TEES honors researchers, staff at spring meeting
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Two researchers, two staff members and a member of the Energy Systems Laboratory were honored by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), during the agencies spring meeting on May 13. Dr. James Wall and Dr. Kuruvilla John received the Engineering a Brighter Future Research Award, Lana Wilson and Julie Masser received the TEES Golden Gear Award and Michael Martine received the TEES Safety Excellence Award. The Engineering a Brighter Future Award recognizes outstanding research, contributions and accomplishments of TEES unit and regional division researchers. Wall has served as the Director of Computing and Information Technology Division of the Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT) for more than 12 years. During that time he has assembled and led teams of students, researchers and faculty on a wide range of projects that have totaled more than $16.9 million in more than 120 contract awards. While serving as the director, Wall has managed the DREAMS (Disaster Relief and Emergency Medical Service) program and has been involved in the Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Center program. John is the Director of the Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology-Research on Environmental Sustainability of Semi-Arid Coast Areas (CREST-RESSACA). Among his research interests are air pollution, impacts and control strategies, urban and regional scale air quality, monitoring of air quality and meteorology, emissions inventory assessment and tropospheric ozone and photochemical oxidants. The TEES Golden Gear Award recognizes and rewards the professional and support staff who are the gears, strengthening the power of TEES. Wilson, who works at the Institute for National Security Education and Research, was described by one of the nominators as "absolutely the best administrator I have seen, bar none." She was also described as having an extremely rare combination of highly desirable traits including: excellent leadership skills, being exceptionally people-oriented and considerate of others, creatively resourceful, 100 percent trustworthy and an absolute joy as a co-worker. Masser, who works for TEES Strategic Research Development, has helped TEES secure millions of dollars in funding including $5 million for a National Science Foundation Center and approximately $3 million from the Department of Homeland Security. One nominator said Masser "has gone way beyond the call of duty to assist faculty and researchers in creating more competitive proposals for federal funding agencies." Another says, "This person is not only creative but unusually perceptive in discovering better ways to present and organize complex, descriptive material and has competently taken on last minute requests from funding agencies with a positive, can-do attitude." The TEES Safety Excellence Award recognizes employee efforts that support, enhance and implement safety in the classroom, laboratory and work environment in a means that goes beyond the requirements of their position or description. Martine, who is a research technician at the Energy Systems Laboratory, is described as a great person who gets along well with others, always has a smile on his face and exhibits the kind of work ethic and professionalism that one wishes were characteristics of all employees. One nominator said of Martine, "When I think of safety, I think of this person." Martine has constantly strived to improve safety awareness within his office and to provide practical safety tips to all employees on a regular basis. Additionally, he has hosted regular safety sessions on topics his office faces in the field. In addition to honoring the award winners, TEES also recognized employees of the agencies for their years of service.