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Two AF funded scientists to be honored by President Bush

  • Published
  • By Maria Callier
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research Public Affairs
Two Medal of Science recipients whose research is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research will be honored by President George Bush July 27 at the White House. 

The honorees are Dr. Tobin Marks and Dr. Jan D. Achenbach, both from Northwestern University, Ill.

The National Medal of Science honors individuals for pioneering scientific research in a range of fields, including physical, biological, mathematical, social, behavioral, and engineering sciences, that enhances our understanding of the world and leads to innovations and technologies that give the United States its global economic edge.

Mr. Marks is receiving the Medal of Science award because of his pioneering work in homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, organo-f-element chemistry, new electronic and photonic materials, and coordination and solid state chemistry.

"The Air Force Office of Scientific Research's support was absolutely pivotal in the 'new electronic and photonic material' portion of the research for which the award is being made," said Mr. Marks. "In the 1986-1995 time period, I was funded by the AFOSR chemistry directorate in the areas of electro-active polymers and non-linear optical polymers. My research group provided new materials concepts and structure-properties understanding needed to maximize materials properties."

Mr. Achenbach is being presented the award because of seminal contributions to engineering research and education in the area of wave propagation in solids and for pioneering the field of quantitative non-destructive evaluation. He is the founder and the current director of the Center for Quality Engineering and Failure Prevention at Northwestern. He is considered to be an expert on the theory and applications of ultrasonic methods of quantitative non-destructive evaluation of materials and structures.

"I'm quite confident that my work on laser-based ultrasonics played a part in me getting the award," Mr. Achenbach said. "In fact, I don't think it would have been possible without that support, for which I am most grateful."

The National Medal of Science was established by the 86th Congress in 1959 as a Presidential Award to people who are "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences." A committee of distinguished scientists and engineers comprise the selection committee.

The White House annually awards two science and technology medals, the National Medal of Technology and the National Medal of Science. When Mr. Achenbach, receives his honor, it will be his second at the White House. His first was the National Medal of Technology, which he received in 2003.