State Advisory Council For Science And Technology Announces Governor's Science Medals For 2009
Published: 4th January, 2010
Source: Governor's Office of Economic Development
Author: Michale Sullivan
State Advisory Council for Science and Technology Announces Governor's Science Medals for 2009
Seven Recipients to be Honored at Gala for their Contributions and Achievements
Salt Lake City, UTAH, Governor Gary R. Herbert and the State Science Advisor along with the State Advisory Council on Science and Technology have announced the winners of the Governor’s Science Medals for 2009.
Historically these medals are awarded to individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to the furthering of scientific knowledge, education and industry in Utah and the nation.
In an award ceremony that will be held in the Discovery Gateway, Children’s Museum on January fifth, the Governor will recognize a number of science and technology leaders.
Award recipients include Dr. Randall J. Olsen in the academic category for his leadership as the Chairman of the Moran Eye Center for the past twenty years. During this time the Moran Eye Center has become recognized internationally for both its clinical care excellence and research efforts.
In Science Education, a number of people are being recognized. Dr. W. Farrell Edwards will be awarded a Governor’s Medal for his contributions to world class space research and development in which he was instrumental in establishing the Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University. For contributions to science education in public education, Glen Westbroek, a teacher at Orem Junior High in the Alpine district is being recognized for his major contributions to professional teacher development in Utah’s science core as well as his creation of “Sci-ber Text,” Utah’s online textbook for grades 3-9. A group award in science education is also being given to the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) who created computer applications for use in K-12 mathematics education. At a time when mathematics and science education are being recognized as critical to the future prosperity of the country, the NLVM stands out as one of the most important contributions to K-12 mathematics education in recent years. The honorees from NLVM are, E. Robert Heal, Lawrence O. Cannon, James Dorward, and Joel W. Duffin
The individual award in the industry category for 2009 is Ashok C. Kandhkar. Dr. Kandhkar pioneered the development and application of Silicon Nitride ceramics for spine and orthopedics patients. He founded Amedica Corporation, which is the only company to have FDA clearance for this novel technology and is making a significant difference to patients around the world.
The company award will be presented to Reaveley Engineers+Associates for their state-of-the-art structural design solutions for some of the most notable engineering projects in Utah’s recent history. The seismic upgrade for the Tabernacle at Temple Square, the Utah State Capitol and the new Intermountain Medical Center are just a few of the examples of projects that have benefited from the innovative solutions the company offers, such as the highly advanced base isolation system and load transfer application that it utilizes in many of the company projects.
In the government category William R. Lund, Senior Scientist at the Utah Geological Survey will be recognized for his contributions to the safety and security of Utah’s citizens. During his career Mr. Lund has been instrumental in identifying and advancing the understanding of Geologic hazards in the State. He has provided good science and helped to create wise policy decisions for many state and local governments which have lead to safe placements of schools, neighborhoods and the creation of safety plans that will reduce the public’s risk form damaging geologic events.
The Governor’s Medal award program was initiated in 1987 to recognize those who made career achievements and/or provided distinguished service that has benefited the State of Utah and the country in the areas of Science and Technology. Specific criteria were developed to determine the significance of the contributions to the economic development of the state. Initially, nominations were solicited from four general categories: Academia, Science Education, Industry and Government. Previous award recipients and current members of the State Advisory Council on Science and Technology are not eligible for nomination.
Editors Note: Individual interviews can be arranged with any of the recipients at a time other than the Medals Ceremony if a more in depth story is of interest. Each of the Recipients will be available for interviews between 5:00-5:45 pm. Additional interviews can be arranged after the event. Or the honorees can be contacted directly. Please see short bios attached.
Information on the Recipients of the Governor’s Medals:
Randall J. Olson
Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences & Moran Eye Center
65 Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah
Randall J. Olson, received his MD from the University Of Utah School of Medicine in 1973. He completed an internship at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York, followed by a residency in Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. He completed a fellowship at the University of Florida and LSU in Cornea and External Eye Diseases.
In 1979 Dr. Olson became Chief of Ophthalmology (and the only Ophthalmology faculty member) at the University of Utah. Thanks to Mr. John A. Moran and other generous donors, only 13 years after building the first John A. Moran Eye Center in 1993, the department moved to a new 210,000 sq./ft Moran Eye Center with more than half the space dedicated to translational research.
