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For Release: June 13, 2003

Sally V. Harrington
Media Relations Office

NASA Glenn Awards

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.

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