AFRL Materials scientist receives NextFlex 2021 Fellow Award Published April 26, 2021 By Mary Pacinda Air Force Research Laboratory WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – Dr. Jeremy Ward, an Air Force Research Laboratory scientist here, has received a 2021 Fellow Award from NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute. Ward was one of four recipients. This was Nextflex’s sixth annual Fellow Award, which, according to its website, recognizes those “who have made significant contributions toward furthering the development of the FHE … [and who] work in expanding learning programs nationally, guiding development of human health monitoring projects and leading advanced manufacturing and flexible electronics from a materials and industry perspective.” Ward was recognized for his work as Advanced Development Team Leader, Soft-Matter Materials, in AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. His award citation praised his strong support of NextFlex since the institute’s formation in 2015. It also mentioned his service as government co-lead of the Human Health Monitoring Technical Working Group until 2020. “This is an exciting time for FHE and advanced manufacturing, as we drive forward toward commercialization of the technology,” said Dr. Malcolm Thompson, NextFlex executive director. “All four recipients [of this award] have been instrumental in not only guiding and advising on this path, but helping to expand and advance the awareness, development and participation in this field.” Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021’s ceremony was held virtually. The video can be accessed on YouTube. In his brief acceptance speech, Ward said he was honored in being recognized. He went on to relate that when he graduated with his PhD and was looking for career opportunities, he came across Nextflex in one of his searches. Although it seemed like an interesting place to work, he didn’t end up employed there. Nonetheless, he eventually became part of the Nextflex community. “Circumstances have led me to be a part of shaping and supporting this community,” he said, “and for that I'm very thankful.” He went on to thank others he worked with in “Nextflex proper,” as well as member companies and institutions. “For those who I have worked most closely with, please know that I appreciate you, as well as the dialogues, collaborations, and projects that we've had together. I’m looking forward to future engagements moving forward.” Ward went on to explain that his role with AFRL is evolving and that he has been selected as a member of the AFRL Entrepreneur Opportunity Program (EOP). “I will be exploring some commercialization of Air Force Technologies,” he said. “So as it aligns with the NextFlex community and mission, I look forward to engaging with you in new ways. Thank you again.” NextFlex is a Department of Defense innovation institute established in 2015 as a public-private partnership to pioneer a new model of “next generation” electronics manufacturing. One of its missions is to accelerate the development of Flexible Hybrid Electronics. About AFRL The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.