The first part of the talk will be an overview of activities ongoing within the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, one of nine units making up the Air Force Research Laboratory. This 1000+ person, $400M entity works all material classes at all levels of technical and manufacturing maturity for future AF systems across a variety of electronic, photonic, structural, and propulsion communities. The key to successful idea generation, risk reduction, and technology maturation in any of these areas is to have a strong linkage between academic, industrial, and government expertise. Here, the focus will be on identifying opportunities to work with the organization, particularly as it relates to academic interactions. The second part of the talk will focus on an aspect of the speaker's personal research activities on optically responsive, soft matter (polymer+liquid crystal) films. Materials which will respond to electric, magnetic, and optical stimuli have a variety of exciting multifunctional application drivers. Of specific discussion here will be novel organic-based thin films which change their macroscopic optical properties in response to light.
Dr. Timothy J. Bunning is the Chief Scientist of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In this position, he shares responsibility to define, advocate, and implement a strategic vision for the research and development activities within the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. Dr. Bunning joined the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate in 1990 as a Ph.D. student. He earned his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from University of Connecticut and did post-doctoral studies at Cornell University. After that, he spent six years as an on-site contractor before transitioning to civil service in 1998. He entered the scientific and professional cadre of senior executives in 2015. Dr. Bunning is active in numerous technical communities. His research interests center on responsive optical, electro-optical, and photo-optical structured organic and hybrid materials, and approaches for utility in optical sensing, laser beam control, and filtering (modulation) applications. He has co-authored more than 260 refereed papers and over 120 proceedings, has edited several books, and holds 16 patents. He is active in numerous technical societies, is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Tech, and is on the editorial boards of several journals.