2010 Flemming Award Recipients

Standing from left to right: Dr. Kathryn Newcomer (Arthur S. Flemming Commission), Dr. Phillip E. Castle, Dr. Anthony G. Wilhelm, Major Gabriel S. Hiley, Dr. Ian B. Spielman, Glenn T. Donovan, Dr. Steven Knapp, Dr. Kenneth R. Knapp, Dr. Timothy J. Bunning, Dr. Christopher L. Soles, Erich H. Strassner, Dr. Scott A. Diddams, Peter Williams (President, Arthur S. Flemming Commission)

Seated from left to right: Renee L. Camacho, Lisa M. Blumerman, Kelly M. Lawson


The 2010 Flemming Award recipients:

Dr. Philip E. Castle, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland
For demonstrating leadership and devotion far beyond expectations as a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Castle has always combined a zealous dedication to women’s health with an extraordinary quantity and quality of scientific research. Throughout his career with NCI, he has focused on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and its relationship to the development of cervical precancerous lesions and frank cancer; virtually, all cervical cancer is caused by HPV infections. There are about 500,000 incident cases of cervical cancer annually, making it the third most common female cancer, with more than 80% occurring in the developing world, where due to the absence of screening, it is often the most common cancer among women. In particular, Dr. Castle has focused his work on the natural history of HPV, with emphasis on understanding viral patterns of individual HPV genotypes and their relationship to the development of cervical pre-cancer and cancer; clinical epidemiologic and translational research, concentrating on evaluating the performance of new screening assays and clinical procedures; and service, including cooperation with federal and professional groups. He serves as one of the foremost leaders in applied cancer research, has influenced clinical guidelines, and brought forward better cervical cancer prevention tests and strategies.

Glenn T. Donovan, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Department of the Navy, Newport, Rhode Island 
In recognition of his innovative work as an electrical engineer with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division. Mr. Donovan has developed a unique and cutting-edge method for utilizing bathymetric data to improve Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) localization and navigation. With his superior grasp of mathematics and engineering and advanced technical skills, he has an impressive ability to achieve real-world solutions that expand the state of the art. Mr. Donovan’s Inertial Navigation System Position Error Correction (INSPEC) method represents a tremendous advance, allowing an AUV to navigate accurately for longer periods without the need to surface for GPS or rely on other external support. This greatly reduces the risk to an AUV during a mission and improves vehicle endurance while reducing transit times. The INSPEC methods can also assist an AUV with tasks such as object tracking and area surveying and mapping, increasing the vehicle’s degree of autonomy.

Dr. Kenneth R. Knapp, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Asheville, North Carolina
For the outstanding benefits he provided to the United States as a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climate Data Center. During his seven years at NOAA, Dr. Knapp has pioneered the development of new climate-related products and tools based on long-term satellite observations of the Earth’s atmosphere. His development of Climate Data Records (CDRs) directly promoted a better and more comprehensive understanding of Earth’s climate system and enabled the scientific community to use his work as a basis to conduct other, more expansive research. Dr. Knapp’s ground-breaking work set a baseline for developing other CDRs and far surpassed the common challenges associated with transitioning research products into operational ones.

Erich H. Strassner, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC
For his exemplary accomplishments as Chief of the Industry Applications Division, at the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Mr. Strassner developed a new suite of economic indicators that allow business leaders, policy makers and researchers to better understand the sources of growth and performance on an industry-by-industry basis. This expanded information is critical to understanding how the changing structure of the U.S. economy affects business decisions to integrate vertically, outsource domestically, and produce offshore, and it provides U.S. businesses with key information to better compete in a global economy. In 2010 BEA released an expanded time series on the use of capital, labor, energy, materials, and purchased services (KLEMS) by U.S. industries to produce the Nation’s output. This release culminated an effort that began in 2005 when Mr. Strassner spearheaded a major initiative by BEA and led to the adoption of KLEMS statistics. This effort paved the way for new developments in understanding sources of economic growth, industry productivity, and the impacts on U.S. GDP. KLEMS statistics have gained world-wide recognition and are now an integral component of the official U.S. productivity statistics produced by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and are widely used by the Federal Reserve Board to understand U.S. economic growth.

Dr. Timothy J. Bunning, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Material Command Department of the Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
For his distinguished leadership as Division Technical Director, Survivability and Sensor Materials Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Material Command. Dr. Bunning expertly led fundamental research and development of photonic materials and components to enable laser protection technologies. The advancements from his research in the fundamental liquid crystals community are indicative of his pioneering nature, which led to unique and innovative breakthroughs. Dr. Bunning’s scientific accomplishments continue to provide technologies that have significant impact on current and future operations, especially in the area of tunable filters for hardening technologies.

Dr. Scott A. Diddams, National Institute of Standards and Technology Department of Commerce, Boulder, Colorado
In recognition of his outstanding achievements as a physicist in NIST’s Time and Frequency Division. Dr. Diddams leads one of the world’s foremost research programs on precision measurements using laser frequency combs. Among the accomplishments of Dr. Diddams and his team are: the first demonstration of self-referenced laser frequency combs as precision measurement tools with Dr. John Hall of NIST, leading in part to Dr. Hall’s Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005; verification of the frequency comb technique below the 10-19 level, the most precise measurement of this kind ever made; development of the counting mechanism of the world’s best atomic clocks, based on optical transitions, that will lead to improvements in navigation and communications systems; development of massive parallel, ultra-fast spectroscopy for fingerprinting and measurement of trace gases with high precision and sensitivity; making “designer lightwaves” by synthesizing light with complete control over color, timing, intensity and other parameters, for appli- cations from improved remote sensing to better telecommunications; and new spectroscopy techniques for the detection of planets orbiting distant stars known as exoplanets.

Dr. Christopher L. Soles, National Institute of Standards and Technology Department of Commerce, Gaithersburg, Maryland
In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments as a supervisory materials research engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Soles is noted for his measurements of changes in the properties of polymeric materials under states of confinement, such as in nanoscale films and nanoscale structures, and the impact of these changes on semiconductor and nanomanufacturing technology sectors. He utilized inelastic neutron scattering, x-ray reflectivity and neutron reflectivity to identify processing limits on nanoimprint lithography, to quantify interfacial effects in fuel cell membranes, and to demonstrate limitations facing next-generation resists. Dr. Soles has initiated collaborations with industry and academic partners to enhance and expand the impact of his work, and has received several significant awards, including the Presidential Early career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He maintains active leadership roles in national scientific organizations, such as the American Chemical Society and has mentored two dozen postdoctoral associates, graduate students, undergraduate interns and a high school student.

Dr. Ian B. Spielman, National Institute of Standards and Technology Department of Commerce, Gaithersburg, Maryland
For his remarkable achievements as a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Spielman has pioneered a novel approach for solving computationally intractable problems through modeling one complex quantum system by using another, more easily controllable one. His work paves the way to solve some of the most important and illusive problems in physics today, such as explaining the phenomenon of high-temperature super-conductivity. Dr. Spielman is in the vanguard of a new 21st century quantum revolution that promises to surpass the advances that spawned most of modern technology. In 2007 he used an ultra-cold atomic gas to accurately simulate a mathematical model for the change from electrical conductor to insulator. Next, Dr. Spielman showed how to make his neutral atoms behave like charged particles in electric or magnetic fields, opening a new avenue for simulation of important problems in the physics of materials. His successes have gained worldwide attention and represent only the beginning of a program for creating a better understanding of the natural world, which may lead to new technologies for this century analogous to those that defined the last.

