Amanda L. Forster
Dr. Forster has worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a materials research engineer since 2005. Prior to joining NIST, she worked as a contractor to NIST from 2003 to 2005.
Dr. Forster received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering in 2012 from the University of Maryland, College Park under the advisement of Dr. Mohamad Al-Sheikhly. Dr. Forster also holds a Master's degree in textiles, fiber, and polymer science and a Bachelor's degree in textile chemistry, both from Clemson University.
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 two Ph.D. students on projects relating to high strength fibers used in body armor. 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). She is currently organizing the 2018 meeting of the Personal Armour Systems Symposium, to be held in Washington, DC.
In addition to her work on long-term stability of high strength fibers used in protective systems, Dr. Forster has also begun research into understanding the effect of ageing on forensic fiber trace evidence. She is an active member of ASTM E30 on Forensics, and is a member of the OSAC Materials Subcommittee.
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 education committee chair, and has served as MML Division 643 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Director for the past 3 years. In 2018, Dr. Forster plans to transition to a three year term as MML SURF Director. 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.