Dr. Charles H. Ward - 2023 Acta Materialia Hollomon Award for Materials and Society
Dr. Charles H. Ward - 2023 Acta Materialia Hollomon Award for Materials and Society

Dr. Charles H. Ward is the 2023 recipient of the Acta Materialia Hollomon Award for Materials and Society.

Dr. Ward received his B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. His professional career has spanned 36 years, serving in several roles in research, engineering, and technology leadership. After 20 years of service as an active-duty Air Force Officer, he spent the last 16 years as a civilian in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Dr. Ward's personal research focused on the microstructure-property relationships in titanium and titanium aluminide alloys. While leading the basic research program in metals at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research from 1993 to 1997, he initiated efforts in understanding high cycle fatigue failure of titanium alloys, damage mechanisms in titanium aluminides, as well as research in refractory and bulk metallic glass alloys. Afterwards, he served as lead engineer for the F-35 propulsion program, staff officer to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, and Air Force liaison for materials research and development in Europe.

In 2006 he became Chief of AFRL's Metals, Ceramics and Nondestructive Evaluation Division. Here he started initiatives in materials development for extreme environments, supporting both future hypersonic flight as well as advanced jet engine applications. He also spearheaded AFRL's new effort in Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering (ICMSE), which sought to accelerate research within the field of materials science and engineering. While in this role, he was instrumental in helping build the U.S. Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), which was announced by President Obama in 2011. MGI seeks to halve the time needed to discover, develop, and deploy materials and do so at a fraction of the cost. In 2012, Dr. Ward became AFRL's Lead for ICMSE, and subsequently Co-Chair of the MGI Subcommittee under the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In these roles, he focused on developing the policies and infrastructure necessary to develop a materials data infrastructure, which is critical to supporting the concept of open science while also enabling the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence to advance the field of materials science and engineering. Also in 2012, he became the founding Editor-in-Chief of Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation (IMMI). IMMI was established by The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS) as a peer­ reviewed journal featuring the products of MGI-related research.

In 2017, Dr. Ward assumed the role of Chief of AFRL's Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division. Here he led the Air Force's $178 million annual investment in Manufacturing Technology, which aims to increase producibility and reduce manufacturing cost and risk for technology insertion into Air Force weapon systems.  In this role, he established the first in-house research effort within the Department of Defense focused on bringing the fields of materials and manufacturing together to advance the state-of-the-art in digital manufacturing. He also provided execution oversight of $2.4 billion in the Defense Production Act Title Ill program, which establishes, modernizes, and maintains critical industrial capabilities for the U.S.  From 2021 to 2022 Dr. Ward served as Acting Director of AFRL's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. In this role, he led the Department of the Air Force's science and technology programs in functional materials, structural materials, manufacturing technology, and systems support for advanced, next-generation space, missile, and aircraft applications. The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate consists of a workforce of more than 900 people with an annual budget in excess of $900 million.

Dr. Ward will receive the Acta Materialia Hollomon Award for Materials and Society during the TMS Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA,, March 19 -23, 2023.