Research lab chief scientist gains presidential recognition

July 02, 2012

Story Highlights

  • Stephen Lee was one of four U.S. Army Materiel Command employees to be recognized with a 2011 Presidential Rank Award at the Pentagon June 28.
  • "What I take pride in is transitioning basic research into something revolutionary that can save Soldiers' lives on the battlefield."

Dr. Stephen Lee’s new technologies to help the Army protect Soldiers resulted in a 2011 Presidential Rank Award. He was one of 12 Army winners who were honored Thursday in the Pentagon Auditorium.

Lee, who is the chief scientist at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), stands with three other AMC recipients.

The Secretary of the Army hosted an awards ceremony to celebrate this group of senior executives and senior career employees whose accomplishments are recognized at the highest level.

"[2011] Recipients of this prestigious award are strong leaders, professionals, and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service," according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Lee will get a framed certificate signed by the U.S. president, a monetary award and a silver Rank Award pin. The honor is given to less than five percent of the members of the SES in any given year.

"I recognize that work across the lab enabled this recognition," Lee said. "Real progress is a result of technical experts, and other professionals working together to bring about new capabilities for Soldiers."

Lee's main responsibilities as chief scientist are to build international science and technology alliances; lead efforts to model materials by design; and implement research that takes into account Soldiers' protection and lethality needs during future conflicts.

He has authored 33 scientific technical publications and two scientific books; and co-edited one other book. Nine of his publications were written since 2007.

"I did quite a few things over a few years, but what I take pride in is transitioning basic research into something revolutionary that can save Soldiers' lives on the battlefield," Lee said.

Before taking on his current position, Lee was the senior scientist and advisor for the Army Research Office. He developed and led a program that included the basis for homeland security and defense in the areas of decontamination, detection, and protection.

Lee's personal research as adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill focuses on combinatorial chemistry, catalysis, and DNA supramolecular assemblies which seek to protect soldiers and civilians through new medical treatments of disease.

He holds expertise in several areas such as analytical chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry.

Among his accomplishments, Lee earned the 2003 and 2005 Army's Greatest Invention Award for the Agentase Chemical Agent Detection Kit and the FIDO Explosives Detector. He was also one of the 2009 U.S. Junior Chamber (JAYCEES) Top Outstanding Young Americans.

He said it is always satisfying to have ARL's capabilities recognized by others within the federal government.

"It is critically important to reinforce the value of the Army Research Lab in context of this award," Lee said. "None of these capabilities would have been possible without the lab."

Other 2011 recipients of the Presidential Rank Award within AMC: Jeffery Parsons with the Army Contracting Command; Teresa Gerton was with AMC headquarters; and Vincent Faggioli with AMC headquarters.


Last Update / Reviewed: July 2, 2012