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Panel on Ballistics Science at the Army Research Laboratory 



GEORGE T. (Rusty) GRAY III is a Laboratory Fellow and staff member in the dynamic properties and constitutive modeling team within the Materials Science Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory. He came to LANL following a three-year visiting scholar position at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg in Hamburg, Germany having received his PhD in Materials Science in 1981 from Carnegie-Mellon University.  As a staff member (1985-1987) and later team leader (1987-2003) in the Dynamic Materials Properties and Constitutive Modeling Section within the Structure / Property Relations Group (MST-8) at LANL, he has directed a research team working on investigations of the dynamic constitutive and damage response of materials. He conducts fundamental, applied, and focused programmatic research on materials and structures, in particular in response to high-strain-rate and shock deformation.  His research is focused on experimental and modeling studies of substructure evolution and mechanical response of materials.  He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University where he was on sabbatical in the summer of 1998.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Fellow of ASM International, and Fellow of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS).  He is a member of APS, ASM, TMS, and serves on the International Scientific Advisory Board of the European DYMAT Association.  In 2010 he served as the President of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS). He has authored or co-authored over 380 technical publications.




MELVIN R. BAER, retired, was a senior scientist in engineering sciences at Sandia National Laboratories. Over the past 25 years, he has published fundamental and basic research in the field of energetic materials involving the initiation, deflagration, and detonation processes in propellants, explosives, intermetallics, and pyrotechnics. He has served as a consultant in energetic materials for several government agencies and has participated in numerous explosives review and investigation programs, such as the Advanced Energetics Integrated Process Team (IPT) group, the U.S. Navy reinvestigation of the USS Iowa incident, and the National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the TWA 800 accident. Dr. Baer received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University.


RELVA C. BUCHANAN is professor and former head of Ceramics and Materials Science in the dept of Chemical and Materials engineering, at the University of Cincinnati. His research focus is on electroceramics materials as components for passive devices and various microelectronics sensing applications. Included are ferroelectric thin film systems and also core-shell/barrier-layer structures, developed in donor doped BaTiO3 ceramics, with superior dielectric and strain properties, of interest for super-capacitor and sensor applications. Research interest includes Ni-ZrO2 and Ni/NiO composite film structures for fuel cell and capacitive electrode systems and thermistor use. Conducting polymer/carbon composite (CPC’s) structures, for EM shielding, thermistor and toxic gas detection, as well as low-temperature glasses for thick film use, are also areas of ongoing research. Dr. Buchanan is: Fellow of the Graduate College, University of Cincinnati, Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, Fellow of the American Society of Metals (Intl.), and member of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers. He has served as Trustee of the America Ceramic Society and Chair of its Programs and Meetings Committee. He is a member of IEEE Ferroelectrics Program Committee and currently serves on several international review committees: Intl. Panel on Evaluation of Portuguese Materials Science Research, Intl. Advisory Committee of Electro-ceramics European Conferences V-VIX, Intl. ICE 2003-2009, and US-Japan conference committee on Dielectrics. He has served also on several National review committees, including: Energy Technology Review Committee (Chair), University of Chicago/Argonne National Lab; and Ohio Science & Technology Council.


ELIZABETH A. HOLM is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Carnegie Mellon University.  Her expertise is computational materials science and engineering.  She has performed fundamental and applied research in the theory and modeling of microstructural evolution in complex polycrystals; the physical and mechanical response of microstructures; and the wetting and spreading of liquid metals. She is a Fellow of ASM International and is serving as the President of the Minerals Metals & Materials Society (TMS).  Her other honors and awards include: Outstanding Women at Sandia National Laboratories Award – 2012; Laboratory Directed R&D Award for Excellence for “Anomalous Suppression of Fatigue and Wear” 2010; TMS Distinguished Service Award 2010; and the Laboratory Directed R&D Award for Excellence for “Science at the Interface” 2009. 


