Press Release

NASA Glenn Awards

By SpaceRef Editor
June 14, 2003
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Glenn’s workforce is a diverse mixture not only of people and cultures but
also of knowledge and skills. The recent presentation of three awards- the
Craftsmanship Award, the Steven V. Szabo Award, and the Abe Silverstein
Medal-recognized researchers, engineers and craftsmen for their significant
contributions to NASA’s vision and mission.

The Craftsmanship Award honors a critical segment of Glenn’s highly skilled
workforce-model makers, machinists, and electrical and electronics
technicians-who either fabricated a component or system that required a high
degree of skill and imagination; devised a unique manufacturing process; or
overcame job difficulties such as a lack of information due to the highly
technical and experimental nature of the project.

Nicholas Varaljay, of Strongsville, an electronics technician in the Test
Installations Division, is the 2003 Craftsmanship Award winner for
assembly/buildup of the first MEMS (micro electromechanical systems)
microwave cantilever switch at Glenn. His work is a culmination of years of
MEMS process development, which may ultimately lead to an entirely new
generation of solid-state, microwave-based phased array antennas that
transform the communications industry.

Robert Reminder, of Wellington, a mechanical engineering technician in the
Manufacturing Engineering Division, won the Craftsmanship Award for
manufacturing an advanced mold process to accurately duplicate ice
formation. Using advanced aerospace composite and silicon molding, Reminder
has painstakingly reproduced the large and complex ice shapes critical to
Glenn’s cutting edge icing research and aviation safety worldwide.

The High Flow Jet Exit Rig Design Team won Glenn’s most prestigious
engineering award honoring the memory of Steven V. Szabo, Jr., the Center’s
director of Engineering from 1986 to 1993. The Szabo award recognizes a
current and specific contribution resulting in an engineering application
that significantly helped solve an important or difficult problem.

The team of three engineers from the Engineering Design and Analysis
Division: Robert Buehrle, of Medina; Paul Solano of Bainbridge Township; and
Paul Trimarchi of North Olmsted and two researchers: Dr. James Bridges,
Structures and Acoustics Division, of North Olmsted, and John Wolter,
Turbomachinery and Propulsion Systems Division, of Berea, designed and
developed an innovative jet engine nozzle test rig.

The rig, in combination with the Aeroacoustic Propulsion Laboratory’s true
far-field acoustic measurement capabilities and Mach 0.35 free jet, creates
a testing environment unparalleled in government and industry. Its design
enables unprecedented internal acoustic attenuation and allows for thrust
and flow measurement within +/- 0.25%, while accommodating the significant
thermal expansion that results from high test temperature gradients.

Dr. Rafat Ansari, Microgravity Science Division, of Avon, was awarded the
Abe Silverstein Medal for developing a novel, patented fiber optic probe for
measuring nanometer-size particles suspended in liquids using the Dynamic
Light Scattering technique. The award commemorates the long and fruitful
career of Dr. Abe Silverstein, the former Center Director from 1961 to 1969.

This technique has been successfully applied to non-invasively detect
cataracts and other diseases of the eye at a much earlier stage than
possible by any current clinical or laboratory techniques. Demonstrated
success in clinical and laboratory settings, such as the National Institute
of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, has enabled Ansari to expand
the capabilities and scope of the probe to applications in total health
diagnostics using the eye as a "window to the body." This technology is now
being aimed at monitoring astronauts remotely by using a helmet mounted
device with the World Wide Web.

Ansari’s work is an example of how NASA is working to improve life on Earth
through human spaceflight research.

SpaceRef staff editor.