When you’re striving for excellence, it helps to have an example. It’s much easier to work hard on something when you’ve seen others succeed despite obstacles. A highlight each year at the National Institute of Standards and Technology is the annual awards ceremony. This is where NIST celebrates operational excellence through the many achievements of its scientific, engineering, administrative and other support staff members.
This year the agency was honored to have U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker provide remarks at the event.
As NIST employees left the ceremony Wednesday, they had almost 200 examples of operational excellence to pick from for role models—people who had done amazing things. Since NIST is a research agency, many were technical stars who had:
- invented a new type of lens that makes ghostly 3-D images that float in free space;
- created a voluntary framework to help reducing cybersecurity risks to our critical infrastructure;
- invented and perfected some of the world’s best atomic clocks;
- collected lessons learned from a category 5 tornado to improve building codes, save lives, and reduce property losses; and
- strengthened DNA forensic tools;