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NEWS | Nov. 15, 2022

NSWC Dahlgren Division Lead Scientist’s Passion for All Things Science Leads to Testing and Materials Award

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Some people are born knowing exactly what they want to do in life. From the time that Electromagnetic and Sensor Systems Department Lead Scientist and Acting Lab Director Alice Young was little, she knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I knew I was going to be a scientist,” she recalled. “I didn't have the vocabulary for what I wanted to do, but I knew I was going to be a scientist.”

Young is the recipient of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E35 Pesticides, Antimicrobials and Alternative Control Agents Award of Appreciation. E35 is the division that pesticides, antimicrobials and alternative control agents fall under in the ASTM organization.

Before she earned dozens of awards and publications, she was just a sophomore in high school with a passion for chemistry. “When I hit chemistry as a sophomore in high school, I knew this was it. I was going to be a chemist.”

Young graduated from Sienna Heights University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a passion for science. After graduation, Young went to work for a microbiology lab in hopes that a chemistry job would eventually present itself. “In all reality, 23 years later that chemistry job still has not come along and I have become a research microbiologist. It is who I am,” Young explained.

After attending a job fair in Fredericksburg in 2009, Young accepted a position at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and is currently a team member in the Concepts and Experimentation Branch.

“My career has very much taken me into microbiology, and the fascination of working with bacteria, viruses and the ways that those organisms affect our life,” Young said. “While I use my chemistry experience to a certain extent, it has been more on-the-job training with my background in microbiology, but it's just science that is simply a passion for me.” Young has also recently earned her Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies in Irregular Warfare from the United States Naval War College.

ASTM International is an organization that regulates more than 12,800 standards.

Young is the Dahlgren voting member for both the Pesticides, Antimicrobials, and Alternative Control Agents main committee and the Antimicrobial subcommittee. She also serves as the vice-chair and the award committee lead for the main committee.

“When I came on board in 2009, my group lead was making a concerted effort to shift the paradigm within decontamination testing and creating standards that would be applicable across the DoD,” Young recalled. “I had already been involved with two different standards organizations, ASTM and another, prior to coming on board. So I renewed my ASTM membership and began to represent Dahlgren.”

Young has served for 10 years as a voting member on the ASTM E35 committee. The award is a token of appreciation for the dedication and support Young has put into the organization. “It is in recognition of the time and commitment I have put into the E35 committee,” Young said.