Over the past twenty years Dr. Olson, with the help of many, fostered the growth of the Moran Eye Center from a single person division of Surgery to a Center with over 400 individuals dedicated to clinical care and over 60 researchers striving to give hope to those with blinding conditions. The Moran Eye Center now has arguably the top retina research, cataract surgery related research and International Ophthalmology groups in the nation.
A few of Dr. Olson¹s personal accomplishments:
* Published more than 200 peer reviewed articles.
* Served on more than 25 national and international editorial boards.
* Chosen by his peers as one of the fifty leaders in ophthalmology.
* Chaired more than 25 major national and international symposiums.
* Principle investigator and grantee for more than 50 large research projects.
* Direct supervisor to more than 100 students, residents and fellows.
Dr. Olson is most proud of his 39-year marriage to Ruth Louise Engstrom Olson and his amazing five children and ten grandchildren. He believes his professional success is predicated upon his dedicated colleagues friends and patients at the Moran Eye Center, and recognizes Mr. Moran as an incredible partner and supporter.
Dr. W. Farrell Edwards
Utah State University
4415 Old Main Hill
Logan, Utah 84322
W. Farrell Edwards, has been teaching Physics at Utah State University for over fifty years. A long-time resident of Logan, Utah, Edwards graduated from Logan High in 1949. After graduation, he attended Santa Monica City College in Santa Monica, California; after a year, he returned to Utah and enrolled at the University of Utah, graduating in 1955 with a degree in Physics and an election to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1960, Edwards received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology where he specialized in low-energy nuclear physics.
Edwards and his wife Ann returned to Logan where Edwards received an appointment as an assistant professor at Utah State University. He served as Physics Department Head from 1966-71, university coordinator of general education from 1972-76, and head of USU’s honor’s program. In 1972, Edwards was named Professor of the Year for the College of Science; in 1977, he was named University Professor of the Year. In 1963, Edwards published a modification of Einstein’s “Special Theory of Relativity”; the paper was selected in 2001 as a chapter in 100 Years of Relativity, a book that commemorates 100 years of Einstein’s theory.
Edwards’ research has always been a mixture of esoteric and practical. In the late 1980s, while performing an experiment to verify the fundamental laws of electromagnetism using low temperature superconductors, he was drawn to a phenomenon in the ionosphere of the planet Venus which was similar to one exhibited in superconductors. The comparison sparked an idea for a new method of confining gas, heated to fusion temperatures—as happens in the center of the sun. At the time, a satisfactory theory to explain the phenomenon didn’t exist, so, Edwards and physicist E. D. Held developed one. This USU patent-pending technology could provide neutrons to examine luggage in airports and energy to run industry and heat homes. Funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Utah Science, Technology, and Research (USTAR) initiative, Edwards and his team have obtained a small tokamak (a fusion confinement device) necessary for verifying this theory.
A seasoned and accomplished scientist, Edwards looks forward to more years of teaching at USU, contributing to the training of the next generations of scientists and engineers, and developing devices that will impact Utah’s economy for many years to come.
Alpine School District Science Specialist
Orem Junior High School
765 North 600 West
Orem, Utah 84057
Glen Westbroek, is employed in Alpine School District and teaches Science at Orem Junior High School. Glen graduated from Brigham Young University in 1984. He has endorsements to teach Biological Science, Secondary Education, Special Education, Physical Science, and Technology. Glen is the Alpine District Science Specialist after his teaching duties end. He organizes the Alpine District Science Content Professional Development Day each year and works with new science teachers in the district.
Glen is also the current president of the Utah Science Teacher’s Association. He has served on that board for the past 10 years. He is a regular presenter at local and national science, technology, and education conferences.
Mr. Westbroek has received numerous recognitions for his devotion to students. Among these are Alpine District Teacher of the Year, the Utah Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, the Milken Family Foundation award, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.
In his free time, Glen enjoys hiking, bicycling, flyfishing, and geocaching. He is an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America and also a volunteer Amateur Radio Operator. Glen and his wife Julie are the parents of three children.
