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NSWC Indian Head EOD scientist receives prestigious Navy medal

Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division Technical Director Ashley Johnson and Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Kraft award Dr. Richard Lee, a recently retired scientist in the command's Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Department, the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Wednesday.
(U.S. Navy Photo by Todd Frantom)

INDIAN HEAD, Md. - The Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award was presented to Dr. Richard Lee, a recently retired scientist, at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division during an award presentation held on base Wednesday.

This is the third highest award granted to career civilian employees by the Navy and is reserved for Navy employees who have distinguished themselves by providing exceptional meritorious service of major significance to the Navy.
Lee, who started working for the Navy in 1982, received the award for his outstanding service and personal commitment to supporting the warfighter throughout his career as a scientist from April 1984 to December 2018.

Lee was instrumental in standing up NSWC IHEODTD's detonation science facility, where newly developed Navy formulations or materials are tested for their explosive performance or insensitivity. Lee was chiefly responsible for the development of explosive chambers which had several state-of-the-art diagnostics that accelerated the understanding of post detonation combustion in explosives, and post impact combustion in reactive materials. 

"I am honored to receive this award today," Lee said. "The work I did at this command did not happen in a vacuum; it was everyone behind me, the employees I was working alongside are receiving this award with me."

Prior to his retirement, Lee was a senior technology leader in the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Department. As a subject matter expert in detonics and shock physics, he reviewed proposals, presentations and publications from colleagues and ensured technical rigor. He was responsible for the design and development of new testing facilities to address Navy requirements, ranging in size from small-scale laboratory settings with sub-gram explosive samples, to larger-scale bombproof chamber experiments, to in-situ field tests across multi-room structures and tunnels with larger quantities of explosives.

"Dr. Lee has left his mark on our Navy and our nation," said NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Kraft. "This award is a testimony to his career and the legacy he has built at this command."

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