Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Presents 2015 Awards to Outstanding Employees

GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recognized current and former employees for their research, administrative and support activities that support NIST's mission in a ceremony Dec. 9, 2015. Their efforts help NIST promote innovation with collaborations and research that bring advances to fields such as nanotechnology, cybersecurity and health care.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Willie E. May joined other NIST officials to present the awards in a ceremony held jointly at NIST's Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo., campuses. They also recognized recipients of the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold and Silver medals, who received their awards in a separate ceremony earlier this year.

"Even after nearly 45 years here at NIST, I am still impressed by the dedication our people show to serving the American public and ensuring our work is of the highest quality," said May. "Our award winners this year represent an incredible diversity of positive impacts for the nation and I'm honored to recognize them for these outstanding achievements."

Bronze Medal Award for Superior Federal Service

Seventy-four individuals and one group received the Bronze Medal Award for Superior Federal Service—the highest honor presented by NIST. Since 1966, the award has been given for significant performance characterized by outstanding or significant contributions that have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of NIST.

Vladimir Aksyuk – "For development of novel, deep sub-wavelength nanomechanical plasmonic devices for switching and sensing."

James Clay Booth – "For the development and application of measurements to determine electrical properties of thin-film materials over a range of frequencies from a few hertz to the terahertz regime."

Allen R. Goldstein – "For accelerating the integration of renewable energy into the power grid through establishing an international accreditation and test program."

Dylan Klomparens – "For development of NanoFab Equipment Management Operation (NEMO) software, creating an outstanding tool usage environment for CNST NanoFab users."

Robert Lipman – "For significantly accelerating the industrial deployment of key manufacturing standards through the development of the STEP File Analyzer."

Christopher A. McKinney – "For outstanding customer service as Precision Measurement Laboratory building manager, supporting groundbreaking research with knowledge, dedication and customer-oriented solutions."

Jan Obrzut – "For pioneering microwave-based methods that enable fundamental property and quality assurance measurements in manufacturing of carbon nanomaterials."

Kamran Sayrafian – "For leadership in the advancement of body-area network technologies that will enable innovations in personal health care delivery and telemedicine."

Dorothy Smothers – "For exemplary customer service in support of the agency's Workers' Compensation Program."

Lili Wang – "For establishing reliability in flow cytometry measurements to improve clinical disease diagnosis, cell therapy manufacturing and biomedical research."

Boulder Grounds Crew – "For exemplary dedication and innovations during the record-breaking February snowfalls and the FY 2015 snow season at the NIST Boulder site."

Jamie Almeida and Kenneth Cole – "For the development of a method to unambiguously identify cell lines used in biomedical and cancer research."

Rick Davis and Mauro Zammarano – "For pioneering research into flexible-foam smoldering and the development of standard foam for quantifying the fire threat of soft furnishings."

Keith Lykke and Joseph Rice – "For design, development, and calibration of the Earth-viewing NIST Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR), which was successfully launched into space on Feb. 11, 2015."

James Moyer, Douglas Ogg and Michael Rinehart – "For the mechanical design, installation, and alignment of a complex neutron analyzer and detection system on the NCNR Multi-Axis Crystal Spectrometer."

W. Bertrand (Randy) Doriese, Daniel Fischer, Daniel Swetz and Joel Ullom – "For providing new capabilities to preeminent international research facilities through the dissemination of revolutionary X-ray spectrometer systems."

Keith Gillis, Joseph Hodges, James Radney and Christopher Zangmeister – "For developing state-of-the-art particle synthesis and measurement techniques for quantifying the optical properties of atmospheric aerosols."

Barry Hershman, Paulina Kuo, Oliver Slattery and Xiao Tang – "For the development of upconversion single photon detectors and spectrometers for use in quantum information research and measurement science."

Sam Ayala, James Bittner, Jerry Bowser, Joseph Di Pasquale, Andy Halich, Mark Khalil and Elise Pilat – "For reducing the time needed to install and start-up major new equipment in CNST's NanoFab from several months to six weeks or less, accelerating productivity and saving NIST time and money."

Darrin Dimmick, Angela G. Ellis, Jonathan G. Fiscus, John Garafolo, David Joy, Martial Michel, Paul Over and Gregory A. Sanders – "For development of novel evaluation frameworks, metrics and datasets supporting foundational research in video analytics and video search."

