Arden L. Bement Jr. Spoke at the Ph. D. commencement ceremony

135 Ph.D.s candidates received degrees at the ceremony

Arden L. Bement Jr. Spoke at the Ph. D. commencement ceremony on Wednesday April 23, 2008. A total of 135 Ph.D.s candidates received degrees at the ceremony.

Bement Jr. became the twelfth director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2004 after serving as acting director the previous nine months. Bement heads the only federal agency that funds research and education in all fields of science and engineering. He directs a budget of more than $6 billion; hundreds of programs that support roughly 200,000 scientists, engineers, educators, and students across the country; and the development of world-class facilities and infrastructure. He oversees a robust international research program in the polar regions and several international partnerships to build sophisticated research and experimental facilities.

Since the White House launch of the American Competitiveness Initiative in 2006, Bement has overseen numerous initiatives that strengthen the U.S. innovation base and economic position and intensify the training of the American workforce to operate in a high-tech, global economy. His top priorities have included increasing the size and duration of NSF funding awards; implementing electronic proposal and grant processing at NSF; developing cyber-infrastructure that advances research and education through expanded capabilities for networking, data processing and storage, modeling, and simulation; and broadening international collaborations to leverage NSF investments. He has expanded NSF's centers of excellence program to encompass dozens of science and engineering disciplines partnering with industries and educators.

The diverse government advisory roles in which Bement has served include head of the NIST Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology; head of the advisory committee for NIST's Advanced Technology Program; and chair of the Commission for Engineering and Technical Studies and the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Research Council.

Bement holds metallurgical engineering degrees from the Colorado School of Mines (bachelor's), the University of Idaho (master's), and the University of Michigan (doctoral). He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal of the Department of Defense.