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Amanda L. Forster (Fed)

Materials Research Engineer

Amanda Forster is a materials research engineer in the Material Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD.  She holds a B.S. in textile chemistry and a M.S. in textiles, fiber, and polymer science from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Amanda has spent most of her career working on issues related to the longevity of body armor and has been a NIST employee since 2005.  Dr. Forster has published numerous papers related to the long-term stability of polymeric materials used in body armor and methods for body armor testing.  Her current research interests are working on standards, data, and measurements to facilitate a circular economy for textiles as a part of NIST’s broader circular economy program. She is an active participant in ASTM E54.04 Subcommittee on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), chairing multiple work items that resulted in standards, and previously served as the terminology chair for E54 from 2016 until 2022, when terminology chair was merged with other functions of the executive committee. She was recently elected member at large for ASTM Committee E60. She recently planned a joint workshop with ASTM E60, D13, and AATCC on standards needed to facilitate a circular economy for textiles, which was held in October 2023. Amanda is the 2020 recipient of NIST’s Distinguished Mentor Award and has also received two Department of Commerce awards for her work on body armor standards, the gold in 2010 and the bronze in 2011. She is eager for the opportunity to leverage her prior leadership efforts and passion for standards development to help facilitate circularity and sustainability for the textiles industry. Amanda is also excited to be co-leading a new CHIPS Metrology Proposal entitled Accurate Cure Kinetics, Stress, Mechanical Properties, and Warpage with Dr. Chris Soles, also from MML.


2011 Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award (3rd highest honor awarded by the Department of Commerce) for delivery of critical measurements needed in the aggressive timeframe required to ensure reliable testing of body armor used by U.S. troops.

2010 Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award (Highest honor awarded by the Department of Commerce) for providing the Nation’s police enhanced confidence in their ballistic-resistant body armor by revealing and addressing root causes of field failure.

Selected Publications

Long-Term Stability of UHMWPE Fibers

Amanda L. Forster, Aaron M. Forster, Joannie W. Chin, Chiao-Chi Lin, Sylvain H. Petit, Kai-Li Kang, Nicholas G. Paulter Jr., Michael A. Riley, Kirk D. Rice
The superior performance of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fi bers is predicated on the development of a highly aligned molecular structure that


Relative effects of polymer composition and sample preparation on glass dynamics

Christopher Soles, Amanda L. Forster, Katherine Evans, Madhusudan (Madhu) Tyagi, Robert M. Elder, Timothy Sirk, Joseph Dennis, Kanae Ito, Osama Yamamuro, Hiroshi Akiba
Modern design of common adhesives, composites and polymeric parts makes use of polymer glasses that are stiff enough to maintain their shape under a high stress
Created October 9, 2019, Updated February 7, 2024