Joe Boone, Robert Brock, Robert Densock, William Haag Jr., David Kim, William Lindsey, Gale Richter, Robert Sorensen and Guo Zhang – "For their outstanding contributions in implementing the new Research Equipment Network service."

H. Wayne Adams, Tish Brush, Lisa Eldrige, Wendy Morrison, Katherine Pagoaga, Sean Sell, Debra Strawbridge, Aiping Zhang and Sandy Yu – "For development and implementation of a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) system for NIST."

Jannet Cancino, Elizabeth Colbert, Diane Henderson, Bill Kinser, Sunni Massey, Kaleema Muhammad, David Stieren, Michael Teske, Jedd Vertman (DOC) and Tab Wilkins Jr. – "For developing a comprehensive set of standard policies, procedures and protocols to launch the first-ever recompetition of the national MEP system."

Eugene Casson Crittenden Award

The Crittenden Award, established in 1967, recognizes superior achievement by permanent employees who perform supporting services that have a significant impact on technical programs beyond their own offices.

Andrew Barnhart – "For exceptional administrative and technical support of NIST's cybersecurity Assessment & Authorization (A&A) Program, ensuring A&A projects and plans of actions & milestones (POA&Ms) are managed effectively and efficiently."

Carmene Brown – "For outstanding administration of NIST payroll duties and exemplary customer service in running the NIST Voluntary Leave Transfer Program."

Robert Gregory Driver – "For providing the world's best piston-gauge pressure standards and measurements, and for outstanding service to commerce and to pressure metrology."

Andrew G. Halich – "For excellence in customer service and management of the reimbursable project schedule in support of the NIST mission."

Christopher J. Neary – "For outstanding performance in the collection and management of the NIST Gaithersburg Hazardous Waste Program."

Christopher A. Voigt – "For dedicated support of the NIST mission for technical piping layout and installation requiring highly skilled trade craftsmanship."

Art Ellison, Glen Glaeser, Daniel Greb, Luis Luyo and John Wamsley – "For the installation and maintenance of the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility's monitoring and control systems."

Allen V. Astin Measurement Science Award

The Astin Award, first presented in 1984, is granted for outstanding achievement in the advancement of measurement science or in the delivery of measurement services.

David Howe, Craig Nelson and Archita Hati – "For developing a world-leading program of phase noise research and measurement services to support industry and national priorities."

Edward Uhler Condon Award

The Condon Award recognizes distinguished achievements in written exposition in science and technology. The award was initiated in 1974.

David B. Newell – "For his special feature article describing our system of units and the continuous evolution and modernization of the metric system."

Judson C. French Award

The French award, first presented in 2000, is granted for significant improvement in products delivered directly to industry, including new or improved NIST calibration services, Standard Reference Materials and Standard Reference Databases.

Jay H. Hendricks, John S. Quintavalle and Jacob E. Ricker– "For developing a novel capability to enable researchers and manufacturers to obtain NIST vacuum gauge calibrations at lower cost and in less time."

Alexander Kramida, Yuri Ralchenko and Joseph Reader – "For establishing the world's premier resource for atomic reference data, relied upon for everything from nuclear forensics to Hubble Space Telescope data analysis."

Therese A. Butler, Marc L. Salit, Gregory C. Turk (deceased) and Michael R. Winchester – "For development and deployment of nearly 70 elemental solution Standard Reference Materials that underpin millions of chemical analyses annually."

Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award

The Rabinow Award, first presented in 1975, is granted for outstanding achievements in the practical application of the results of scientific engineering research.

Richard S. Gates – "For developing an innovative monomolecular lubrication process that has significantly reduced the cost to mint U.S. circulating coins."

Edward Bennett Rosa Award

The Rosa Award, established in 1964, is granted for outstanding achievement in or contributions to the development of meaningful and significant engineering, scientific or documentary standards either within NIST or in cooperation with other government agencies or private groups.

C. Cameron Miller, Yoshi Ohno and Yuqin Zong – "For enabling the successful development and commercialization of innovative solid-state lighting products through the creation of foundational standards."

William P. Slichter AwardT

he Slichter Award, first presented in 1992, is granted for outstanding achievements by NIST staff in building or strengthening ties between NIST and industry.

Melissa M. Phillips, Laura J. Wood, Catherine A. Rimmer and Katherine E. Sharpless – "For leadership in and support of the worldwide effort to establish consensus standards for nutrients in infant formulas and adult nutritional products."

Samuel Wesley Stratton Award

The Stratton Award, first presented in 1962, is granted for outstanding scientific or engineering achievements in support of NIST objectives.

Emanuel Knill – "For pioneering research in the field of quantum information science and engineering."

George A. Uriano Award

The Uriano Award, first presented in 1996, is granted for outstanding achievements by NIST staff in building or strengthening NIST extramural programs, with emphasis on fostering U.S. competitiveness and business excellence.

Kenneth P. Voytek – "For the development of a complex mathematical model normalizing funding across the national MEP system in support of a major restructuring of the program."

Barbara Uglik – "For her extraordinary leadership, vision, and commitment to customers in updating and implementing the Baldrige Online Scorebook Solution (BOSS)."

LouAnn Scott – "For the design, implementation, and management of the Quest for Excellence Conference App."

NIST Colleagues' Choice Award

Established in 2006, the Colleagues' Choice Award is granted to nonsupervisory employees who are recognized and nominated 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.

Steven Grantham – "For selfless contributions to a broad range of projects across multiple groups and OUs."

Glenn Holland – "For his enthusiastic dedication to solving measurement challenges by applying and sharing his vast repository of knowledge and hands-on experience."

Dennis Nester – "For dedicated support of safe and reliable NCNR cold neutron source operation and invaluable assistance to hundreds of NIST staff and visitors."

Honeyeh Zube – "For leading the development of numerous Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, enabling researchers across NIST to partner with important sectors."

Director's Award for Excellence in Administration

The Director's Award was first presented in 2008 and is granted to recognize administrative professionals who have made significant contributions that broadly advance the NIST mission and strategic goals through excellence in administrative services and functions.

Amy O. Eckstine – "For exemplary customer service and administrative acumen in providing retirement and benefits services to federal employees."

Tina Marie Faecke – "For outstanding administrative leadership for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and National Construction Safety Team program."

Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Award

The Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Award, first presented in 1977, is granted for exceptionally significant accomplishments and contributions to equal employment opportunity/diversity goals.

Zeeshan Ahmed – "For outstanding mentorship of economically disadvantaged high school and college students interested in careers in science."

Safety Award

The NIST Safety Award, first established in 1979, is granted to recognize NIST employees and organizations for substantial contributions to improving safety at NIST.

Laurie Locascio – "For leadership in elimination of legacy hazardous materials in the Material Measurement Laboratory."

Elizabeth Mackey, Lawrence Denicola, Laslo Varadi, Su Jen Kau, Hicham Laoudi and Xinwei Wen – "For development and implementation of a NIST safety-audit mobile application."

Dean of Staff Award

The Dean of Staff award recognizes the NIST employee with the longest tenure with a plaque and copy of a carbon print photograph of pioneering British scientist Michael Faraday that hung in the office of the first three NIST directors.

Elizabeth Fong – With 48 years of service, Fong has been a computer scientist for her entire NIST tenure. She helped to create the Structured Query Language (SQL) standard by which databases and applications of various types communicate. She currently works on the Software Assurance Metrics and Tool Evaluation (SAMATE) project, which aims to ensure that software is functionally correct and free from malicious code.

U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service

First presented in 1949, the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service is the highest honor conferred upon a Commerce Department employee by the agency. 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.

Thomas Heavner and Steven Jefferts – "For extraordinary scientific achievement in creating and operating the NIST-F2 atomic clock, the world's most accurate official time and frequency standard."

Keith Bubar, Lauren Didiuk, Leah Kauffman, Kevin Kimball, Nathan Lesser, Timothy McBride, Gavin O'Brien, Lucy Salah, Murugiah Souppaya and Karen Waltermire – "For leadership in establishing the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to increase adoption of cybersecurity capabilities across the nation."

U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award for Exceptional Service

The second highest honor awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Silver Medal Award 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.

Joseph Curtis – "For developing and making globally available the SASSIE software suite used to model complex biological molecules from small-angle scattering data."

Joseph Hodges – "For the development and application of advanced laser spectroscopy methods, enabling sensitive and accurate measurements of greenhouse gases."

Martin J. Burns, John A. Teeter and David A. Wollman – "For leadership in developing "Green Button," which enables informed consumers everywhere to reduce energy costs and promote a more sustainable environment."

Jennifer McDaniel, Sarah Munro and Marc Salit – "For improving confidence in genome-scale measurements so they can be used to reliably diagnose and develop treatments for disease."

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit

Released December 14, 2015, Updated January 24, 2023