Heidi R. Ries, Ph.D.

Provost, Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Physics

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Dr. Heidi R. Ries joined the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 1999 and currently serves as the Provost and Chief Academic Officer; she is also a Professor of Physics within the Graduate School of Engineering and Management.  During her previous service as AFIT’s chief research officer, Dr. Ries implemented the establishment of research centers yielding over 800% increase in external funding and enhancing AFIT’s reputation in the areas of cyber, directed energy, navigation, nuclear detection and analysis, operational analysis, space, and technical intelligence.  She also served AFIT as Interim Dean, Graduate School of Engineering and Management in 2013.

Dr. Ries previously served as Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Materials Research at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA, where she enabled the school’s first master’s degree program in the sciences, attracted $3M/year in external funding, served as an Associate Director of the Applied Research Center at Jefferson Lab, and directed the National Science Foundation Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology project “Center for Photonic Materials Research.” 

Dr. Ries volunteers as a member of the Martin University Board of Trustees, where she serves as the Chair, Academic and Student Affairs Committee.  She serves as the Past Chair of the Engineering and Science Foundation of Dayton Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Team Chair Corps of the Higher Learning Commission.  She serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation, and advisor for various university’s initiatives.  She previously served as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society for Engineering Education, Engineering Research Council Board of Directors, AFIT Liaison to the Ohio Aerospace Institute Board of Trustees, and a parent-coach for the Centerville City Schools Science Olympiad Team.

Dr. Ries was recognized by the Dayton Daily News as one of the region’s 2009 Ten Top Women, was the Air Force’s civilian winner of the 2011 Department of Defense Women's History Month Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Role Model Award, and received the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award.


Ph.D., Applied Physics, Old Dominion University, 1987

M.S., Physics, The Ohio State University, 1984

B.S., Physics, The Ohio State University, 1982


Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Award (2013)

Air Force winner of the 2011 Department of Defense Women's History Month Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Role Model Award, Civilian category

Air Force winner of the 2011 National Latina Distinguished Service Award

Ten Top Women Award (Dayton Daily News, 2009)

Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award (2008)


“Microwave response near zero magnetic field in transition-metal-doped silicate glasses”  R.R. Rakhimov, H.R. Ries, D.E. Jones, L.B. Glebov, and L.N. Glebova.  Appl. Phys. Lett. 76 (6) pp. 751-753 (2000)

"Spin dynamics of the triplet Cr4+ in the vicinity of energy level anti-crossing".  R. R. Rakhimov, H. R. Horton, D. E. Jones, G. B. Loutts, and H. R. Ries. Chem. Phys. Lett. (319) 5-6 (2000) pp. 639-644

“Spin and valence states of manganese ions in manganese-doped yttrium orthoaluminate”  Rakhim R. Rakhimov, Amy L. Wilkerson, George B. Loutts, Mikhail A. Noginov, Natalia Noginova, Walter Lindsay, and Heidi R. Ries, Solid State Communications Vol. 108 (8)  pp. 549-554 (1998)

“Manganese-doped yttrium orthoaluminate:  A potential material for holographic recording and data storage”  G.B. Loutts, M. Warren, L. Taylor, R.R. Rakhimov, H.R. Ries, G. Miller, III; M.A. Noginov, M. Curley, N. Noginova, N. Kukhtarev, H.J. Caulfield, P. Venkateswarlu. Phys. Rev. B 57 (7) 3706-3709 (1998)

“Off-axis extra lines in powder pattern electron paramagnetic resonance of Cr3+ in YAlO3”  R.R. Rakhimov, A.L. Wilkerson, G.B. Loutts, and H. R. Ries,  J. Appl. Phys. 82 (4) 1970-1972 (1997)

“Crystal growth, spectroscopic characterization, and laser performance of a new efficient laser material Nd:Ba5(PO4)3F” G.B. Loutts, C. Bonner, C. Meegoda, H. Ries, M.A. Noginov, N. Noginova, M. Curley, P. Venkateswarlu, A. Rapaport, and M. Bass, Applied Physics Letters 71(3) 303 (1997) (selected for inclusion in the SPIE’s Milestone Series of Selected Reprints on the subject Laser Crystal Growth, Robert Uhrin, editor)

“Neodymium Doped Barium Fluorapatite: A  New Efficient Laser Material” G.B. Loutts, C. Bonner, C. Meegoda, H. Ries, M.A. Noginov, N. Noginova, M. Curley,  P. Venkateswarlu, A. Rapaport, M. Bass. OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics, Vol. 10, C.R. Pollock and W.R. Bosenberg, eds., Optical Society of America, Washington, DC 1997, pp. 440-443

“Transpiring Cooling of a Scram-Jet Engine Combustion Chamber” Sang H. Choi, Stephen J. Scotti, Kyo D. Song and Heidi Ries  32nd Thermophysics Conference June 23-25, 1997 Atlanta, Georgia  American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics AIAA-97-2576

"Dielectric Analysis for Polymer Processing"  Kristen T. Kern, Heidi R. Ries, and Edward R. Long, Jr.  J. Mater. Educ., 16(4), 293 (1994).  Also presented at the National Educators' Workshop NEW: Update '94  Nov. 6-9, 1994  held at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD; and 1995 ASEE Conference Proceedings, Session 1564

"Dielectric Determination of the Glass Transition Temperature (Tg)"   Heidi R. Ries  J. Mater. Educ., 12(4), 325  (1990)

"Mechanism of Electrical Conductivity in an Irradiated Polyimide"  H.R. Ries, W.L. Harries, S.A.T. Long, and E.R. Long, Jr., J. Phys. Chem. of Solids 50, 735 (1989)

"Studies of Radiation Effects in Three High Polymers"  H.R. Ries   Ph.D. Dissertation, available from University Microfilms International (now ProQuest), Ann Arbor, MI (1987)

"Electron-Radiation Effects on the AC and DC Electrical Properties and Unpaired Electron Densities of Three Aerospace Polymers"  S.A.T. Long, E.R. Long, Jr., H.R. Ries, and W.L. Harries   IEEE Trans. Nuclear Sci.  NS-33, 1390 (1986)

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