David R. Forrest, Sc.D., P.E.

David Forrest

David Forrest is a Technology Manager at the Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office in Washington, DC where he focuses on Atomically Precise Manufacturing, high performance materials, and advanced material processes. He has performed technology and policy analysis of nanosystems and their consequences since 1985 and his 1989 paper on the regulation of nanotechnology was the first paper written on this subject. As a computational materials engineer, he was the principal architect and project manager of the Navy's Accelerated Insertion of Materials system. As a physical metallurgist he has contributed to the understanding of toughness in heavy forgings, improved transformer efficiency in grain oriented silicon steels, and developed an award-winning automated system for microcleanliness measurement. As an evangelist for high-payoff emerging technologies, he guided the development of a portable and lightweight friction stir welding system, explored the properties of and applications for covetic nanomaterials, and has promoted the development of molecular machine systems, atomically precise membranes and atomically precise catalysts. David earned his doctorate degree in materials engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993 and is a Fellow of ASM International.


Dr. Forrest has worked as a materials engineer since 1978, starting at Republic Steel Corporation's Enduro Division Massillon Plant where he performed failure analyses of stainless steel sheet products and quality control work in the company's hot strip mills. In 1979 he moved to Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, PA where he worked in the Bethlehem Plant on the failure analysis of tool steels and the quality assurance of hardened steel rolls. In both the Bethlehem Plant Experimental Dept. and Homer Research Laboratory he developed methods to improve the mechanical properties of heavy forging steels for power generation equipment and nuclear pressure vessels. His principal accomplishments were: (1) quantifying the relationships between processing, microstructure, and the mechanical properties of forgings for nuclear reactor and power generation applications; (2) becoming the first researcher at Bethlehem to apply regression analysis and linear programming to optimize the composition and processing of these forgings; and (3) solving the 20-year problem of the cause of sporadic impact properties in a nuclear pressure vessel steel.

In 1985, he left Bethlehem to pursue a doctorate degree at MIT, working with Prof. Julian Szekely. There, he developed mathematical models for electromagnetically driven fluid flow and heat transfer, and designed and built a prototype system for measuring electromagnetically driven flow in a transparent fluid using laser velocimetry. In 1991, he was a finalist in NASA's Astronaut Candidate Program.

Dr. Forrest worked for Allegheny Ludlum Corporation at the Technical Center in Brackenridge, PA, from 1991 to 1999. In Allegheny's Product Research & Development Division, his research involved determining structure/ processing/ property relationships in temper rolled stainless steels and grain oriented silicon steels, as well as the application of computational thermodynamics to steel systems. He wrote software that optimized temper rolling schedules for the customer's property specifications. In the Process Research & Development Division he worked on the mathematical modeling of steelmaking processes (developing AOD and BOF thermodynamic models), and on heat transfer and deformation models for titanium pack rolling. In 1996, he developed and implemented a web-based system for the dissemination of technical documents using Hyperwave software. In 1999 he won the Allegheny Ludlum Technical Achievement Award for developing an ultrasonic system to measure the microcleanliness of steel on a routine production basis, saving the company $500,000/year in quality costs and opportunities.

Dr. Forrest worked for Baverstam Associates from 1999-2001 where he performed both market analysis and technology-focused analysis in advanced materials and processes ranging from battery sealants to optoelectronic crystals to Gallium and Germanium markets.

He was a materials engineer and materials modeling technical expert with the Welding and NDE group at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (Carderock Division) from 2001-2012. There, he was the principal architect of and project lead for an Accelerated Insertion of Materials system (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering). He improved HAZ toughness in HSLA-65 based on original code he wrote to model tandem arc welding, and performed deformation and heat transfer modeling of forging, extrusion, and friction stir welding. He guided the development of a portable, lightweight friction stir welding system with Fred Callahan at Engineering Consulting Services/and George Talia Wichita State University (RIP). He has contributed significantly to the scientific understanding of covetic nanocarbon metals, providing key insights into analytical methods for carbon determination, and rationalized density and conductivity measurements with the molecular structure.

In 2012 he moved to the Dept. of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office where he is a Technology Manager in the R&D Projects group. His portfolio includes metal processing (Flash Ironmaking and Flash Bainite), nano-enhanced ultraconductive metals (including covetic nanomaterials), atomically precise membranes for high efficiency chemical separations, and atomically precise catalysts for efficient clean energy chemical reactions. He manages the SBIR program for AMO as well as the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing program.

Dr. Forrest is also known for his technology analysis work in the area of molecular manufacturing. He is a former President of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the development of molecular nanotechnology by directly funding critical research, and Senior Fellow, Standards, with the Foresight Institute. He represents Foresight as a member of the Technical Advisory Group to ANSI for ISO TC/229 (Nanotechnologies). His policy work includes an analysis of the metal industry’s impact on global warming, collaborating on the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems, presenting more than 20 briefings on molecular manufacturing systems (including at the National Academies and the U.S. Senate).

He has bachelor's (Lafayette College, 1978), master's (Lehigh University, 1985), and doctorate (MIT, 1993) degrees in metallurgical and materials engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania, and is a Fellow of ASM International. He is originally from the town of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and he now enjoys life in the fantastic city of Washington, DC.


Last Updated 9 Feb 2016
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