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News | March 3, 2016

AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate engineer lauded for advancing domestic manufacturing capabilities

By Holly Jordan AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

Air Force Research Laboratory materials engineer Dr. Benjamin Leever received the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Award of Excellence at a February 22, 2016, ceremony at the Pentagon. 

The Honorable Frank Kendall presented the award for Leever's integral role in standing-up the newest U.S. Department of Defense Institute for Manufacturing Innovation.

An expert in integrated devices, flexible electronics, and multifunctional structures, Leever serves as the AFRL Portfolio Lead for Airman Performance Monitoring and Aeromedicine, where he determines technical strategy, manages AFRL contracts, and establishes industrial, academic, and governmental collaborations.

Leever is an active proponent of the utility of flexible hybrid materials and electronics for applications such as energy storage, sensing, structurally-integrated antennas, structural health monitoring, and many other military and commercial uses.  He has been instrumental in promoting these technologies to manufacturers and customers and encouraging the exchange of ideas and resources within the professional community. 

This award comes as a result of Leever's recent contributions to help enable the development and implementation of the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, the NextFlex Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, and the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Institute for Manufacturing Innovation.  These White House-sponsored public-private partnerships are designed to address the full spectrum of multifunctional materials development, from design to manufacture, creating a domestic manufacturing "ecosystem."  In addition to his AFRL role in Performance Monitoring, Leever also serves as the Government Chief Technology Officer for NextFlex.

"It's a great honor to be recognized by the acquisitions community for our efforts to deliver game-changing technologies to our airmen based on flexible hybrid electronics.  NextFlex and the other Manufacturing Institutes offer a unique and critical opportunity to collaborate with companies and universities to build a sustainable manufacturing infrastructure in the US," Leever said.

The Award of Excellence is presented annually to civilian and military personnel who demonstrate innovation and best practices in acquisition or in furthering life cycle cost reduction in the Department of Defense.