MICHAEL JAFFE is Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemistry, and Materials Program; and Director, of the Medical Device Concept Laboratory at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  His research interests are process-structure-property relationships of polymers and related materials; fiber and film formation; designed material performance through process and microstructure control; kinetics and mechanisms of phase transitions; biological paradigms in material science; thermal analysis of materials, polymers, fibers; utilizing the industry-university-government interface to facilitate technical development/commercialization; translation of new technology to commercial success; and strategic implications of technology development.  Dr. Jaffe has a Ph.D. in Chemistry  from the Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (1967) and a B. A. in Chemistry from the Cornell University (1963).


BERNARD H. KEAR (NAE) is the State of New Jersey Professor and Director, Center for Nanomaterials Research at the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, School of Engineering, at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  His research interests have been centered on the synthesis, processing, structure, and properties of inorganic solids, for a broad range of structural applications. His current research is concerned with chemical processing of nanophase metals, ceramics, cermets and composites, starting from aqueous solution or metalorganic precursors. His previous work, 1963-81 at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, addressed fundamental aspects of dislocation interactions, phase transformations, and solidification behavior in nickel-base super-alloys. This work contributed to the successful development of directional solidification of single crystal turbine blades, and rapid solidification powder atomization and laser surface treatments. From 1981-86, at Exxon, his research activities were focused on developing methods for chemical vapor deposition surface passivation treatments, and for catalytic growth of carbon whiskers from hydrocarbon precursors. He has published 220 technical papers, edited 9 books, and granted 35 patents. He was Chairman the National Materials Advisory Board from 1986-89 and is Co-editor of journal Nanostructured Materials 1992-present.


JERRY A. KRILL is the Assistant Director for Science and Technology and Chief Technology Officer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, leading APL’s innovation initiatives and the Research and Exploratory Development Department.  Dr. Krill’s expertise includes combat systems, systems engineering, sensor and weapons networks, and microwave technology.  Previously he served as the JHU/APL Assistant Director for Programs and Chief Quality Officer.  In that position Dr. Krill was responsible for all of APL’s over 700 programs, implemented an ISO-based quality management system, and co-chaired milestone and program management reviews for APL’s NASA science missions and instruments.  Previous positions at JHU/APL include executive for air defense programs and head of the Power Projection Systems Department with its precision engagement and “info-centric” operations program portfolios.  He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland.  He was a principal in developing the U.S. Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability that networks air defense systems and, in 2000, led a joint Navy/BMDO working group to develop technical concepts for the Navy’s role in national and regional missile defense.  He holds 19 patents, and his awards include Innovator of the Year by the Baltimore Daily Record and the American Society of Naval Engineers “Jimmie” Hamilton Award.  Memberships include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Defense Industrial Association, National Space Society, and the International Council of Systems Engineering.


KENNETH K. KUO is a Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department at the Pennsylvania State University.  He is also the Director of PSU’s High Pressure Combustion Lab.  His research areas of interest are combustion, rocket propulsion, ballistics, and fluid mechanics: combustion and ignition of solid propellants, combustion in two-phase flows, recession of carbon composite material, synthesis of nano-sized energetic materials, particle production by rapid expansion of a supercritical solution, reacting boundary-layer flows in hybrid rocket motors, gun ballistics simulation and diagnostics, crack propagation in burning solid propellants, flame-spreading processes of energetic materials, erosion of ablative materials, combustion behavior of metal particles and sheets, ballistics of very-high-burning-rate propellants, supersonic combustion of solid fuels for ramjets, liquid jet breakup and atomization, bipropellant for antiballistic missile systems, violent energy release processes caused by combustion of aluminum with liquid oxygen, liquid monopropellant combustion for space thrusters, flame-spreading and combustion of granular solid propellants in mortar and artillery systems, air bag propellants, catalysts for H2O2 decomposition reactions, etc.  He worked as a Design Engineer at AiResearch MFG Company of the Garrett Corporation from 1964 to 1968.  Dr. Kuo has a Ph.D. from Princeton University, 1971, Aerospace & Mechanical Sciences; He holds Fellow rank in AIAA, ASME and IBS (International Ballistic Society). Besides 496 technical papers, he has published 4 combustion books and edited 11 books in energetic materials and chemical propulsion. He has received numerous awards, including: Wyld Propulsion Award, Pendray Aerospace Literature Award, Propellant and Combustion Award, JANNAF Lifetime Achievement Award,.etc.


