AFMC Command News

AFRL honors its newest senior scientist at induction ceremony

  • Published
  • By Erica Harrah
  • Air Force Research Laboratory

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, hosted a promotion and pin-on ceremony to honor its newest senior scientist Dr. Mark Benedict, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, May 9, 2024. The ceremony publicly inducted Benedict into the Scientific and Professional Cadre of Senior Executives, though he officially accepted the role of senior scientist for convergent (digital) manufacturing in February.

AFRL Executive Director Timothy Sakulich presided over the ceremony alongside Darrell Phillipson, director of AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, who presented Benedict with his senior executive pin.

Sakulich, who publicly administered Benedict’s oath of office, acknowledged his many contributions to materials and manufacturing science and technology.

“He has been a passionate advocate for the potential of additive manufacturing to truly transform the way we design, develop and manufacture materials and components,” Sakulich said.

Sakulich cited the opening paragraph of Benedict’s 2023 AFRL Fellow nomination package, which described Benedict as “the unifying force” accelerating the Department of the Air Force, or DAF, and DOD’s aggressive adoption of additive manufacturing and its impact on Air Force and DOD manufacturing and agility.

Some of the many highlights of Benedict’s career over the past decade include leading over $1 billion of dual-use applications for commercial and DOD applications; serving as a chief technical adviser at America Makes where he was integral to the planning, requirements definition, selection and execution of a $446 million technical portfolio in the area of convergent manufacturing; generating numerous patents; and leading the formation of national science and technology policy, including documents on military and NASA standards. Additionally, Benedict led the adoption of additive manufacturing in the Air Force Sustainment Center, allowing them to more rapidly produce over 50 part numbers for Air Force, Army, and Navy aircraft; launched an open-source additive manufacturing initiative; and built partnerships with a number of international collaborators through NATO.

In his new role, Benedict will serve as the principal scientific authority and independent researcher in the research, development, adaptation and application of advanced manufacturing at AFRL.

While enormous strides have already been made, Benedict stressed, “We can do more.”

During his five-year tenure as senior scientist, Benedict said the focus will be on future manufacturing capabilities, highlighting the need to work toward greater manufacturing agility and supply chain robustness through further development of additive manufacturing technology.

“We have big challenges relative to Great Power Competition,” said Benedict. “If anything, the pandemic showed us some of the fragility of our supply chains. The quicker you get to something you can actually give to the warfighter, and the more secure your supply chains are, the more confidence you have.”

Benedict holds both a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science in materials science from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and a PhD. in materials science and metallurgy from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

He is recognized both nationally and internationally for his work and has received numerous awards and accolades. Most recently, Benedict was named a 2023 AFRL Fellow, joining the ranks of only 0.3% of AFRL professional technical staff. This honor has been granted to a select 251 AFRL recipients since the program began 37 years ago. Benedict is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Defense Strategies Institute Group at the Military Additive Manufacturing Summit and the 2023 Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Science and Technology International Award for both additive manufacturing parts and performance.

About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit