Branch Chief, Soft Materials
US Air Force Research Laboratory, OH, United States
Dr. Benjamin Leever is currently the Chief of the Soft Matter Materials Branch in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Materials & Manufacturing Directorate. Dr. Leever leads a team of approximately 100 gov’t, military, and contractor personnel, managing an annual budget of ~$25M that includes AFRL, DAF, and OSD programs. In this role he contributes to the development of next generation technologies to deliver capabilities to the USAF and USSF in areas including polymers, responsive materials, and biological materials & processes.
Prior to this current role, Dr. Leever served the Manufacturing & Industrial Technologies division as the Technical Director. In ths position, he was the principal advisor on internal & external technical programs for the division, and functioned as senior leader for the division addressing strategic planning & execution, definition of organizational & program policy, support for transition of technology, & establishment of appropriate partnerships with industrial customers. Until recently, he also served as Government Chief Technology Officer of NextFlex, a $200M public-private partnership established to create a domestic manufacturing ecosystem in flexible hybrid electronics.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Leever served as the Advanced Development Leader for AFRL’s Soft Materials Branch, leading an external portfolio focused on flexible electronics and biomaterials. He has also previously led a research team focused on the development and modeling of multifunctional materials for structural power applications. Dr. Leever earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Northwestern University.
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