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DR. CHARLES H. WARD (Acting Director, AFRL/RX)

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Dr. Charles H. Ward is Acting Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson. In this capacity, he leads 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 military members, civilians and contractors executing an annual budget in excess of $400 million. In his permanent role, he serves as Chief of the Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory. He leads the Air Force’s $139 million annual investment in Manufacturing Technology, which seeks to increase producibility and reduce manufacturing cost and risk for technology insertion into Air Force weapon systems.  He also provides execution oversight of $2.2 billion in the Defense Production Act Title III program, which establishes, modernizes, and maintains critical industrial capabilities for the Department of Defense.
 
Dr. Ward previously led the directorate’s efforts in Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering and was Co-Chair of the Materials Genome Initiative Subcommittee under the National Science and Technology Council. He has served as Acting Deputy Director for the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, overseeing the day-to-day operations of a 800-person, $500 million capital asset materials research and development complex executing a $300 million annual program. His professional career has spanned 33 years, serving in several roles in research, engineering, and management. 
 
EDUCATION
1984 Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering and materials science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
1985 Master of Science degree in metallurgical engineering and materials science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
1992 Doctorate in materials science and engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
1992 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.
1998 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1999 Advanced Program Management Course, Defense Acquisition University, Fort Belvoir, VA.
2004 Air War College, by correspondence
2008 Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC.
2012 Leadership for a Democratic Society, Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, VA.

CAREER CHRONOLOGY
  1. 1986 – 1993, Metallurgical Engineer and Titanium Direction Manager, Air Force Materials Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  2. 1991 – 1992, International Exchange Research Fellow, Air Force Materials Laboratory, Cologne, Germany
  3. 1993 –1997, Program Manager and Deputy Director, Aerospace and Materials Sciences, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.
  4. 1997 – 1999, Lead Integration Engineer, then Chief, Joint Strike Fighter Propulsion Technology Team, Propulsion Development Systems Office, Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.
  5. 1999 – 2000, Program Element Monitor, Engine Component Improvement Program Element, and Chief, Test and Operations Branch, Directorate of Global Power Programs, Secretary of the Air Force Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  6. 2000 –2001, Chief of Staff for the Air Force Acquisition Issues Team, Secretary of the Air Force Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  7. 2001 – 2004, Chief, International Materials Programs, and Technical Director and Deputy Site Commander, European Office of Aerospace Research and Development, Air Force Research Laboratory, London, U.K.
  8. 2004 –2006, Assistant Chief Scientist and Acting Deputy Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  9. 2006 – 2012, Chief, Metals, Ceramics and Nondestructive Evaluation Division, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  10. 2012 – 2017, Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering Lead, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  11. 2013 – 2014, Acting Deputy Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  12. 2016 – 2017, Acting Deputy Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  13. 2017 – present, Chief, Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  14. 2021 – present, Acting Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
 
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award
TMS/ASM International Distinguished Lectureship in Materials and Society
Fellow, ASM International
Vincent J. Russo Leadership Award, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory
Director’s Award, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory
Meritorous Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition Award for Innovation
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Foce Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Scientific Achievement Award