AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate hosts annual awards ceremony

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) - The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate hosted its 70th annual awards ceremony at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Kenney Hall Jan. 27, 2023. Dr. Jonathan Spowart, master of ceremonies, and Dr. Dalvir Hopkins, co-master of ceremonies, led the event, heralding the directorate’s accomplishments in 2022.

It was the first time the ceremony had been held in person since January 2020. Attendees had the option to attend this year’s ceremony virtually.

Darrell Phillipson, director of AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, co-hosted the ceremony alongside Deputy Director Col. Anthony DeGregoria, shaking hands with the honorees as they took the stage to accept their awards.

materials and manufacturing awards ceremony

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, or RX, Director Darrell Phillipson, far left, and Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Vaia, far right, pose with award recipients, from left to right, Dr. Matthew Dickerson, Dr. Lisa Rueschhoff and Dr. Abigail Juhl at the 70th Annual RX Awards Ceremony Jan. 27, 2022, at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Kenney Hall. The team of Dickerson and Rueschhoff tied with Juhl for the directorate’s most prestigious honor, the Charles J. Cleary Scientific Achievement Award, for the first time in the organization’s history. The Cleary Award acknowledges exemplary research published or accepted for publication, in a recognized, refereed journal. (U.S. Air Force photo / Jonathan Taulbee)

Phillipson addressed the audience, comprised of award finalists and recipients, as well as their friends, family members and colleagues, in the ceremony’s opening remarks.

“Because of [your] efforts and achievements, our directorate has pushed beyond the bounds of existing research, made lasting contributions to our nation’s defense, and steadfastly sustained its reputation as a truly world-class R&D institution,” Phillipson said.

“Thank you for helping us to continue to fight the good fight. This nation desperately needs your bright minds, your innovations, your wisdom and your earnest efforts. I am so thankful for all you have contributed to [the directorate] and all that you continue to do,” Phillipson added.

The 2023 award recipients are:

  • Mission Support Award (Individual): Shannon Carroll
  • Mission Support Award (Team): Security & Emergency Management Team — Gilbert Barrie, Michael Dillion, Journey Morgan, Donald Piddock, Colleen Savakinas, Micah Shoaf and Thomas Smith
  • Supervisor Excellence Award: Dr. Benjamin Leever
  • International Award: Corrosion, Coatings, Erosion and Elastomers Team — Michelle Barga, Dr. Matthew Hartshorne, William Hoogsteden, Dr. Chad Hunter, Rachel Krabacher, Joseph Shumaker, Gina Tollefson, Thaddeus Williams and Dr. Nicholas Wilson
  • Program Management Award: Dr. Matthew Lange
  • Engineering Expertise Award: Dr. David Mollenhauer
  • Military Award – Company Grade Officer: Capt Khaimook Klooster
  • Military Award – Field Grade Officer: Maj Andrew Beauchamp
  • Dr. Katie E. G. Thorp Inspiration Award: Dr. Keith Slinker
  • Vincent J. Russo Award for Leadership Excellence: Dr. Nancy Kelley-Loughnane
  • R. Lee Kennard S&T Manufacturing Heritage Award: Dr. Harry Pierson
  • Director’s Award (Junior Individual): Dr. Angela Campo
  • Director’s Award (Senior Individual): Dr. Carmen Carney
  • Director’s Award (Team): Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Team — Dr. Thaddeus Asel, John Blevins, Dr. Kelson Chabak, Dr. Andrew Green, Dr. Ahmad Islam, Dr. Kevin Leedy, Dr. Kyle Liddy, Dr. Michael McConney, Dr. Shin Mou and Dr. Adam Neal
  • Robert T. Schwartz Engineering Achievement Award: Dr. Gerard “Klint” Simon

There was a tie for the directorate’s most prestigious honor, the Charles J. Cleary Scientific Achievement Award. The recipients are:

  • Dr. Abigail Juhl
  • The team of Dr. Matthew Dickerson and Dr. Lisa Rueschhoff

Phillipson concluded the ceremony by congratulating the award nominees, recipients and event planning committee for their hard work and dedication.

“Today’s ceremony is the culmination of an amazing year for the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate,” Phillipson said.

award recipient receiving congratulations

Darrell Phillipson, director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, or RX, right, congratulates Capt. Khaimook Klooster as she accepts the Military Award for Company Grade Officer of the Year while Master of Ceremonies Dr. Jonathan Spowart, far left, observes at the 70th Annual RX Awards Ceremony at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Kenney Hall, Jan. 27, 2023. The Military Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of military members who demonstrate a daily commitment to excellence in their primary job duties and acknowledges the additional obligations placed upon military by virtue of wearing the uniform. (U.S. Air Force photo / Jonathan Taulbee)

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force.  AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development.  For more information, visit: