Plenary Speakers

Provost Lecture
Strengthening the Connections: Research, Innovation, and Economic Growth
4:00 p.m., Thursday, 7 October

Patrick D. Gallagher, PhD
Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Confirmed as the 14th director of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2009, Patrick D. Gallagher, PhD, oversees the U.S. Department of Commerce’s efforts to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology. With resources totaling $856.6 million, NIST employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support staff. Gallagher earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and philosophy from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and a PhD in physics from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined NIST in 1993 as an instrument scientist at the agency’s Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), a national user facility for neutron scattering in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and was named NCNR director in 2004. Researchers from around the world have used neutron beams at NCNR for studies in advanced materials, alternative energy, semiconductors, and other disciplines. Gallagher’s research interests there included neutron and X-ray instrumentation and soft condensed matter systems such as liquids, polymers, and gels. A former agency representative to the National Science and Technology Council, Gallagher remains active in U.S. policy for scientific user facilities. His leadership in interagency coordination of such policy was recognized with a Commerce Department Gold Medal award in 2006. Among the many committees on which Gallagher has served are the Math and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation, the Committee of Visitors for Basic Energy Science in the U.S. Department of Energy, the Neutron Sciences Advisory Board of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Advanced Photon Source for Argonne National Laboratory.