HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay



Dr. Richard A. Vaia, a member of the scientific and professional cadre of senior executives, is the Chief Scientist for the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He serves as the principal scientific authority and primary authority for the technical content of the Science and Technology portfolio, ensuring the Directorate meets national, Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, Air Force Materiel Command, and AFRL objectives in core area technologies.

Dr. Vaia’s research has covered the chemistry, physics and processing of nanomaterials for multifunctional structures, coatings, inks, flexible electronics, optical devices and autonomous concepts. He has published more than 220 articles, is co-inventor on 16 patents and has given more than 150 plenary, keynote and invited talks at national and international scientific venues.

1991 Bachelor of Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
1993 Master of Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
1995 Doctor of Philosophy, Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

1995–1999, U.S. Air Force, Captain, Polymer Branch, Air Force Materials Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
1999–2004, Photonics Direction Lead, Polymer Branch, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2004–2008, Research Team Leader, Polymer Branch, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2008–2010, Technology Advisor, NanoStructured and Biological Materials Branch, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2010–2012, Branch Chief, NanoStructured and Biological Materials Branch, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2012–2018, Technical Director, Functional Materials Division, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2018–2020, Senior Scientist, Emergent Materials Systems, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2020–present, Chief Scientist, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement, Air Force ROTC
Tau Beta Pi Fellow
National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship
U.S. Air Force Outstanding Scientist
Star Team, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Air Force Research Laboratory
Air Force Civilian Achievement Award
Air Force Exemplary Civil Service Award
Outstanding Engineers and Scientists Award, Affiliate Societies Council of Dayton
Directors Award, AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate
Cleary Award for Research Excellence, AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate
Doolittle Award, American Chemical Society
Fellow, AFRL
Fellow, American Chemical Society (Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering)
Fellow, American Physical Society
Fellow, Materials Research Society
Arthur S. Flemming Award, U.S. Air Force Nominee
Distinguished Alumni Award, Cornell University
John McLucas Basic Research Award, U.S. Air Force
Fellow, American Chemical Society
Fellow, NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute
Member, National Academy of Engineering

2005-2010 Member at Large, Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division, American Chemical Society
2006 Materials Research Laboratory Visiting Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara
2006–2008 Chair, Nanoscience and Technology Strategic Technology Team, Air Force Research Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio
2006-2010 Board of Directors, Materials Research Society
2012-2015 Member at Large, Division of Polymer Physics, American Physics Society
2018 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Service Chief Fellow

American Chemical Society
American Physics Society
Materials Research Society

(Current as of October 2020)


RT @HQ_AFMC: Thanks to the conservation upgrades, Keesler AFB expects an annual savings of 113,840 million British Thermal Units, a 15.8 p…
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@Spangdahlem_AB was the first wing in @HQUSAFEAFAF capable of Agile Combat Employment. Being agile & persistent is a m…
After catastrophic flooding in Germany & Belgium, @Spangdahlem_AB volunteers provide relief. “80% of people on Sp… https://t.co/6roLIRoFT0
RT @Southcom: Supporting our partners in #Suriname: A @usairforce C-17 from @TeamCharleston delivered a field hospital to Suriname July 1…
Congratulatons! 🎓 https://t.co/dzK8o0E9rK
RT @AETCommand: On the latest edition of the Air Force Starts Here Podcast, we discuss the modernization of the @usairforce Career Developm…
F-16s from the 555th Fighter Squadron fire munitions at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base range during Thracian Star 21 i… https://t.co/aYEY5PoEWD
The #AirForce Civil Engineer Center, in partnership with the USAF Installation Contracting Center, has streamlined… https://t.co/8iFGwfrYHR
A-10 Thunderbolt II's auxiliary power unit insulation is on the path of modernization as the Ogden Air Logistics Ce… https://t.co/3vWCDmV8Sf
.@GenCQBrownJr made his first trip to Europe as CSAF, to visit European counterparts in France, and virtually at th… https://t.co/fnK8dTaHA4
RT @AFResearchLab: Have you ever had that lightbulb 💡 moment where a new game changing idea pops into your head? Well the @usairforce, @S
RT @SecDef: We train to win future conflicts. @NORADCommand and @USNorthernCmd are currently leading #GIDE3 with all 11 combatant commands…
“Our human capital is our ultimate weapon.” - Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, @AFSpecOpsCmd deputy commander, remarked recentl… https://t.co/SijxHO8VVX
.@Hanscom_AFB introduces newly designed female body armor. “It’s exciting to feel represented as a female, and it’… https://t.co/fniK9XlzDh
ICYMI: @amccommander Gen Van Ovost approves the Centerline Drogue System as the KC-46A Pegasus’ first Interim Capab… https://t.co/ACrozwmm1e
The 128th Air Refueling Wing with the Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard is supporting #TeamTyndall's F-22 Raptors @NASKeyWesthttps://t.co/uRlpW1Jmt3
.@EielsonAirForce Airmen are conducting Agile Combat training, aimed at developing combat habit patterns for use in… https://t.co/8BoWN2gE2I
RT @USNationalGuard: Airmen from the @109thAW hosted two @USAFReserve Airmen while they completed their hands-on training as aerial port sp…
.@Creech_AFB's 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron completed successful testing of the MQ-9 Reapers' Automatic Takeo… https://t.co/BnckGjqO76
RT @USAFRecruiting: Air Force Chief of Staff, @GenCQBrownJr, has a message for those considering a career in the @usairforce: Regardless…
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Like Us
Follow Us