WILLIAM S. MARRAS (NAE) is the Honda Endowed Chair of the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at the Ohio State University. He is also the director of the Biodynamics Laboratory and holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Physical Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Marras is the Executive Director of the Ohio State University Institute for Ergonomics and serves as director of the Center for Occupational Health in Automotive Manufacturing (COHAM). His research applies quantitative engineering techniques to occupational surveillance, laboratory studies, and mathematical modeling where he explores the occupational causality of low back pain as well as techniques for the clinical assessment and treatment of low back pain. Dr. Marras’ findings have been published in over 195 peer reviewed journal articles and numerous book chapters. He serves as editor for the journal Human Factors and deputy editor for the journal Spine. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo for his work on the biomechanics of low back disorders. He is a fellow in five professional societies. Dr. Marras has published a book entitled “The Working Back: A systems view.”


GARY L. MESSING is the Head, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Distinguished Professor of Ceramic Science and Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include solution synthesis of powders and films, seeding solid state phase formations, sintering, grain growth, templated grain growth, optical materials, ferroelectric materials, and structural materials. His research is currently focused on developing processes for producing optically transparent ceramics (e.g. Nd-doped YAG), high performance piezoelectrics, solid state grown single crystals and ceramic composites. He was the Founding Director of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on Particulate Materials in 1991 and became Director of the Materials Research Laboratory in 1997. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Paris, Research Fellow at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, and visiting faculty at ETH-Zurich. In 2002/3 he was President of the American Ceramic Society. He is currently Editor in Chief of the Journal of Materials Research. Messing has published over 290 papers and co-edited 15 books and special journal issues on processing of technical ceramics.


ALAN NEEDLEMAN (NAE) is Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of North Texas.  He was elected to the NAE “for research in computational solid mechanics and its application to damage and fracture mechanics.  His research interests include computational studies aimed at elucidating mechanisms of plastic flow and fracture in engineering materials, especially metals and metal-based composites. Topics of particular interest have been the micromechanics of ductile fracture by the nucleation, growth and coalescence of microvoids, brittle-ductile transitions, material and structural instabilities, relations between microstructure and mechanical properties in heterogeneous solids, and dynamic crack growth. Much of his recent work has focused on the description of plastic flow in crystals in terms of the dynamics of large numbers of dislocations and on cohesive surface modeling of fracture processes.  He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1989; a Fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics, 1995; a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007; and a member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, 2009.


FRANK J. SERNA is the Director of Systems Engineering at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. The Systems Engineering Directorate consists of approximately two hundred engineers and fifty technicians and administrative staff, comprised of three divisions: Systems Engineering, Test and Evaluation, and Quality Assurance. The scope of projects includes the entire scope of Draper Laboratory programs: Guidance Systems for Trident II, NASA Manned Space Programs; Missile Defense; Guided munitions; Maritime systems, low power electronics and biomedical systems.  He has over thirty years of experience in organizations involved in contract research, development, and systems integration projects for national security sponsors. Mr. Serna has served on the Defense Science Board Task Force on Counter IED II. He is a Steering committee member of the NDIA Systems Engineering division and the Massachusetts Advanced Cyber Security Center. Previously, Mr. Serna was the Director of Systems Engineering in the Defense Enterprise Solutions Business Unit of Northrop Grumman and was Director of Software Development in the Litton-TASC Business Unit. Finally, he was an original member of Missile Defense National Team for Systems Engineering and Integration. Mr. Serna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and applied science from Yale University and a Master’s degree in business administration from Northeastern University.


LESLIE E. SMITH is Scientist Emeritus at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) after retiring as Director of the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory. He was previously Chief of the Polymers Division at NIST where he built a world-class scientific program in polymer science that has made both fundamental advances to science and significant contributions to industrial technology. His personal research interests have been in the absorption of polymers and biological polymers relevant to artificial vascular materials and degradation reactions of polyesters, primarily as related to the lifetime of magnetic storage media. He has also edited a number of professional reference books. His external positions have included: U.S. Editor, Polymer Communications; Member, Advisory Committee on Preservation, National Archives; Advisory Board for Polymer Programs, University of Connecticut; Council for Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Akron; Chair, Materials Technology Subcommittee, NSTC, OSTP; and Member, Board of Directors ASTM International.  


