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AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate recognizes annual awards winners

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE -- The Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate recognized its top performers during the 62nd Annual RX awards ceremony at the Hope Hotel on Jan. 16.

The award recipients are as follows:

Engineering Expertise Award
The F-16 Bulkhead Investigation Team of Mr. John Brausch and Mr. Nick Heider

The Engineering Expertise Award honors significant materials or process engineering contributions in a short period of time or with limited resources to fulfill the mission of the directorate.

The F-16 Bulkhead Investigation Team provided rapid development, demonstration, and transition of a non-destructive inspection solution for the F-16, maintaining aircraft safety, reducing maintenance burden, and positively influencing aircraft mission availability.

International Award
Dr. David Mollenhauer

The International Award recognizes significant contributions that leveraged cooperative, multinational opportunities that benefit the directorate's priority research and advances Air Force science and technology.

Dr. Mollenhauer engaged in pivotal research efforts with international collaborators, developing advanced composite textile and damage modeling software and transitioning it to allied nations. His efforts exploit one-of-a-kind material characterization techniques and experimental data while maximizing benefit from limited resources.

R. Lee Kennard Science and Technology Manufacturing Heritage Award
Mr. Jamie Hoff

The R. Lee Kennard S&T Manufacturing Heritage Award recognizes the outstanding performance and achievements of personnel working on manufacturing technologies in support of the directorate's mission.

Mr. Hoff skillfully managed a diverse set of programs to enhance the manufacturing readiness level of transparent sensor windows for Air Force, Army, and Navy applications. His efforts resulted in significantly more affordable and producible windows to support near-term warfighter needs.  

Program Management Award 
Mr. Warren Assink

The Program Management Award recognizes highly effective management of a notable and significant technical program that promotes the organization's mission and achieves best value for the government and warfighter.

Mr. Assink diligently executed 16 high-visibility projects in advanced power technology, environmental security technology certification, and environmental research and development programs. His efforts resulted in successful development and transition of several innovative power and energy technologies for Air Force weapons systems and ground facilities.

Supervisor Excellence Award
Ms. Mary Ann Phillips

The Supervisory Excellence Award honors exemplary supervisory skills and the ability to balance the goals of the directorate with the needs of the individuals on their team.

Ms. Phillips led a team of 25 civilian and military engineers in providing quick-reaction solutions to keep Air Force systems safe, available, and affordable. She skillfully developed subject matter experts to solve customer issues affecting multiple weapon systems. Ms. Phillips created an effective wingman culture of high morale while providing world-class support to the Air Force.  

Vincent J. Russo Award for Leadership Excellence
Ms. Pamela Schaefer

The Vincent J. Russo Award for Leadership Excellence recognizes significant contributions to the directorate in the management and leadership of activities, people, or organizations.

Ms. Schaefer selflessly guided and inspired several high-performing teams to success and strongly advocated for employee development and advancement. She led the directorate through a highly successful Inspector General inspection, assisted other directorates in inspection preparation, and spearheaded several conversion hires to support the Air Force mission.

Mission Support Award
Mr. Robert Ellis

The Mission Support Award honors outstanding performance, achievement, and overall contribution in a mission support role in two categories:  Mission Support and Advanced Mission Support, with the rank/grade of recipients being the distinguishing feature.

Mr. Ellis provided outstanding mission support, demonstrating flexibility through taking on expanded roles and providing expert consultation as travel administrator, government purchase cardholder, record keeper, and payroll program manager for more than 400 directorate personnel. He streamlined processes in these areas, optimizing directorate functionality.

Advanced Mission Support Award
Ms. Teresa Low and Ms. Apryle Monter

Ms. Low enabled supervisors in supporting a hiring surge of 36 positions while simultaneously processing 42 promotions, reassignments, conversions and 14 separation actions. She was instrumental in preparing her branch for back-to-back external reviews, resulting in the only "exceptional" rating across AFRL in her area.

Ms. Monter managed $142 million of complex Defense Production Act Title II and Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology Funding. She also led rapid response on two new White House high-visibility manufacturing programs at $70 million each. Ms. Monter's response time, accurate reporting, and vast knowledge base make the go-to expert for quick-turn requests.

