ARL chief scientist receives prestigious Presidential Rank Award

July 23, 2015

Story Highlights

  • The Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional is awarded to senior-level professionals who have made exceptional contributions to the Army over an extended period. Each year, the President of the United States recognizes members of the Senior Executive Service as well as senior-level (SL) and scientific and professional (ST) executives for outstanding achievements in public service.
  • Mait, who is an Army Senior Technical Researcher (ST) and ARL's chief scientist, was awarded for the impact of his research on imaging science and for his significant contributions to the Army.
  • As a Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional recipient, Mait is recognized as a senior career professional with a sustained record of exceptional scientific achievement recognized on a national and/or international level.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Chief Scientist Dr. Joseph Mait received the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional during a recognition ceremony held June 22 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Presidential Rank Awards are the nation's highest award for civil service and are offered annually to officials throughout the federal government. Each year, the President of the United States recognizes members of the Senior Executive Service as well as senior-level and scientific and professional executives for significant accomplishments in public service.

The rank of meritorious senior professional is awarded to SL and ST professionals for sustained accomplishments. Criteria for recipients are based on factors such as national or international recognition as a leader in a discipline; influential to others in and beyond their specialized discipline; highly sought as an advisor on complex programs; and has received recognition for contributions made which impacted the discipline.

Selected as ARL's chief scientist in 2013, Mait, who is an Army senior technical researcher, was awarded for the impact of his research on imaging science and for his significant contributions to the Army.

His recognized research focuses on the invention and development of optical and electromagnetic sensors to extend the Army's ability to "see first, and see farther." Mait's work has improved the overall performance of Army imagers, allowing Soldiers to see through fog and dust, and simplifying the detection of concealed weapons under clothing.

When asked what winning this prestigious award meant to him, Mait said, "It is an honor to be recognized for a body of work."

Mait said while he was in graduate school, he talked with his father, a career Army officer who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, about technology available to his father when he was in the field. That left an impression.

"Often in our work, and certainly in the lab, we always talk about the Soldier and it's sort of an anonymous Soldier, but for me, it's not - that Soldier always has a face. It's very personal," Mait said.

With an expansive ARL career that covers a broad range of technical expertise, Mait began his federal career as the team leader for basic research in the Optics Branch of Harry Diamond Labs. He also developed the concept for the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology Collaborative Technology Alliance, which he managed for several years before returning to the laboratory.

In addition to his research, Mait served associate for science and technology in ARL's Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate and was on a three-year detail to the National Defense University, where he examined science and technology policy as it related to military transformation and the Future Combat System.

Reflecting on his collective accomplishments, Mait expressed appreciation for the professional backing he has received throughout his career.

"ARL has supported my work from the beginning. I'm grateful for that," he said. As a Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional recipient, Mait is recognized as a senior career professional with a sustained record of exceptional scientific achievement recognized on a national and/or international level.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is the nation's premier laboratory for land forces and is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC delivers it.

For more information, visit www.arl.army.mil, follow @ArmyResearchLab on Twitter and follow the lab on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ArmyResearchLaboratory.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: July 23, 2015