Professor E. Robert Heal
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Utah State University Department of Mathematics and Statistics
3900 Old Main Hill
Logan, Utah 84322
The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (group award to E. Robert Heal, Lawrence O. Cannon, James Dorward, and Joel W. Duffin) It has been said that “mathematics is not a spectator sport.” Learning and understanding at every level requires student engagement. The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) is a large and unique collection of interactive, web-based computer manipulatives and concept tutorials to enhance the teaching of mathematics in elementary, middle, and high schools by engaging students in the learning process. Most of the 116 manipulatives that make up the NLVM are computer applets. They cover a broad range of topics, from sets, arithmetic, and algebra to geometry, probability and statistics. For example, the “Algebra Balance Scales” engage students in solving linear equations. “Geoboard” allows students to create, manipulate, and explore the properties of shapes in two dimensions. “Grapher” allows students to graph and compare mathematical functions. “Box plot” is a tool for summarizing data. And there are many, many more.
The NLVM project was initially supported by the state of Utah through a Higher Education Technology Initiative grant. Two large National Science Foundation grants totaling almost $2 million in funding followed. Accolades for the NLVM have come from many sources but perhaps the most important accolade of all is how much it is used. More than 1000 schools and school districts in the United States use the NLVM and many more in other countries. Translations of the NLVM French, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Danish have already been completed, and additional translations are underway.
1885 West 2100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
Ashok C. Kandhkar, Ph.D. is our co-founder and has been a member of our board of directors since 1996. Dr. Khandkar served as Chief Executive Officer from February 2000 to August 2009, and currently serves as Chief Technology Officer.
Dr. Khandkar has more than 20 years of experience in senior managerial positions in ceramics development and manufacturing with responsibility for finance, strategic planning and business development. As well, Dr. Khandkar is an inventor on 24 U.S. and international patents.
Prior to becoming our President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Khandkar served as a Vice President with Ceramatec, where he started its oxide fuel cell program. He also served as Chief Technology Officer of SOFCo, a joint venture between McDermott Inc. and Ceramatec, where he managed a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, scientists, and manufacturing professionals.
Dr. Khandkar has authored more than 30 papers related to ceramics technology. He has served as the vice-chair of the High Temperature Materials Division of the Electrochemical Society and is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. Khandkar earned his Ph.D. in materials science from Arizona State University in 1985.
Jerod G. Johnson, S.E., Principal
Reaveley Engineers + Associates
675 East 500 South Ste. 400
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
Reaveley Engineers + Associates, is an innovative and progressive structural engineering firm located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1972, RE+A has a 37 year successful history providing innovative and creative structural design, superior contract documents, and excellent service to clients throughout the Intermountain West and the United States. Dedicated to serving the needs of their clients, RE+A seeks the most appropriate structural solutions considering economy, performance, and constructability.
Reaveley has engineered some of the most prestigious projects in Utah including the Utah State Capitol Base Isolation and Restoration, The LDS Tabernacle Seismic Upgrade and Renovation, IHC Intermountain Medical Center, and most recently the O.C. Tanner Flagship Jewelry Store Renovation.
Senior Scientist-Utah Geological Survey
88 E. Fiddlers Canyon Rd. Suite C
Cedar City, Utah 84720
William R. Lund, has 37 years experience as an engineering geologist, 7 years in private industry with geotechnical consulting firms in Arizona, California, and Oregon, and 30 years with the Utah Geological Survey (UGS). He is a former Deputy Director of the UGS, and is presently Senior Scientist for the Geologic Hazards Program and manager of the UGS’ Southern Regional Office in Cedar City. Mr. Lund is a Licensed Professional Geologist in Utah, a Registered Geologist in Arizona, and a Certified Engineering Geologist in Oregon (inactive). He is the author or coauthor of more than 90 publications on the geology of Utah, and is editor of the Utah Paleoseismology Series (18 volumes). Mr. Lund received the UGS’ Arthur L. Crawford Award for best contribution to understanding Utah’s geology in 2005, and is a three-time recipient of the Western States Seismic Policy Council’s (WSSPC) Award in Excellence for Earthquake-Hazard Research. He is a past chair of the Intermountain Section of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, the Utah Geological Association, and the Dixie Geological Society. He is currently a member of the Utah Professional Geologists Licensing Board, chair of the WSSPC Basin and Range Province Committee, and a member of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center’ Lifelines Fault Crossing Working Group. He was an invited member of the 1996 and 1998 Gobi-Altay and Bulnay paleoseismology expeditions to Mongolia. Recent projects include seismic-hazard evaluations of the Hurricane, Sevier, and Washington faults in southwestern Utah, and GIS-based geologic-hazards mapping investigations of the rapidly urbanizing St. George – Hurricane metropolitan area and Zion National Park.
About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission.