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Eleven Local Residents Receive High Honors From Commerce Department

Commerce Secretary William Daley today presented 11 local employees and one research group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology with Gold and Silver Medal Awards—the two highest honor awards presented by the department.

Gold Medalists

The Gold Medal, presented for "rare and distinguished contributions of major significance to the department, the nation, or the world" was awarded to four local residents and one NIST research group.

  • Kevin M. Carr, FREDERICK, Md., Director, Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: "For leadership of the MEP Program that achieved the goal—a full year ahead of schedule—of providing all of the nation’s 381,000 smaller manufacturers access to extension services."
  • Robert E. Hebner, GAITHERSBURG, Md., Acting Deputy Director, NIST: "For leadership of NIST through positions of rapidly increasing responsibility at a time when its programs and activities have been under increasing external scrutiny and challenge."
  • Ernest G. Kessler, GAITHERSBURG, Md., Physicist, Physics Laboratory: "For making some of the world’s most accurate measurements of the wavelengths of X- and gamma-rays."
  • Rance A. Velapoldi, GAITHERSBURG, Md., Chief, Surface and Microanalysis Science Division, Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory: "For innovative leadership of the division and research that led to the development of high-resolution, species-specific chemical measurements."
  • Reactor Operations and Engineering Group, Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory: "For managing and operating the NIST Research Reactor at a cost far lower than comparable facilities in the United States and worldwide."

Silver Medalists

Seven local residents were honored with the Silver Medal, given for "meritorious contributions of unusual value to the department or the nation."

  • Bert M. Coursey, FREDERICK, Md., Chief, Ionizing Radiation Division, Physics Laboratory: "For leadership in standards and services to support the safe and effective uses of ionizing radiation in science, medicine and industry."
  • Charles J. Glinka, GAITHERSBURG, Md., Physicist, Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory: "For leadership in the development of the only U.S. small-angle neutron scattering research capabilities competitive with Europe and Japan."
  • James R. Whetstone, GAITHERSBURG, Md., Group Leader, Chemical Science Technology Laboratory: "For leadership of CSTL’s effort under NIST’s National Semiconductor Metrology Program."
  • Nelson N. Hsu, GERMANTOWN, Md., General Engineer, Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory: "For seminal leadership in the fundamental understanding of ultrasonic wave propagation in materials and structures."
  • David S. Pallett, POOLESVILLE, Md., Manager, Spoken Natural Language Processing Group, Information Technology Laboratory: "For leadership in the development of measurement methodologies that can assess the performance of automatic speech recognition systems."
  • Marc G. Stanley, ROCKVILLE, Md., Associate Director for Technology and Business Assessment, Advanced Technology Program: "For strengthening the ATP’s ties to industry, and state and local governments, as well as helping maintain industry’s confidence in the ATP during times of budgetary uncertainty."
  • Stanley Abramowitz, SILVER SPRING, Md., Manager, Tools for DNA Diagnostics, Advanced Technology Program: "For achievement of the ATP’s goals within the Tools for DNA Diagnostics focused program area, marked by high performance and quality of research results by the projects selected."

An agency of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration, NIST promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.

Released December 2, 1997, Updated January 8, 2018