Lisa M. Blumerman, Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC
For her exceptional leadership as Chief of the Governments Division, US Census Bureau, Department of Commerce. Ms. Blumerman led the institution of critical improvements in the quality, timeliness, and usability of data produced by the Census of Governments. This Census, conducted every five years, provides benchmark figures of public finance and employment; classifies local government organizations, powers and activities; and measures federal, state, and local fiscal relationships for the Nation’s 89,476 governments, made up of 39,044 general purpose governments and 50,432 special purpose districts. The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Federal Reserve Board use the data to measure the Nations’ economic performance. State and local governments use the data to develop programs and budgets, assess financial conditions, and perform analyses. Analysts, economists, market specialists, and researchers need the data to measure the changing characteristics of the government sector of the economy and to conduct public policy research. Ms. Blumerman has led long needed major improvements in all aspects of the production of the data, resulting in higher quality data released as much as six months earlier than previously, as well as the development of important new data products.

Renee L. Camacho, Department of Justice, Las Cruces, New Mexico
For her outstanding, dedication, professionalism and self-sacrifice as an Assistant United States Attorney. Beginning in August 2009, Ms. Camacho and the Drug Enforcement Administration Las Cruces Resident Office initiated an investigation code-named “Casino Madness.” During the active phase of Casino Madness, she secured Orders to intercept 11 telephones with 12 renewals, and one consensual intercept. The investigation revealed an unusual ingredient: the organization transported cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine for two warring Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs), the Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman and the Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes DTOs. Subsequently, Ms. Camacho obtained the largest single indictment ever returned in the District of New Mexico –145 overt acts charging 43 defendants in 37 counts. In June 2010, the transportation organization was dismantled after the execution of 15 search warrants, 35 arrests, and the seizure of approximately 70 pounds of cocaine, 4 pounds of methamphetamine, 250 pounds of marijuana, and $552,540 in cash and assets.

Major Gabriel S. Hiley, Airborne Network Division, Electronics Systems Center, Department of the Air Force, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts
In recognition of his distinguished service as Program Manager, Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, Joint Urgent Operational Need, Airborne Network Division, Electronics Systems Center. Major Hiley’s exceptional leadership transitioned a $76 million prototype airborne communications system into a $524 million program, earning broad Air Force support for immediate fielding. He created and executed the plan to deploy aircraft into combat as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, with the first flight occurring only 41 days after contract award. He also deployed for 120 days with the aircraft, educating ground and airborne users, and improving Army and Air Force joint tactical communications. Major Hiley’s efforts resulted in over 1,000 aircraft sorties flown to date, providing gamechanging communications capability.

Kelly M. Lawson, Department of Labor, Boston, Massachusetts
For her skilful handling of cases as a senior trial attorney with the Office of Solicitor (SOL), Department of Labor. Throughout her tenure at SOL, Ms. Lawson has been responsible for handling major litigation cases in all areas enforced by SOL. She has handled very adroitly large numbers of demanding legal matters that span an unusually wide range of program areas, including significant cases under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, Executive Order 11246, the Davis Bacon and Related Acts, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Several of the cases she has argued successfully under these Acts were the government’s first foray into an area covered by these Acts, involving massive, complex litigation with nationwide impact. Ms. Lawson performs independently detailed analyses of complex legal and policy issues, carries out assignments without preliminary instructions and independently develops creative negotiation and litigation strategies. Besides her litigating activities, she provides valued advice and counsel to client agency personnel in the Department of Labor. 

Dr. Anthony G. Wilhelm, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC
For his outstanding achievements as Deputy Associate Administrator for Infrastructure in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Department of Commerce. Dr. Wilhelm has demonstrated superb leadership during his 6 years with NTIA, in particular with two programs of critical national importance. First, he successfully directed the government’s efforts to prepare the Nation for the July 2009 transition from analog to digital television, a program which impacted almost 35 million Americans and touched many millions more. The end result of this $1.5 billion program was a 97 percent nationwide consumer awareness level and the proportion of unready households dropping from 6.8 percent to 0.5 percent. A tribute to Dr. Wilhelm’s extraordinarily successful management and implementation of this program is the fact that it is being used as a model by many other countries facing the same challenges in conversion from analog to digital television broadcasting. Secondly, in 2009 Dr. Wilhelm assumed leadership of the largest grant program in Department of Commerce history, the $4.7 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In his leadership of this program, he has exhibited extraordinary dedication, creative but practical thinking, and public service that is truly inspirational.