AFRL honors Materials and Manufacturing annual awards recipients

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate recently held their 66th Annual Awards Luncheon to honor top achievers at the Hope Hotel and Richard C. Holbrooke Conference Center.

This year’s guest speaker was Joe Sciabica, president of Universal Technology Corporation headquartered in Beavercreek, Ohio. From 2008 to 2012, Sciabica served as the Executive Director of AFRL.

In his talk, Sciabica said he has spent most of his life attached to the U. S. Air Force. “We have remained the key technological brain trust because we have not lost focus on those of you, the people, who are the true life blood of the Air Force,” said Sciabica. “The men and women of AFRL who have made contributions to the war-fighting missions.”

More than 80 finalists and awardees were honored at the event as Dr. Dan Berrigan, research scientist within the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, served as the master of ceremonies.

The award recipients are as follows:

  • Engineering Expertise Award: Dr. Ryan Morrissey
  • International Award: Dr. Jeremy Kno
  • R. Lee Kennard S&T Manufacturing Heritage Award: Advanced Automation for Agile Aerospace Applications Team – Scott Bryan, Richard Meyers and Dr. Steven Turek
  • Program Management Award: Nondestructive Inspection Team – Juan Calzada and Dr. Bryan Foos
  • Supervisor Excellence Award: Dr. Jennifer DeCerbo
  • Vincent J. Russo Award for Leadership Excellence: Anthony Cain
  • Mission Support Award (Individual): Kelly Dougan
  • Mission Support Award (Team): Human Resouces Team – Laura Clark, Denise Detrick, Teresa Low, Rachael Roberts and Dustin Shaw
  • Director’s Award (Team): Tools for Polymer Matrix Composites Certification Team – Dr. Lauren Ferguson, Dr. Mark Flores, Dr. David Mollenhauer, Kara Storage and Tara Storage
  • Director’s Award (Junior Individual): Corey Boltz
  • Director’s Award (Senior Individual): Dr. Augustine Urbas
  • Company Grade Officer: Capt Madilynn Viens
  • Field Grade Officer: Maj Joseph Wahlquist
  • Robert T. Schwartz Engineering Achievement Award: RXSS Coatings Team – Diane Buhrmaster, William Hoogsteden, Michael Spicer and Thaddeus Williams
  • Charles J. Cleary Scientific Award: Biomaterials Research Team – Marquise Crosby, Dr. Patrick Dennis and Dr. Maneesh Gupta

Dr. Timothy Bunning, current acting AFRL Chief Technology Officer, mentioned that the program will be expanded next year with an additional award: the Dr. Katie E. G. Thorp Inspiration Award.

Thorp passed away in 2018. She was an accomplished research leader in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. The first recipient of the award is her husband, John.

“There are three things that epitomize Katie: she radiated positive energy, she was a consonant and passionate team player and she was a supreme mentor,” Bunning said.

Timothy Sakulich, Materials and Manufacturing Director, closed out the ceremony and said it was an honor to work with so many brilliant and dedicated professionals. “Their sense of purpose in driving materials and manufacturing research to solve Air Force needs is phenomenal,” Sakulich said.

Many of the award recipients will advance to represent the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at the annual AFRL Awards Ceremony in February.