Amanda Forster is a materials research engineer in the Material Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. Dr. Forster has worked on issues related to the longevity of body armor since 2003. 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, and is managing several grants related to this research. She is a member of the graduate school of the University of Maryland, where she is co-advising one Ph.D. student on projects relating to the use of nanotechnology to improve composites for armor systems. She is the chair of ASTM Subcommittee E54.92 Standard Terminology for Homeland Security Applications, and is an active participant in ASTM E54.04 Subcommittee on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Dr. Forster has a passion for STEM outreach and education of junior scientists. She has hosted and mentored students of all levels from various countries and universities, including the University of Maryland, Montgomery College, Walt Whitman High School, and West Virginia University. Dr. Forster currently serves at the NIST Sigma Xi president and education committee chair. Dr. Forster also is serving her last year as one of the MML Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) directors. For more information about the SURF program please see https://www.nist.gov/surf
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.