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Dr. Aaron M. Forster

Dr. Aaron M. Forster is a materials research engineer in the Polymeric Materials Group of the Materials and Structural Systems Division (MSSD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Research Interests:

Mechanical properties of polymeric composites and interfaces across multiple length scales (nano-, micro-, milli-meter); Nanoindentation to measure modulus, hardness, and viscoelastic properties; Relationship between mechanical properties and scratch damage to understand scratch visibility in polymers; Service Life Prediction of green polymer technologies using mechanical property and chemical spectroscopy changes as figures of merit; Fracture toughness of hybrid composites for sustainable infrastructure applications; Relationship between viscoelastic measurements and the low and high frequency behavior of foams and elastomers for infrastructure applications.

Past Research:

Dr. Forster received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University in 2002. At Clemson University, he utilized the Surface Forces Apparatus to investigate the effect of solvent quality and confinement on the equilibrium structure and shear response of adsorbed polymer brushes. After Clemson, Dr. Forster completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship at the NIST Polymers Division in the Combinatorial Methods Center. Dr. Forster accelerated the development of a parallel surface adhesion test that employed a multiple spherical lens array coupled with analysis based on Johnson, Kendall, and Roberts theory. This test was developed for samples possessing a 1D or 2D property gradient.

In 2004, Dr. Forster moved to a postdoctoral position at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). At ARL, Dr. Forster employed sol-gel primers and reactive rubbers to improve adhesive bonding in structural composites. He also evaluated curing kinetics and novel routes to fire suppression in VARTM processable toughened epoxy resins. In addition, he utilized instrumented indentation to investigate the mechanical properties of tissue surrogate gel materials with moduli on the order of kPa.


National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship 2002 – 2004

Outstanding Young Adhesion Technologist Award 2010 presented by The Adhesion Society and Sponsored by ASC

Membership and Outreach:

Research Opportunities:

Undergraduate Programs:

Dr. Aaron M. Forster


Materials Research Engineer
Materials and Structural Systems Division
Polymeric Materials Group


Clemson University, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, 2002

Ohio University, B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1997


Phone: 301-975-8701