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Aaron M. Forster

Staff Scientist/Chemical Engineer

Aaron Forster is a staff scientist at NIST with over 10 years experience in mechanics and failure of polymer coatings and nanocomposites subject to environmental attack. He currently supports two research areas.

Dr. Forster is the current technical lead for the Advanced Composites project. This project focuses on the characterization and modeling of electrical, diffusion, and mechanical properties of hierarchical fiber reinforced nanocomposites as these materials age in the environment. Hierarchical nanocomposites have shown the ability to meet the needs of the infrastructure and impact protection communities for multifunctional composites, but the long term properties are not established.  

Dr. Forster is the co-lead for the Metamaterials for Impact Mitigation project. This project focuses on developing novel multi-axial dynamic test methods specifically for soft materials. These mechanical methods are coupled to novel imaging techniques to support the development of constitutive models. 

Research Interests

  • Fracture mechanics for polymers and composites
  • Self-sensing and Self-healing materials
  • Impact mitigation in architected soft matter via interface and viscoelastic engineering
  • Soft materials structure and property measurements in extreme loading environments

Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities can be found through the NRC Research Associateship Program. The following projects are directly available in Dr. Forster's group with proposal submissions in August and February. Please contact him for further details.


Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award 2016 "For the rapid deployment of a new capability to measure the mechanical properties of impact mitigating materials for the Head Health Challenge III"

Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award 2011 "For measurement science relating the optical, mechanical, and chemical properties of polymeric coatings to their scratch and damage resistance"

Outstanding Young Adhesion Technologist Award, The Adhesion Society, Inc.  2010 "For the application of nanoindentation to solve critical challenges in the degradation of polymeric coatings"

National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship 2002 – 2004


Created October 9, 2019