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JPL shows Hispanic kids the thrill of space
As part of the JPL/IBM La Familia technology space day activities, a mockup of a lunar rover demos its flexibility by rolling gently over a lineup of willing kids. Doesn't hurt a bit but it does tickle some.

As part of the JPL/IBM La Familia technology space day activities, a mockup of a lunar rover demos its flexibility by rolling gently over a lineup of willing kids. Doesn't hurt a bit but it does tickle some.

Pasadena, CA - Last fall, about 200 Los Angeles, CA area elementary and middle school students visited the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to meet Hispanic engineers and scientists. As part of the La Familia technology space day, the kids interfaced with JPL and IBM engineers and California Institute of Technology scientists.

La Familia technology week is a yearly nationwide event that raises public awareness and demos the value of science and technology careers to Hispanic students and their parents.


da Vinci awards presented for assistive technology design
Southfield, MI - The da Vinci awards recognize innovative developments and research in adaptive and assistive technology using the universal design principle. Corporate sponsors of the awards include Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Microsoft, Trilogy, Denso International America and GM.

The 2005 awards were presented at the fifth annual "dinner with da Vinci." This year's winners included:

Nerve transfers to improve artificial limb function by the neural engineering center for artificial limbs at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Nerve transfers allow for simultaneous operation of multiple joints with more natural and intuitive control and greater ease. The technique has the potential to allow better control of motorized legs and, by providing sensation, allow amputees to "feel" the ground they're walking on.

CoreControl device by AVAcore Technologies (Ann Arbor, MI). Elevated core body temperature is a major problem affecting people with multiple sclerosis and other heat-vulnerable diseases. This handheld device quickly cools the body from the inside out, enhancing heat extraction from vascular "radiators" using precise temperature control and a slight vacuum.

Developer and solution partner program by HP (Palo Alto, CA). The program gives assistive technology vendors and developers access to HP technologies and products to help people with disabilities use IT and get on the Internet. The program includes technical, sales and marketing support.

FreedomBox by Serotek Corp (Minneapolis, MN). This voice-controlled Internet access device combines an audio output interface with voice recognition to give mobility-challenged users voice control of a PC.

The lifetime achievement award went to Dr Dudley S. Childress, director of the prosthetics research lab at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). Childress' current R&D; activities are focused on biomechanics, artificial limbs, ambulation and rehabilitation engineering.

One of his early achievements was successfully fitting the first self-contained myoelectric arm. He also helped create the first "sip and puff" wheelchair.

In conjunction with the Center for International Rehabilitation, Childress' lab created the Shape&Roll; prosthetic foot, a relatively inexpensive prosthesis used by amputees in low-income countries around the world.


HENACC presents Hispanic achievement awards
Alphonso Diaz Carlos Galvan.

Alphonso Diaz of NASA.

Carlos Galvan of Boeing.

Los Angeles, CA - At the seventeenth annual Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC), engineers from government, industry and the military were honored. Here are some of this year's winners of the coveted awards: Hispanic engineer of the year: Alphonso Diaz, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA.

Luminary award: Carlos Galvan, integrated defense systems engineer for the F/A-18 program, Boeing.

Executive excellence: Roberto Perez, SVP, global manufacturing integrated supply chain operations, Motorola, Inc.

Executive excellence, military: Rear Admiral George Mayer, chief, naval air training, U.S. Navy.

Outstanding technical achievement, industry: Renato Recio, distinguished engineer, systems and technology group, IBM Corp.

Outstanding technical achievement, national labs: Maria Ghirardi, PhD, senior biochemical scientist II, National Renewable Energy Laboratories.

Chairman's award: Mark Allan Perez, director of program management, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Pioneer award: Frank Flores, VP, engineering, logistics and technology, Northrop Grumman Corp.

Professional achievement: Jaime Luis Moya, group manager, environmental safety and health, Sandia National Laboratories; Ana Piqueras Davis, production leader, Epoxy 3, Dow Chemical Co.

Professional achievement, military: Luis A. Ruiz, PE, chief, geotechnical branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Albert V. Baez award: Rafael Talavera, design engineer staff, life science division support, Lockheed Martin Space Operations.

Entrepreneur: Rey Almodovar, PE, president and CEO, Intuitive Research and Technology Corp.

Most promising engineer, advanced degree: Patricio Vela, PhD, assistant professor, Georgia Institute of Technology; Carol Hernandez, PhD, senior engineer, firmware development, IBM Corp.

Most promising engineer, undergrad degree: Bernadette Rabago Melancon, hydrocarbons improvement engineer, Union Carbide Corp; Aaron J. Maestas, senior mechanical engineer I with honors, Raytheon Co.

Most promising engineer, military: Captain Eduardo D. Aguilar, chief GPS IIF, space vehicle integration, U.S. Air Force Space Command.

Santiago Rodriguez diversity award: Mark J. Leon, director of education, NASA Ames Research Center.

Education: Carlos G. Gutierrez, PhD, professor, chemistry and biochemistry, CSU-LA.

Community service: Manny Sanchez, systems engineer staff, F-117 Nighthawk system engineering requirements and integration integrated product team, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.


Johnson Controls women honored with Women of Color technology awards
Laura Mitchell Gisele Marcus

Laura Mitchell

Gisele Marcus

Milwaukee, WI - National Women of Color distinguished achiever awards have been presented to Laura Mitchell, director of IT for Johnson Controls' Controls division, and Gisele Marcus, Johnson Controls general manager of metro strategy for the Chicago market. The women were honored at the National Women of Color technology awards conference.

Mitchell has a BSCS from the University of Maryland. Marcus has a BS in management with a concentration in IS and transportation distribution from Syracuse University, and an MBA in general management from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Admin.




Sandia staffers receive AISES awards
Nancy Jackson John Debassige

Nancy Jackson

John Debassige

Albuquerque, NM - At the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) national conference in Charlotte, NC, Sandia National Laboratories techies Nancy Jackson and John DeBassige were presented with awards. Jackson received the professional of the year award and DeBassige was honored as most promising engineer/scientist.

Jackson is deputy director of Sandia's international security center. She has served on many committees and boards for the national academies.

DeBassige works at Sandia's microsystems engineering and science applications complex, where he designs and prototypes qualified components for nuclear weapons.

More information about the awards is available at www.aises.org.

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