AFRL honors scientists and engineers for exceptional career achievements

  • Published
  • By Whitney Wetsig
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Corporate Communications

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory will honor 21 scientists and engineers Nov. 13 for their outstanding career accomplishments during the laboratory’s 2019 Fellows and Science and Engineering Early Career Awards Banquet at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This group, which is the largest in AFRL history, includes 13 AFRL fellows and eight Science and Engineering Early Career Award winners.

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

Each year, the AFRL Research Advisor Council, which includes AFRL’s Chief Technology Officer and all AFRL Chief Scientists, assesses and ranks the nominees in July. Afterward, AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. William Cooley reviews the RAC’s findings and makes the final selections.

Dr. Siva Banda, AFRL’s acting Chief Technologist, said that the scores were very close this year.

The men and women selected as Fellows join an elite group that represents 0.3% of this year’s AFRL professional technical staff. This brings the total number of AFRL Fellow recipients to 212 in the 32 years since the program started in 1987. Each new AFRL Fellow receives a $300,000 research grant along with a medallion and a place in the prominent display in the AFRL headquarters building.

This year’s Fellows have delivered significant contributions to the Air Force in the areas of advanced composite materials, spacecraft propulsion, munitions, autonomous research systems, automatic target recognition and data exploitation.

The AFRL Science and Engineering ECA recognizes scientists and engineers for significant research or engineering achievements during the on-set of their career. These individuals, who also receive a $300,000 grant, have demonstrated exceptional in-house research contributions.

“This is the third year that I have had the honor of making the final selections for both awards, and each year I’m blown away by the accomplishments of all of the nominees,” said Cooley. “I am in awe of the astounding impact their efforts have had developing important technologies for the Air Force.”

“As world-leading experts in their respective subject matters, these individuals affirm AFRL’s reputation as leader in science and technology excellence,” he said.

This year’s AFRL fellows include:

  • Dr. Brian Beal, principal aerospace engineer, Strategic Developmental Planning and Experimentation Office, Headquarters AFRL;
  • Dr. Philip Beran, principal research aerospace engineer and leader of the Analysis Methods for Design Team, Multidisciplinary Science and Technology Center, Aerospace Vehicles Division, Aerospace Systems Directorate;
  • Gloria Calhoun, principal engineering research psychologist, Airman Systems Directorate,

711th Human Performance Wing;

  • Dr. Ryan Durante, supervisory principal computer engineer and chief, Information Handling Branch, Information Directorate;
  • Dr. Mark Hunter, deputy and technical advisor, Advanced Concepts Division, Munitions Directorate;
  • Dr. Ivett Leyva, program officer for high-speed aerodynamics, Air Force Office of Scientific Research;
  • Dr. Benji Maruyama, principal materials research engineer and leader of the Flexible Materials and Processes Research Team, Functional Materials Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate
  • George Miller, principal research engineer and lead for the On-Board Oxygen Generating System Research and Development Team, Bioengineering Division, Airman Systems Directorate,711th Human Performance Wing;
  • Dr. Jack Parker, Jr., principal electronics engineer and technical lead for Threat Warning Sensors, Electro-Optics Countermeasures Branch, Sensors Directorate;
  • Marvin Potts, technical director, Systems Technology Office;
  • Dr. John Russell, chief engineer, Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate;
  • Dr. Vincent Velten, technical advisor, Decision Sciences Branch, Sensors Directorate;
  • Dr. Qing Wu,  a member of the scientific and professional cadre of senior executives, senior scientist for processing and exploitation, Information Directorate;

The Early Career Award winners include:

  • Dr. Reginald Cooper, research electronics engineer, Radio Frequency Electronic Warfare Branch, Sensors Directorate;
  • Dr. Jonathan Evans, research physicist, Systems Technology Office;
  • Dr. Daniel Garmann, senior research aerospace engineer, Aerospace Vehicles Division, Aerospace Systems Directorate;
  • Dr. Michael Jirjis, chief of the United States Air Force’s Directed Energy Experimentation Campaigns, action officer for the Air Force’s Directed Energy Weapons Flight Plan, Strategic Developmental Planning and Experimentation;
  • Dr. Jennifer Martin, research chemist, Airman Bioengineering Division, Airman Systems Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing;
  • Dr. Michael McConney, research engineer, Photonic Materials Branch, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate
  • Dr. Joseph Miller, aerospace engineer, Advanced Integration Team, Systems Technology Office
  • Dr. Ngwe Thawdar, electronics engineer, Information Transmission Branch, Information Directorate