Air Force director to speak Friday

Thomas Russell
Thomas Russell

UNL faculty, staff and students can learn more about the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research at a May 11 talk by the agency’s director.

AFOSR director Thomas Russell’s talk will be at 11 a.m. in Nebraska Hall room 188. Following his remarks, Russell will be available to visit with faculty and students.

Russell was invited by Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development, to learn firsthand about some of the AFOSR-funded projects and related programs at UNL.

“Having Dr. Russell at UNL represents a significant opportunity,” Paul said. “I encourage interested faculty, staff and students to attend this talk and visit with him.”

Russell guides the management of the entire basic research investment for the U.S. Air Force. He leads a staff of 200 scientists, engineers and administrators in Arlington, Va., and foreign technology offices in London, Tokyo and Santiago, Chile.

AFOSR interacts with leading scientists and engineers throughout the world to identify breakthrough opportunities and actively manages a $510 million investment portfolio encompassing the best of these opportunities. The office’s annual investment in basic research is distributed among more than 200 academic institutions, as well as industry.

Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Penn., and a doctorate in chemistry from University of Delaware. His fields of scientific interest are energetic materials, decomposition/combustion chemistry, detonation physics/chemistry, high-pressure chemistry/physics and spectroscopy. He has authored more than 100 publications and inventions in these areas.

More information about AFOSR is available at For more information on Russell’s visit, contact Research and Economic Development at 402-472-3123 or email