Praise, accolades, kudos. The Department of Energy's employees are stellar performers, but the highest non-monetary form of recognition at the Department is the annual Secretary’s Honor Awards. Each year, the Secretary recognizes select individuals and group project members who have shown exceptional creativity, drive, and commitment that has had a lasting impact on the Department’s mission.
In December, more than 1,100 DOE employees were honored for their contributions in research, clean-energy development, and Department administration for work dating back to 2020.
“This impressive cadre of professionals confronts challenges associated with our varied missions head-on every day,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Their accomplishments clearly demonstrate DOE’s vital role as America’s ‘Solutions Department,’ working tirelessly to create a brighter future.”
The Secretary’s Honor Awards include two separate awards, the Excellence Award for individuals and the Achievement Award for groups.
The Excellence Award is given to individuals whose achievements were substantial and outside the normal course of duty and significantly benefited the Department’s mission and the Nation. The Achievement Award is given to groups of employees and contractors who together accomplished significant achievements on behalf of the Department.
This impressive cadre of professionals confronts challenges associated with our varied missions head-on every day. Their accomplishments clearly demonstrate DOE’s vital role as America’s ‘Solutions Department,’ working tirelessly to create a brighter future.
Danny Field, Senior Industrial Hygienist, National Nuclear Security Administration
Recognized for his steadfast efforts to maintain DOE’s safe operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Danny Field’s leadership has been an anchor to the National Nuclear Security Administration. As a Senior Industrial Hygienist, Field has been an expert voice to address personal protective equipment, address ventilation standards for DOE, and continue to stay on the cutting edge of evolving safety measures. Field oversaw an acquisition pathway to address longer-term issues for health and safety at the workplace.
John Lastowski, Deputy Director, Senior Technical Advisor, Advanced Design Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration
The U.S. Navy’s top acquisition priority was the COLUMBIA Class submarine program, and its system and component technical development and design validation was overseen by John Lastowski. In his role, he directed several first-of-a-kinds for the Navy, including the largest marine permanent magnet and propulsion motor, its motor drive equipment, and medium-voltage level electric power generating and distribution equipment.
Dr. Christina Lopano, Research Physical Scientist, National Energy Technology Laboratory
Optimizing the extraction of rare earth elements and critical minerals allows America to manufacture valuable items, from energy components, medical equipment, and defense systems to computers and smartphones. Dr. Christina Lopano, Ph.D., is an expert in this work, and her scientific research at the National Energy Technology Laboratory significantly advanced DOE’s research in this space and spurred on innovative methods to recover rare earth elements and critical materials from coal waste like fly ash and acid mine drainage. Dr. Lopano’s research will help ensure regions with a legacy of coal production are part of the clean energy transition and play a valuable part of our energy economy.
There were 21 winning teams that received Achievement Awards for projects spanning from burning plasma to secure transuranic waste shipping to powering the Mars Perseverance Rover. These teams were made up of 1,146 people in DOE’s workforce, all working to drive solutions to the nation’s most pressing energy challenges.
- Oak Ridge Vision 2020 Project Team, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management
- Financial Management Governance Risk and Compliance Integrated Project Team, Office of the Chief Financial Officer
- Payroll and Relocation and Human Capital Policy Teams, Office of the Chief Financial Officer
- Intelligence Analysis Leadership Team, Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
- Advanced Computer Tools to Identify Classified Information Program Team, Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security
- Office of Special Operations, Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security
- Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Energy Data eXchange ® Development and Operations Team, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, National Energy Technology Laboratory
- Multi-Functional Sorbent Technology Team, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, National Energy Technology Laboratory
- Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program Team, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy
- Alloy 617 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Code Qualification Team, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy
- Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Radioisotope Power Systems Team, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy
- Nuclear Waste Management Cloud Project Team, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy
- Burning Plasma on the National Ignition Facility Team, National Nuclear Security Administration
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Transuranic Waste Shipping Campaign Team, National Nuclear Security Administration
- Lovelace Biomedical Research Institute Material Removal Team, National Nuclear Security Administration
- Nuclear Incident Response Stabilization Team, National Nuclear Security Administration
- Target Residue Material Highly Enriched Uranium Removal Team, National Nuclear Security Administration
- Tritium Modernization Program, National Nuclear Security Administration
- W76-2 Modification Team, National Nuclear Security Administration
- Y-12 Development Electrorefining Team, National Nuclear Security Administration