By Ms. Jenna Brady (ARL)December 18, 2013
Dr. Joseph Mait, U.S. Army Research Laboratory Fellow, was recently selected as chief scientist of ARL.
As chief scientist, Mait's goal is to assist the ARL Director fulfill his vision for the lab.
"A key element of this is realizing the lab's discovery and innovation potential, while fostering connections between the lab and the Army community," said Mait.
"This requires an environment that is open and empowering, yet relevant and accountable. Achieving that will take patience and finesse and I think it is important that the chief scientist be an advocate for the lab to the Army, as well as an advocate for the staff to the Director," added Mait.
In terms of where he sees the lab going in the future, Mait said that he expects the way the lab will conduct business will be different than it is today.
"I am talking less about tools than I am mindset. If we have achieved an open and empowering, relevant and accountable environment, I expect to see a more fluid transfer of ideas and technology between ARL and its technical partners, domestic and international, in academia and industry and between ARL and its Army compatriots," stated Mait.
According to Mait, being selected by the director to serve as chief scientist is humbling.
"I feel it reflects the trust and respect that management has in my technical abilities and my acumen on nontechnical matters. I am buoyed in my new position by the encouragement I have received from many of the staff members," Mait stated.
"My career at ARL has not been a straight one, but it has been steady. I am a little surprised it led me here, but I feel prepared and committed," Mait concluded.
Mait attended the University of Virginia, where he received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in 1979. He went on to graduate work at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received his Master of Science, also in electrical engineering, in 1980, and a doctorate in 1985.
Since 1988, Mait has worked at ARL and served in several different positions, including group leader for basic research in optics and Sensors Directorate Associate for Science and Technology. Mait is also a senior technical researcher (ST).
Early in his career, Mait was an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Virginia. Since starting at ARL, he has also served as an adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.
He has held visiting positions at the Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Optik, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University, in Washington, DC.
Mait is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and SPIE, an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. In addition, he is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Since January 2009, Mait has been editor-in-chief of Applied Optics.
Mait is also a member of the national honorary societies Sigma Xi, a society for scientific researchers; Tau Beta Pi, an engineering society; and Eta Kappa Nu, which honors excellence in electrical and computer engineering; and is a member of the Raven Society, the oldest honorary society at the University of Virginia.
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