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NIOSH Presents 2012 Awards for Significant Scientific Contributions


April 26, 2012
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christy Spring, (202)245-0633

Today, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recognized significant contributions made by NIOSH researchers and their partners to occupational safety and health over the past year.

The annual awards are an opportunity for NIOSH to honor researchers for excellence in science. The awards presented include the Alice Hamilton Award, for scientific excellence of technical and instructional materials by NIOSH scientists and engineers; the James P. Keogh Award, for exceptional service by an individual in the occupational safety and health field; and the Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award, for outstanding efforts by NIOSH researchers and partners in applying occupational safety and health research to the prevention of workplace fatalities, illnesses, or injuries. In addition, the Director’s Intramural Awards for Extraordinary Science (DIA) is also presented.

“The health and safety of an increasingly diverse workforce requires solutions grounded in innovative technical research and service,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Winners of today’s awards have gone through a rigorous scientific review and have demonstrated how initiative, integrity and scientific precision assist in addressing new hazards and contribute to the safety and health of workers.”

Named after Dr. Alice Hamilton, a pioneering researcher and occupational physician, the Alice Hamilton Award is given for outstanding NIOSH contributions in the areas of biological sciences, engineering and physical sciences, human studies, and educational materials. The submissions go through a rigorous review by panels of scientific experts, including peers from both outside and inside NIOSH. The awardees for 2012 have contributed to an array of sectors, highlighting the broad range of occupational safety and health. The full list of the Alice Hamilton Award recipients can be found at

The James P. Keogh Award for Outstanding Service in Occupational Safety and Health is given to current or former NIOSH employees who have, through their work, demonstrated exceptional commitment to the field. For 2012, NIOSH honors Alice Suter, M.S. Ed., Ph.D., who has been a leader in occupational hearing conservation for the past four decades. At the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Suter’s technical contributions and leadership formed the basis of the first national criteria on noise. Addressing the psychological, physiological, performance, and communication effects of noise, many of the recommendations remain “best practices” today. At the U.S. Department of Labor, Dr. Suter guided the development of the Hearing Conservation Amendment to the OSHA noise standard, which has led to employer-provided earplugs, annual hearing tests, and training at work about noise and hearing loss. NIOSH is very pleased to honor Dr. Suter with the 2012 James P. Keogh Award in appreciation of a lifetime of extraordinary leadership in occupational health and safety. More information is available at

The Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award, named for the inventor of the hard hat Edward W. Bullard, and R. Jeremy Sherwood, the inventor of the personal industrial hygiene sampling pump, is given to recognize recipients for outstanding contributions in three categories: Knowledge, Intervention, and Technology. This year, the award and honorable mentions went to projects focused on preventing occupational exposures to antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs in healthcare settings, the SENSOR-Pesticides Program, reducing fatalities due to falls overboard, engineering controls to protect workers from potential anthrax exposures from sorting machines at USPS facilities, developing a real time diesel particulate monitor, and commercially-available drill bit isolator noise control for miners. To view the list of recipients of the 2012 Bullard-Sherwood Award visit

The Director’s Intramural Awards for Extraordinary Science (DIA) recognizes outstanding collective contributions to science excellence at NIOSH by individual intramural scientists and support staff. The award in the category of Distinguished Career Scientist was presented to Hongwei Hsiao, Chief of the Division Safety Research (DSR) Protective Technology Branch, whose efforts have moved the results of NIOSH research to practice through the manufacturing and marketing of new, safer equipment and technologies. The award in the category of Early Career Scientist was presented to Taekhee Lee, a Fellow in the Health Effects Laboratory Division and a young researcher who has been the NIOSH lead on a collaborative silica project with the UK and who has participated in three additional NIOSH projects, including use of samplers for the assessment of exposure to wood dust, size distributions of lead aerosols, and the appropriateness of a sampling pump that modified collection according to a workers’ breathing rate. The award in the category of Scientific Support was presented to Shirley Robertson, a Biological Science Laboratory Technician in the Division of Applied Research & Technology (DART), who has provided extraordinary support to research activities during her 32 years at NIOSH, including development of sampling plans, collection, logging and analysis of thousands of biological and environmental samples. For more information, see

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