As a varied and seasoned professional, Arden L. Bement Jr., PhD, has always been open to new challenges in his career. Armed with a supportive family, a desire to learn new things, and an extensive network of accomplished friends and associates, Dr. Bement has ventured into numerous different fields throughout his prolific career. He holds an Engineer of Metallurgy degree from the Colorado School of Mines, a Master of Science in metallurgical engineering from the University of Idaho, and a Doctor of Philosophy in metallurgical engineering from the University of Michigan. He has also received seven honorary doctorate degrees from prestigious institutions for his contributions to science and engineering.
Dr. Bement began his career in 1954 at the General Electric Hanford Laboratories in Richland, WA, rising to the rank of senior research fellow in 1963. He then joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the Battelle Memorial Institute, where he managed two departments from 1965 to 1970. In 1970, he ventured into education, accepting joint appointments in materials science and engineering and nuclear engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then ventured into government from 1976 to 1980, holding various positions in the U.S. Department of Defense. In 1980, he joined TRW, Inc., where he served as a corporate vice president and chief technical officer until 1992. In 1992, he joined Purdue University as the Basil S. Turner distinguished professor, with joint appointments in materials engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and director of the Midwest high-temperature superconductivity consortium. In 1998, he was appointed as the David A. Ross distinguished professor and head of the school of nuclear engineering. He returned to government in 2001 as the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology until 2004, when he was appointed acting and then confirmed director of the National Science Foundation from 2004 until 2010. In 2010, he returned to Purdue University, where he served as the inaugural director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute until 2012. Today, Dr. Bement is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and ASM International.
In addition to his primary professional appointments, Dr. Bement has also been active on countless industry-related boards, councils and committees throughout his career. He has also extended his expertise to the field as a member of editorial boards, an editor, an author, a contributor, and a keynote speaker and presenter. Dr. Bement was also an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1954 and now holds the title of retired lieutenant colonel. Civically, Dr. Bement has been active in his community having served as a councilman on the Richland City Council in Richland, WA, from 1968 to 1970. He has also been active with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Opera Company, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Society for the Prevention of Violence, the boards of health, mental health, and mental retardation of Benton and Franklin counties in Washington, and the Allied Arts Council for the Mid-Columbia region. In his spare time outside of work, Dr. Bement enjoys stamp collecting, art, classical music, opera, classical novels, cosmology and natural history.
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