Director's Team Award
The Additive Manufacturing Team of Dr. Jonathan Miller, Dr. Mary Kinsella, and Dr. Benjamin Leever

The Director's Team Award recognizes contributions to the directorate's mission and/or image outside of AFRL, and for accomplishments that had a significant impact and enhanced the credibility of the Directorate and the Air Force.

The Additive Manufacturing Team worked within AFRL as well as with Army, Navy, Department of Energy, industry, and academia to establish a leadership role for the Air Force in the field of additive manufacturing.  The technology has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing and transform military sustainment and logistics through a new paradigm in spare parts management.

Director's Junior Workforce Award
Dr. Ryan Justice

The Director's Junior Force Award honors contributions to the directorate mission or image outside of the directorate, and for accomplishments that had a significant impact and enhanced the credibility of the directorate and the Air Force. A junior force member is 30 years of age or younger or has less than 10 years of service.

Dr. Justice led the evolution of the Special Test and Research Lab into one of the premier independent laboratories in Department of Defense for specialty materials research and development. He also developed a novel cross-platform testing methodology and reduced maintenance downtime for the B-2 and F-22 programs.

Director's Individual Award
Ms. Tara Storage

The Director's Individual Award recognizes contributions to the directorate's mission and/or image outside of AFRL, and for accomplishments that had a significant impact and enhanced the credibility of the Directorate and the Air Force

Ms. Storage established the international excellence of her polymer composite processing science program, working closely with industry and academia to incorporate new physics-based models into widely used analysis packages. She also successfully resolved critical composite application issues with the Joint Strike Fighter F135 engine.

Director's Military Award - Senior Noncommissioned Officer
Master Sgt. Bobby Durning

The Director's Military Award honors outstanding professional military performance. It recognizes special contributions in primary job responsibilities, and additional obligations by virtue of the uniform. Categories include Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, Company Grade Officer, and Field Grade Officer.

Master Sgt. Durning directed more than 1,200 maintenance technicians in nondestructive inspection, optimizing aircraft inspection integrity at 167 locations. He authored the nondestructive inspection training event, reviving a four-year dormant activity and supporting field lab chiefs with vital program information. Master Sgt. Durning also managed the official Air Force NDI website, providing essential information to Airmen.

Director's Military Award - Company Grade Officer
1st Lt. Brian Wright

1st Lt. Wright managed a $45 million contract for 25 Department of Defense stakeholders, providing quick-reaction evaluation for the F-22 and F-35 and reducing depot costs by $100,000 per aircraft. He also guided the creation of a wire insulation aging model, resulting in updated wire fatigue assessments while decreasing F-22 wire maintenance by 80 percent.

Director's Military Award - Field Grade Officer
Maj. Peter Hunt

Maj. Hunt is recognized for his deployment as a foreign disclosure officer to Afghanistan, empowering coalition intelligence forces to effectively and efficiently complete over 130 top-priority missions. He spearheaded intelligence release guidance, ensuring maximum sharing with Afghan and special operation forces that resulted in an additional 540 successful operations.

Robert T. Schwartz Engineering Achievement Award
Engine Rotor Analysis Team of Dr. Adam Pilchak, Mr. Tim Swigart, and Mr. Bob Ware

The Robert T. Schwartz Engineering Achievement Award honors outstanding materials and/or process engineering contributions for an activity requiring a sustained effort of one to three years.

The Engine Rotor Analysis Team helped identify the root cause of an unanticipated engine rotor malfunction on a test aircraft using a unique combination of analysis and novel test methods. The results of the team's efforts are being used to manage the fleet and aid in component redesign to prevent recurrence.

Charles J. Cleary Scientific Achievement Award
The High-energy Diffraction Microscopy Team of Dr. TJ Turner and Dr. Paul Shade 

The Charles J. Cleary Scientific Achievement Award recognizes outstanding research contributions as evidenced by reports published or accepted for publication in a recognized, refereed journal.

The High-energy Diffraction Microscopy Team led a multinational effort in developing world-first datasets to validate micromechanical models with the longer-term goal of advancing microstructure-based lifing for aerospace alloys. This work profoundly influenced the international materials science community.