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33 Local Employees Earn DOC Awards

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2007

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Contact: Mark Esser
301-975-8735

The U.S. Department of Commerce has presented 33 local employees of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with Gold and Silver Medal Awards—the two highest honors from the department. The individual awards, their recipients and citations describing the work for which the honors were bestowed are listed in the following pages. A cross-reference chart, listing awardees by county and city of residence, is found at the end of the release.

Gold Medal

The Gold Medal, first presented in 1949, is the highest honor award conferred upon an employee of the Department of Commerce. It is bestowed for “distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary, notable or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department of Commerce and/or one operating unit and which reflect favorably on the Department.” Awards are given in the following categories: leadership, personal and professional excellence, scientific/engineering achievement, organizational development, customer service, administrative/technical support, and heroism. 

Leadership 

  • William C. Barker, Supervisory IT Specialist; Ramaswamy Chandramouli, Computer Scientist; Donna F. Dodson, IT Specialist; James F. Dray, Jr., Computer Scientist; Hildegard Ferraiolo, Computer Scientist; Timothy Grance, Supervisory Computer Scientist; Patrick J. Grother, Supervisory Computer Scientist; William I. MacGregor, Computer Scientist; William T. Polk, Supervisory Computer Scientist; and Teresa Schwarzhoff, IT Specialist


All the members of this group are from the Information Technology Laboratory. 

For leadership in producing the standards, guidelines and test programs required to implement Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12.  

Scientific/Engineering Achievement 

  • Taner Yildirim, Physicist, NIST Center for Neutron Research


For scientific breakthroughs in the creation and characterization of nanostructured materials for safe and efficient solid-state hydrogen storage. 

  • Joseph R. Kinard, Jr., Physicist; Thomas E. Lipe, Jr., Physicist; Yi-hua Tang, Physicist


The members of this group are from the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory. Three other members of this group not listed are from NIST’s Boulder, Colo., laboratories. 

For the landmark development and dissemination of the world's first quantum-based electrical standard for AC voltage. 

Customer Service 

  • Joy P. Dunkers, Physical Scientist; Gale A. Holmes, Materials Engineer; Walter G. McDonough, Materials Engineer; Chad R. Snyder, Group Leader


The members of this group are from the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory. Four other members not listed are from NIST’s Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. 

For creating and implementing the rigorous testing protocols and benchmarks needed to ensure the security and integrity of the of new U.S. ePassport. 

Silver Medal

The Silver Medal Award is the second highest honor awarded by the Department of Commerce. It is bestowed for “exceptional performance characterized by noteworthy or superlative contributions that have a direct and lasting impact within the Department.” Awards are given in the following categories: leadership, personal and professional excellence, scientific/engineering achievement, organizational development, customer service, administrative/technical support, and heroism. The award was initiated in 1949. 

Leadership 

  • Anne L. Plant, Supervisory Research Chemist, Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory


For leadership and vision in the development of NIST's program in quantitative cell biology. 

  • Jeeseong Hwang, Physicist, Physics Laboratory


For the development of innovative nanotechnology tools for the highly selective and sensitive optical detection of bacterial pathogens.

Personal and Professional Excellence 

  • Ronald S. Ross, Supervisory Computer Scientist, Information Technology Laboratory


Ross received the award as a member of a multi-agency group headed by the International Trade Administration. 

For outstanding commitment and diligence on behalf of the U.S. software industry to open the Korean governmental and financial services markets.  

Scientific/Engineering Achievement 

  • Leonard M. Hanssen, Physicist, Physics Laboratory


For seminal contributions to infrared measurement science and technical standards in support of civilian and defense applications of remote sensing. 

  • Edwin J. Heilweil, Research Chemist, Physics Laboratory


For advancing the state-of-the-art in terahertz technology and data for applications in defense, homeland security and manufacturing. 

  • Kristian Helmerson, Physicist, Physics Laboratory


For pioneering the field of coherent atom optics and persistent atom currents. 

  • Joseph T. Hodges, Mechanical Engineer, Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory


For conceiving and realizing innovative optical methods and instruments resulting in reference data that enable next generation trace gas analysis. 

  • John P. Marino, Research Chemist, Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory


For contributions to the science of biomolecular NMR spectroscopy in the determination of RNA and protein structures for rational drug design. 

  • Jack A. Stone Jr., Physicist, Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory


For the invention of a novel dimensional probing system that opens the range of measurements to features 100 times smaller than previously available. 

  • Paul A. Kopetka, Mechanical Engineer; Scott J. Slifer, Engineering Technician; Robert E. Williams, Nuclear Engineer


All the members of this group are from the NIST Center for Neutron Research. 

For the analysis, design, and construction of the Liquid Hydrogen Cold Neutron Source at the NIST Center for Neutron Research. 

  • Stephen A. Cauffman, Research Engineer; Dat Duthinh, Research Structural Engineer; Long T. Phan, Research Structural Engineer; Fahim Sadek, Research Structural Engineer 


All the members of this group are from the Building and Fire Research Laboratory. 

For conducting the reconnaissance of the performance of structures during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.