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Awards and Brief Biography

Judith A. Harrison has been a Professor of Chemistry at the United States Naval Academy for the past 20 years. She received her Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire.  Before joining the faculty of the Naval Academy, she was a postdoctoral associate at the Naval Research Laboratory. For the past 21 years, her research has focused on the theoretical examination of nanometer-scale processes, such as indentation, friction, wear, and tribochemistry of hydrocarbon systems.  She has published over  70 technical papers and given more than 90 invited talks, including the Burt L. Newkirk Lecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Keynote address at the 2002 annual meeting of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers.  In 2000, she won the Naval Academy’s Research Excellence Award and the Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award. In 2011, she became a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society. The Maryland Chapter of the American Chemical Society has selected her to be the 2009 recipient of the George L. Braude Award. She has served as Program Chair and as Chair of the  Nanoscale Science and Technology Division of the American Vacuum Society.  She is a member of various professional organizations including the American Vacuum Society, American Chemical Society, The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award (2014)

The Navy Superior Civilian Service Award is the highest honorary award the Chief of Naval Operations or the Commandant of the Marine Corps may bestow on a civilian employee in the Department of the Navy and the highest award granted at the major claimant level. This is the second highest honorary award under the Department of the Navy Civilian Awards program.

This award recognizes employee contributions that are exceptionally high in value, but affect a smaller area than the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award and are more significant than those for which the award of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award is made. The award is presented for:

  • Indications of innovative leadership of highly successful programs or projects that had impact beyond the employee’s command.
  • Accomplishments/achievements that have had as a minimum, a wide impact in the Department of the Navy.
  • Scientific or technical advances, or suggestions of significant value.
  • Accomplishments that show unusual management abilities, innovative thinking, and/or outstanding leadership, which benefit the Department of the Navy.
  • Responsibility for major cost savings/reductions/avoidance.
  • Unusual acts of heroism.
  • Exceptional cooperative efforts with other Navy offices, Naval civilian employees, Federal agencies, or the private sector.


Fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) (2011)

Fellowship recognizes AVS members who have made sustained and outstanding scientific and technical contributions in areas of interest to AVS. Prof. Harrison's citation reads, "For unraveling the complex mechanisms of atomic-scale friction through modeling and simulations, and developing reactive empirical bond-order potentials that take into account chemical reactions."

George L. Braude Award winner (2009)

The award was endowed by and named for George L. Braude, a chemist with W. R. Grace and the Food and Drug Administration. The award was presented Oct. 21, 2009 by the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society. An announcement will appeared in the Chesapeake Chemist. Previous winners include: Elsa Reichmanis – President of the American Chemical Society, Madeleine Jacobs – Executive Director of the American Chemical Society, Robert Caret – President of Towson University,Catherine Fenselau – University of Maryland, Bassam Shakashiri – University of Wisconsin, famous for his “Chemical Demonstrations”. See also:

Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award (2000)

The Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award is awarded to civilian employees in the Department of the Navy for meritorious service or contributions resulting in high value or benefits for the Navy or the Marine Corps.  (REF:

Naval Academy Alumni Association Research Excellence  Award (2000)

The Civilian Faculty Award for Excellence in Research is presented annually to the civilian faculty member at the Naval Academy who has exhibited the highest quality continued scholarly achievement through research. The award consists of two plaques, one awarded to the individual and one placed on permanent display at the Naval Academy. Accompanying each award is a cash prize provided by the Endowment from USNA Class of 1951.   Each year, the recipient of this award produced significant results through original research and publication. The results of this research have furthered the accomplishments of the Naval Academy's mission by assisting the intellectual development of midshipmen and, additionally, have significantly increased the fund of knowledge in his or her field of scholarship. (REF:


"Material contained herein is made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense."

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