Professional society honors AFRL scientist

  • Published
  • By Donna Lindner
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio  –  The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society is a professional association that connects minerals, metals and materials scientists and engineers who work in industry, academia and government positions around the world.


TMS confers a number of awards, managed through volunteer functional committees, to recognized notable contributions to the field and pinnacle career achievements.


One of this year’s TMS Brimacombe Medalist award winners is Dr. Jonathan E. Spowart of the Air Force Research Laboratory here.


Spowart was selected based on his major contributions in the field of materials characterization, which have enabled numerous advances in materials science and engineering.


Spowart is one of six award winners from a pool of dozens across the nation.


As a senior materials research engineer, Spowart executes multiple research programs within AFRL. He is a subject matter expert for metallic-matrix and polymer-matrix composites.


One of Spowart’s greatest feats is exemplified by the invention and commissioning of the Robo-Met.3D automated serial sectioning device. The development of this tool enables others in the field to perform their own research into the 3-D microstructure of materials and discover new knowledge that would not have been available otherwise.


“I personally know of no other colleague who shares himself, time, ideas and personal warmth as much as Spowart”, said Dr. S. L. Semiatin, an AFRL senior scientist.


The Brimacombe Medalist award is so named after Professor J. Keith Brimacombe. He was president of TMS in 1993 and held positions at various materials and metallurgical organizations. At the time of his early death at the age of 54, he was noted as one of the world’s most outstanding process metallurgists.


The mid-career award recognizes individuals with sustained excellence and achievement in business, technology, education, public policy, or science related to materials science and engineering and with a record of continuing service to the profession.


J. J. Lewandowski, professor of engineering at Case Western Reserve University, said that Spowart’s mentoring efforts and leadership roles demonstrate a unique human quality that also captures the spirit embodied by Keith Brimacombe.


Spowart said he is thrilled to accept the award.


“I am especially appreciative of the team effort and unswerving support of our chain of command, who prioritize excellence in research and development, said Spowart. “AFRL’s culture motivates each one of us to achieve greater goals for the Air Force.”


The award will be presented at the annual TMS meeting, to be held March 2019 in San Antonio, Texas.