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NIOSH Presents 2013 Awards for Significant Scientific Contributions


April 26, 2013
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christina 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 outstanding service by an individual in the occupational safety and health field; and the Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award, for exceptional 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 Award for Extraordinary Intramural Science is also presented.

“The innovative, robust and impactful work we are honoring today demonstrates the commitment of our researchers in addressing both well-known and emerging hazards that workers face in the 21st century workplace,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “As the nature of work changes and the workforce becomes increasingly diverse, it is critical that we have dedicated and passionate researchers, like those we honor today, ready to address the challenges we face in ensuring the safety and health of all people who work.”

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 2013 have contributed to an array of sectors, highlighting the broad range of occupational safety and health. This year’s awardees have contributed to the fields of construction, mining, nanotechnology, and respiratory disease. 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 2013, NIOSH honors Michael Attfield, PhD, one of the world’s most respected authorities on the epidemiology of occupational lung disease. With achievements spanning four decades, his work was the basis of the 1995 NIOSH Criteria Document “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust” and the Mining Safety and Health Administration’s proposed rule to reduce the permissible exposure level for respirable dust for coal miners. Dr. Attfield’s 20-year study with the National Cancer Institute on diesel exhaust in miners led to a decision in 2012 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to classify diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans, impacting millions of workers around the world. 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, Interventions, and Technology. This year, the awards went to a project focused on enhancing safety for fire fighters through efforts to improve performance of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) under high-heat conditions, a project aimed at increasing awareness of cost-efficient roll-over protective structures (CROPS) to prevent injuries and fatalities from tractor roll-overs, and a project developing a new resource that provides a way for workers to get immediate feedback on how well their hearing protection devices will protect them from their specific noise exposures. To view the list of recipients of the 2013 Bullard-Sherwood Award visit

The Director’s Award for Extraordinary Intramural Science 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 Robert Park. In his 15 years at NIOSH, Mr. Park has pioneered quantitative epidemiological methods for risk assessment, by clarifying the exposure-response that better represents occupational hazards. His work on, “years of life lost per years worked,” has advanced occupational epidemiology, allowing NIOSH to use underutilized or previously unusable data.

The award in the category of Early Career Scientist was presented to Dr. Chaumont Menéndez, who has completed numerous accomplishments during her first five years with NIOSH. Her work has focused on ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders, workplace violence, and disparities in occupational injuries. She guest-edited a 2012 issue of Work, that focused on her evaluation of workplace violence interventions in the retail and taxicab industries.

The award in the category of Scientific Support was presented to Mr. Richard Whisler in the Division of Safety Research (DSR) programs. Mr. Whisler conducts essential work to support anthropometry research and the design of safety equipment. His efforts have resulted in the efficient operation of equipment and software, increased efficiency and reduced costs of the analysis, and fine-tuned human subject testing processes. For more information, see

For more information about NIOSH research activities, go to