Monday, June 20, 2011

ECBC Toxicologists Earn International Team Achievement Award

Ron Checkai, Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology branch chief; Roman Kuperman, Ph.D.; and Mike Simini, Ph.D.; receive their TTCP Team Achievement Awards at the Hall of Heroes in The Pentagon on April 21. Presenting the awards are, left, Mr. Zachary J. Lemnios, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, and, right, David A. Honey, Ph.D., Director of Research, Office of  Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering.

Three U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Research and Technology (R&T) directorate toxicologists were recognized April 21 at the Scientific Achievement Awards ceremony at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes.
Ron Checkai, Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology branch chief; Roman Kuperman, Ph.D.; and Mike Simini, Ph.D., received The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) Team Achievement Award for their work on Key Technology Area 4-32 “Development of Environmental Tolerance Values for Defense Sites Contaminated with Energetic Materials” led by Kuperman from 2004 to 2010.
Checkai, Kuperman and Simini were recognized by The Honorable Zachary Lemnios, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, as well as David Honey, Ph.D., U.S. TTCP principal; and James Short, U.S. TTCP deputy.
“Having the science and technology [S&T] behind the warfighter is very important,” said Lemnios at the ceremony. “The folks that we are here to honor today have achieved great things for the warfighter and for TTCP. In addition to honoring them for their contributions to the warfighter, I want to thank them for being such great ambassadors to our partner nations.”
Also receiving the award were three collaborating scientists from the U.S. Army Public Health Command, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center.
TTCP is an international organization that collaborates in defense scientific and technical information exchange; program harmonization and alignment; and shared research activities for the five nations, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. The Scientific Achievement Awards program was established to honor the outstanding achievements of TTCP scientists and engineers. The awards are made based on excellence, relevance and productivity, and all activities must meet an exceptional level of quality of science, defense impact and collaboration.
According to the certificate presented to each ECBC recipient, the TTCP Achievement Award was bestowed specifically for significant contributions to collaborative research to advance the knowledge and understanding of ecotoxicology of energetic materials and to improve the ecological risk assessment of testing and training ranges at defense installations in TTCP nations.
“It is an honor to accept the TTCP award. It encompasses all the work our branch has done with explosives in the past 10 years,” said Simini. “I thank Roman Kuperman and Ron Checkai and the rest of our team. I especially thank [ECBC Technical Director] Joe Wienand and [R&T Director] Joe Corriveau for attending the ceremony and supporting us.”
“I am especially proud of Ron, Roman and Mike,” said Corriveau. “Their efforts during the last several years have brought honor not only to ECBC but also to our nation. The results of their work will ultimately lead to cost savings and healthier ecology on defense installations around the world.”
“We developed environmental tolerance values and bioaccumulation data for explosives, propellants, and related energetic materials for site managers to use to assess the exposure risks at each site, and to manage these facilities as sustainable resources,” said Kuperman. “We made the data internationally available to TTCP nations with our book Ecotoxicology of Explosives. Sharing this scientific expertise has already led to many successful collaborative studies.”
“The ecotoxicolgy of explosives is an area of expanding concern to the U.S. military and its allies. Through this collaborative research program, we have established critical information necessary for the continuing operation and sustainability of military testing and training ranges,” said Checkai. “I wish to thank all my colleagues involved in this program, the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program for funding major portions of the research, TTCP principals, and our ECBC directors for their continuing encouragement and support.”
Ecotoxicology of Explosives was published in 2009 by CRC Press, the principal science and technology book division of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa Company.

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