for those who are unable to adapt, senior Air Force leaders have said. However, it can also be an advantage to the agile – to those who are able to swiftly develop and provide solutions to problems.

The Air Force is stimulating new thinking about future ways of warfighting and the answers to some of its the most complex challenges are being provided by scientists and engineers from across Air Force Research Laboratory.

Eleven of those scientists and engineers were recognized Oct. 26 for outstanding career accomplishments during the 2017 AFRL Fellows and Science and Engineering Early Career Awards Banquet at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  Six were inducted as AFRL Fellows and five were recognized with Science and Engineering Early Career Awards.

Collectively they were honored for significant contributions made to the Air Force in the areas of sensors, electronic warfare, high temperature materials for turbine engines, carbon materials for air and space applications, munitions, protection from laser threats, effects of lasers on biological systems, strategic and atomic navigation and timing, and cyber assurance.

The AFRL Fellows award, established in 1987 to recognize the laboratory’s scientists and engineers for exceptional career accomplishments in either research, technology development and transition, or program and organizational management, has only been presented to 191 people since its inception in 1987.  The number of annual awards is limited to no more than 0.2 percent of AFRL’s current technical staff and the total number of active Fellows cannot exceed 4 percent of their technical staff.  In addition to receiving an AFRL Fellows medallion, the new Fellows receive a two-year research grant of $150,000 per year and prominent display of their names in the AFRL headquarters building.

This year’s AFRL Fellows include:

Dr. Stephen Hary, senior advisor for the Aerospace Subsystem and Components Technology Division and Enabling Sensor Devices and Components Core Technical Competency in the Sensors Directorate.

Dr. Alan Katz, senior Program Manager in the Composites Branch of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Bruce Patterson, senior Chief Engineer in the Lethality, Vulnerability, and Survivability Branch of the Munitions Directorate at Eglin AFB, Florida.

Christopher Ristich, Deputy Director of the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Office located within AFRL at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Dr. Lewis Rosado, Chief of the Engine Mechanical Systems Branch for the Aerospace Systems Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Dr. Ajit K. Roy, Principal Materials Engineer and Group Lead for the Computational Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronic Materials Branch from the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

The AFRL Science and Engineering Early Career Award honors AFRL’s most promising young scientists and engineers for exceptional leadership potential and mission contributions early in their research careers.  In addition to recognition at the banquet the new honorees received a three-year research grant of $100,000 per year.

The Early Career Award winners recognized at the banquet were:

Dr. Hope Beier, Research Biomedical Engineer, Optical Radiation Bioeffects Branch, Airman Systems Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. John Burke, Research Physicist, Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.

Dr. Erich Devendorf, Computer Engineer, Cyber Assurance Branch, Information Exploitation and Operations, Information Directorate, Rome, New York.

Dr. Onome Scott-Emuakpor, Senior Aerospace Engineer, Turbine Engine Integrity, Aerospace Systems Directorate, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Dr. Crystal Pasiliao, Hypersonics Systems Engineer, Capability Concept Integration and Management Branch, Munitions Directorate, Eglin AFB, Florida.

“All of these honorees represent the core of what AFRL is all about. Their professional dedication, scientific and engineering expertise and technical leadership is inspiring and indicative of not only their core values, but also of the AFRL research teams that supported their efforts,” said Dr. Morley Stone, AFRL’s Chief Technology Officer.

Rosado has made significant contributions to legacy, emerging, and next generation military aircraft turbine engines including the development of the first ever joint U.S. Air Force/Navy turbine engine oil, a new bearing alloy for improved aircraft safety and durability, and high-temperature bearing and lubrication concepts for unmanned aircraft and supersonic cruise missile engines. His publication record includes 30 journal articles, technical reports, and proceedings and five patents.

“I am truly honored to have colleagues and AFRL leadership acknowledge my technical contributions and accomplishments,” Rosado said.

“This is one of the greatest pinnacle moments of my life. To be named an AFRL Fellow signifies I have reached the summit within my technical field and that I’m expected to continue doing great things for the Air Force and paving the way for others, particularly for junior scientists and engineers. I feel genuinely blessed to have had ample Air Force support throughout my entire career and sincerely thank my family, my team, current and past supervisors, mentors and co-workers for their dedicated support and encouragement throughout. I could not have accomplished this without them.”

Ristich is an internationally recognized expert on directed energy hardening and has made significant contributions to electro-optic and radio frequency component and system design. His efforts to transition laser protection into operational weapon systems overcame reluctance to shield systems for fear of system degradation and provided transition ready protection when the threat emerged.

“My career in AFRL has focused on technology transition, ranging from directed energy protection, to cyber resilience and sensors for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance,” Ristich said.

“All of these successes were the result of working with high performance teams and mentors throughout my career. My latest initiative has been standing up the new Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation office to stimulate innovation and develop the analytical tools to shape future Air Force capabilities,” he added.

The efforts of these 11 scientists and engineers highlight AFRL’s mission in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force.