Augustus Way Fountain III, Ph.D., Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s (ECBC) senior research scientist for chemistry, received the Meritorious Senior Professional Rank Award for 2016 at a Pentagon ceremony conducted by acting Secretary of the Army Robert M. Speer on June 28.
He was among 102 Meritorious Rank recipients from across the entire federal government. Each recipient received a framed certificate signed by the president and plus a commemorative pin. This prestigious award is given to career executives and senior civilians selected through a rigorous three-step process that includes each recipient’s agency, an evaluation board made up of private citizens, and review and approval by the White House.
Fountain joined ECBC in 2007 as the senior research scientist for chemistry, a scientific and professional position graded similarly to a Senior Executive Service position, and immediately took on the task of reorganizing ECBC’s basic research program. Four years after his arrival, ECBC became the top ranked of the Army’s seven research, development, and engineering centers in the area of basic research. As part of this effort, he dedicated himself to applying ECBC’s research efforts to more directly supporting the Army’s programs, including explosives detection. Most recently, he was handpicked to lead the Department of Defense anthrax spore gamma ray inactivation study to establish a methodology for preparing anthrax for shipment.
“It is very humbling to be recognized at that level,” said Fountain. “The basic research we do here is a team effort. I feel fortunate to have been able to support it by providing a strategic vision and creating the conditions for the researchers to excel.”