WILLIAM E. SNOWDEN is a Technical Consultant at the System Planning Corporation.  He is a materials scientist and defense technologist working as a technical consultant with System Planning Corporation, Arlington, Virginia, and a number of other organizations, including the Institute for Defense Analyses. He received his B.S. degree in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where his doctoral research involved fracture of glass by impact. Dr. Snowden has a long history of involvement in the armor/anti-armor community, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and in various positions with the Department of Defense. At DARPA, he was Program Manager for the agency’s Armor/Anti-Armor Research and Technology program. Dr. Snowden has served as a member of the Army Science Board, and he has been involved in a number of studies of combat vehicle survivability in recent years.


STEVEN F. SON is an Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. His research interests are in experimental and theoretical studies of combustion of energetic materials (propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics), microscale combustion, nanoscale energetic composites, combustion synthesis, and coal combustion. Dr. Son received his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a J. R. Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He then served as a Technical Staff Member and Project Leader at Los Alamos. He was a visiting professor at The Pennsylvania State University on a one-year sabbatical, teaching a special topics course on the combustion of energetic materials, and performing combustion research. He has given numerous invited lectures at several research institutions, as well as at meetings of the Material Research Society, American Physical Society, International Pyrotechnics Seminar, and Gordon Research Conferences. He is currently an Associate Editor of the AIAA's Journal of Propulsion and Power.


EDWIN L. THOMAS (NAE) is the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering at Rice University.  Professor Thomas carries out research on photonics, phononics, interference lithography and mechanical behavior of microtrusses, polymer physics and engineering of the mechanical and optical properties of block copolymers, liquid crystalline polymers, and hybrid organic-inorganic nanocomposites. One area of special interest is photonics and the fabrication of polymeric photonic crystals using self-assembly, especially with block copolymers, and holographic interference lithography. For these studies, large emphasis is placed on the understanding of complex relations between the lattice symmetry and optical properties of periodic structures. Another area of particular focus is phononics. His group is exploring the way light and sound propagate in quasicrystalline photonic and phononic structures. Other major topics in Professor Thomas’ research are structured polymers. His structured materials research concentrates on enhancing our ability to fabricate complex structures with characteristic length in submicron and nanometer range in order to create materials with superior properties that can be tailored to a particular application. Understanding the influence of composition and processing conditions on the resultant microstructure of polymers and how this determines the properties is the central part of his polymer morphology research.


DONNA K. VARGAS is an independent Consultant on military and simulation projects based at Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Her expertise is in application of operations research techniques, specifically models and simulations, to military problems.  Her experience is in operational planning tools; weapons systems analyses; and echelons above corps/corps training exercises in a joint and coalition environment.  She has served as a modeling and simulation consultant to SAIC at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and also served on the Lead System Integrator (LSI) Test and Evaluation Senior Review Panel.  In 2005, she retired as Director of Operations, USA TRADOC Analysis Center, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.  At TRADOC she directed brigade level analysis of Army Transformation including Chief Staff, Army Initiative Task Force Modularity and Future Combat System (FCS).  She supported LSI in industry trades and conducted Analyses of Alternatives for FCS Complementary Systems Joint Tactical Radio, Land Warrior and Objective Individual Combat Weapon.  Ms. Vargas holds a BS from Creighton University, Mathematics, cum laude, 1965; and a MS from New Mexico State University, Industrial Engineering, 1991.


DAVID A. WEITZ (NAS) is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard University. His research group studies the physics of soft condensed matter, materials which are easily deformed by external stresses, electric, magnetic or gravitational fields, or even by thermal fluctuations. These materials typically possess structures which are much larger than atomic or molecular scales; the structure and dynamics at the mesoscopic scales determine macroscopic physical properties. The goal of this research is to probe and understand the relationship between mesoscopic structure and bulk properties. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and received Exxon Incentive Awards in 1985 and 1981. He serves on the scientific advisory board of Cabot Corporation, Arryx Corporation, Max Planck Institute for Polymers, and the Center for Non-Linear Science at Los Alamos. Before coming to Harvard, he was a Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania and a Physicist with Exxon Research and Engineering Co.