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Dozens of PML Staff Honored at 2013 NIST Awards Ceremony

On Dec. 11, 2013, NIST recognized current and former employees in an awards ceremony at its Gaithersburg campus. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher and other officials presented the awards.

Gallagher noted that the event “celebrate[s] staff members who were inspired to achieve excellence. Whatever the source of their inspiration, they channeled that drive and found a problem to solve, a question to answer, or a process to improve.”

For a complete list of all NIST awardees, see this announcement. Awardees from PML are listed below.


Silver Medal Award, the second-highest honor awarded by the Department of Commerce, granted for exceptional performance characterized by noteworthy or superlative contributions that have a direct and lasting impact within the Department.

Department of Commerce Silver MedalLeticia Pibida for “leadership in establishing a sustained testing program in response to . . . evolving radiation detection equipment needs.”

Jacob Taylor for “pioneering advances in making compact, practical quantum devices.”

Nhan Nguyen for “seminal contributions to the field of nanoelectronics.”

Angela Hight-Walker for her work in a team “providing measurement science infrastructure needed to advance the research, development, and commercialization of products that employ . . . carbon nanotubes.”





Bronze Medal Award for Superior Federal service, the highest honor conferred by NIST.

NIST bronze medalJames Fedchak for “revolutionizing the NIST ionization vacuum-gauge calibration program.”

Simon Kaplan for “improving the quality of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather and climate data”

Ronaldo Minniti for “the development of a new cesium-137 gamma-ray dosimetry calibration facility.”

Juanita Morgan for “overcoming a long-standing technical hurdle to accurate characterization of high-speed integrated circuits.”

Justin Shaw for “pioneering work in the investigation of magnetic nanostructures and the development of new measurement tools.”

James Thompson for “leading the world’s first demonstration of an entirely new form of laser thousands of times more stable than today’s best lasers.”

Pavel Kabos and Thomas Wallis for “establishing standards and techniques that, for the first time, enable scanning microwave microscope systems to make traceable measurements with nanoscale resolution.”


Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award, granted for outstanding achievements in the practical application of the results of scientific engineering research.

John Lehman “for his pioneering carbon nanotube research leading to the world’s most versatile optical detectors.”


Judson C. French Award, granted for significant improvement in products delivered directly to industry.

Roy Dorsey Jr., Denise Prather, and Martin Wilson for work in a group “successfully implementing uniform processes to deliver $8 million worth of calibration services annually to 700 companies and agencies more effectively and efficiently.”

Michal Chojnacky, Karen Garrity, Douglas Olson, and Gregory Strouse for work in a group “establishing an innovative and extensive proficiency test program for temperature and pressure.”


Edward Uhler Condon Award, granted for distinguished achievements in written exposition in science and technology.

Charles Clark and Joseph Reader for “two articles that elucidate the history of physics in 1932, including the discovery of deuterium, the neutron, and the positron.”


Safety Award, granted for unusually significant contributions to NIST Occupational Safety and Health Program activities.

Alexandra Curtin, Timothy Drapela, John Moreland, John Nibarger, Trudi Peppler, and Thomas Wallis for work in a group “pioneering effective and collaborative new approaches to safety required by the complex new Precision Measurement Laboratory at NIST Boulder.”


William P. Slichter Award, granted for outstanding achievements by NIST staff in building or strengthening ties between NIST and industry.

Marc Weiss, for “pioneering highly productive partnerships among industry, government, and international standards organizations to advance telecommunications and data networks through technology and standards for precision timing and synchronization.”


Eugene Casson Crittenden Award, granted for superior achievement by permanent employees who perform supporting services that have a significant impact in support of the mission of NIST.

Norman Bergren for “outstanding support of the NIST Boulder Microelectronics Fabrication Facility.”


Colleagues’ Choice Award, granted to non-supervisory employees who are recognized by their colleagues for having made significant contributions that broadly advance the NIST mission and strategic goals, or broadly contribute to the overall health and effectiveness of NIST.

Alex Farrell for “exceptional technical support provides to the NIST SURF III facility and the 40 scientists that it serves.”


In addition, awards were given for patents awarded to PML researchers: Michael Gaitan; John Kasianowicz; John Kitching; Thomas Perkins; Alan Migdall and Sae Woo Nam; and Kristine Bertness, Pavel Kabos, Norman Sanford, and Thomas Wallis.

Four PML physicists – Gretchen Campbell, Michal Chojnacky, Leticia Pribida, and Joel Ullom were recognized for receiving the Arthur S. Flemming Award to honor outstanding federal employees for unusually meritorious work. For details, see the earlier PML new story.