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Arden L. Bement, Jr. (1932- )

Arden L. Bement, Jr.

Arden L. Bement, Jr. (1932- )

Credit: Sam Kittner

The twelfth director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) has served since November 2004. A self-confessed eternal optimist, Arden L. Bement, Jr., brought to the position a broad perspective based on a career in government, academia and industry, including a term as a member of the National Science Board. His background is the most diverse of any director.

Bement received his engineer of metallurgy degree from the Colorado School of Mines in 1954, his M.S. from the University of Idaho in 1959, and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1963. He was a senior research associate with the General Electric Company from 1954 to 1965 and manager of the fuels and materials department and the metallurgy research department at Battelle Northwest Laboratories, from 1965 to 1970. Bement joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, but left in 1976 to work for the Department of Defense. He served as director of the office of materials science at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 1976 to 1979, and was deputy under secretary of defense for research and engineering from 1979 to 1980.

He became vice president of technical resources for TRW in 1980. In 1992, Bement joined the faculty at Purdue University. In 2001, he became director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. (Speeches and Presentations by the NSF Director)