The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) has named Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Willie E. May as its Laboratory Director of the Year for 2016. Also recognized by the FLC with a 2016 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award is a NIST engineering team for its development of a computer simulation program that predicts air and contaminant movement within buildings.
Both May and the research trio of engineer W. Stuart Dols, engineer Steven Emmerich and information technology specialist Brian Polidoro will be honored at the 2016 FLC national meeting in Chicago, Ill., during an awards ceremony on April 27, 2016. The FLC is "the formally chartered, nationwide network of over 300 federal laboratories, agencies and research centers that fosters commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies from out of the labs and into the marketplace."
In selecting May as the top director among all of its federal member organizations, the FLC noted that "technology transfer achievements have grown exponentially" during his service as associate director of laboratory programs, acting director and director of NIST. The FLC also stated that between fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2015 "over two-thirds of the nearly 1,000 active tech transfer activities were completed under Dr. May's oversight." Additionally, May was acknowledged for streamlining and enhancing the procedures by which NIST arranges and manages its Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with external partners. According to the FLC award summary, May's efforts "have resulted in a tripling of new CRADAs per year from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2014, while reducing the review time required to process each CRADA."
May also conceptualized a new partnership with the state of Maryland to provide up to 10 grants per year to former NIST postdoctoral fellows for commercializing technologies developed during their tenure at the agency.
Dols, Emmerich and Polidoro were honored for developing the CONTAM computer program, a multizone indoor air quality and ventilation analysis computer program that predicts indoor airflows and contaminant concentrations for evaluating indoor air conditions, building energy use and potential exposures of occupants to airborne contaminants. Following the initial release of CONTAM in 2011, the FLC states that the program's creators undertook "a major effort to further develop the technology and transfer it to a wide range of users" and achieved the goal by forging numerous partnerships with "architects, engineers, indoor air quality professionals and building security experts in the public and private sectors."
More information and a list of all of the 2016 FLC award recipients is available on the organization's website, http://www.federallabs.org.
Michael E. Newman