Dr. Jeffrey S. Zabinski (U.S. Army photo)

Army selects senior research scientist for materials science

ARL Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Feb. 12, 2016) — The U.S. Army announced the selection of a new senior research scientist for materials science Feb. 12.

Dr. Jeffrey S. Zabinski will assume the position later this month. He has served as chief of the Materials and Manufacturing Science Division within the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate since 2011.

Across the Army there are fewer than 50 senior research scientists, known as STs, who serve as general-officer equivalents, advising leadership on science matters.

As the Materials Science ST, Zabinski will serve as the “principal scientific leader for the Army’s national and international fundamental materials science and engineering research programs,” according to the Army announcement.

“My goal will be to establish the Army vision of fundamental research necessary to ensure future transformational materials capability for the Army,” Zabinski said. “I will work across the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, other Army and government agencies, and with academia, industry and international partners to conceive new strategic partnerships.”

Zabinski said he hopes to help formulate future Army technical talent and infrastructure needs in the area of materials science research for the 21st century, and help develop strategies to ensure those needs are continuously met.

In the Army, materials science relates to weapons, platforms, Soldier equipment, and lifecycle affordability across ground, air and Soldier domains.

“Dr. Zabinski will provide materials expertise and leadership across the Army. Internal to ARL, he will focus on our campaigns in Materials Research and Sciences for Lethality & Protection. Materials is one of the laboratory’s enduring core competencies and have the potential to enable leap-ahead capabilities,” said David Lyon, acting director for ARL WMRD. “Performance, affordability and availability of structural and multifunctional materials will enable the Soldier of the future.”

Transformational materials play an essential role in resolving the challenges of operational overmatch and force protection and are essential for deep futures challenges through 2048, according to the Army statement.

Zabinski earned his bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida in 1982. After working in industry for several years, he earned his doctorate from Auburn University in 1990. He came to ARL from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, where he served as the chief of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate Nonmetallic Materials Division from August 2007 to June 2011. AFRL named Zabinski as a fellow in 2003 and recognized him “for his leadership and research discoveries, which shifted the paradigms of lubrication and coating technology in the Air Force.”

Zabinski started as a bench-level scientist focusing on surfaces, interfaces, thin films, coatings and tribology. He said his interests expanded over the years to focus on materials in extreme environments. He is also a fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers.

“Materials science is important to national security,” Zabinski said. “With the globalization of technology and the marketplace, it is challenging to steer discovery and innovation to meet our unique and demanding requirements. This job offers the opportunity to go even deeper into the materials R&D domain and is thus it’s exciting to me, as it offers the opportunity to contribute across the entire range of materials and exploit global materials science and technology for the Army.”

“We need to be able to exploit scientific discoveries from the global academic and industrial base and ensure a balanced Army materials program,” Lyon said. “Jeff is the right choice for this job,” he said. “The technology that Soldiers have today didn’t just get created overnight. In some cases, it took decades of research in order to produce a piece of material that they have in the field. The work that goes on in our labs is critical to Soldiers.”

Editor’s note: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Originally published at www.army.mil on February 19, 2016.