AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate celebrates annual awards recipients

  • Published
  • By Mary Pacinda
  • Air Force Research Laboratory

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio –The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate recently held their 68th Annual Awards Ceremony to honor its top achievers. Masters of ceremony were Dr. Jonathan Spowart from the Materials Integrity Branch and Mr. Keith Slinker from the Composite Branch.

Unlike previous ceremonies, this year’s was “virtual” because of the pandemic. Recipients were not actually present to claim their awards. Instead, a studio-type setup was used, with only the masters of ceremony and the technical crew present. Instead of gathering in an auditorium or a meeting room, the audience used virtual platforms to remotely watch the event.

The awards and recipients were:

  • Director’s Award (Senior Individual): Dr. Dan Berrigan
  • Director’s Award (Junior Individual): Dr. Jeremy Ward
  • Director’s Award (Team): COVID Decontamination Team - Ms. Michelle Barga, Dr. Caitlin Bojanowski, Mr. Corey Boltz, Ms. Diane Buhrmaster, Dr. Wendy Goodson, Mr. Iman Eizadynejad, Mr. Bill Hoogsteden, Mr. Brett Jordan, Dr. Chia-Suei Hung, Ms. Rachel Krabacher, Mr. Michael Manders and Mr. Edward White
  • R. Lee Kennard S&T Manufacturing Heritage Award: Mr. John Blevins
  • Vincent J. Russo Award for Leadership Excellence: Dr. Wendy Goodson
  • Company Grade Officer: Lt. Cristian Hernandez Riviera
  • Field Grade Officer: Lt. Col. Brian Hans
  • International Award: Corrosion, Elastomers, and Coatings Team - Ms. Diane Buhrmaster, Dr. Matthew Hartshorne, Mr. Nader Hendizadeh, Mr. Bill Hoogsteden, Dr. Chad Hunter, Ms. Gina Tollefson, Mr. Thaddeus Williams and Dr. Nicholas Wilson
  • Supervisor Excellence Award: Mr. Alan Albert
  • Mission Support Award (Individual): Ms. Cassie Spreher
  • Mission Support Award (Team): IT Support Team - Mr. Brian Bott, Mr. Randall Mintz, Mr. Steven Mahurin, Mr. Brian Griffith, Ms. Mary Beth Holt, Mr. Chad Murphy, Ms. Holly Smith and Ms. Kristin Steel
  • Charles J. Cleary Scientific Award: Inverse Design of Broadband Highly Reflective Metasurfaces using Neural Networks - Dr. Eric Harper, Dr. Jonathan Vernon and Dr. Matthew Mills
  • Engineering Expertise Award: for the Development of M&P Solution for Manufacturing-Induced Deficiency in Multifunctional Composite Structures - Mr. Kevin Tienda, Ms. Kara Storage and Dr. Dean Foster
  • Program Management Award: Dr. Claretta Sullivan
  • Dr. Katie E.G. Thorp Inspiration Award: Dr. Joy Haley

For the first time ever, there was a tie for the Robert T. Schwartz Engineering Achievement Award. The recipients:

  • For the additive manufacturing of high performance thermosets: Dr. Hilmar Koerner
  • For the development of novel C-130 propeller inspection equipment: Mr. Ryan Mooers, Mr. Ken LaCivita, Mr. Lucas Abrahamson, Mr. Brian Shivers, Mr. John Brausch, Capt Lee Morris and Mr. Charlie Buynak

Timothy Sakulich, Director of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, concluded the ceremony by reflecting on the new and unique challenges that everyone has faced in 2020, both in schools and in the workplace. He thanked the team who had managed to organize a remote award ceremony, thereby ensuring the continuation of the directorate’s tradition of annually honoring its members’ achievements in science and technology.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for 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 11,000 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: