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PNNL's Diaz receives national engineering and homeland security honors

September 28, 2004 Share This!

Diaz recognized twice with distinct honors for leadership in developing homeland security technology

RICHLAND, Wash. – Aaron Diaz, a staff scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been selected to receive two distinct honors for his work in homeland security.

The first is the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC). Diaz is the first PNNL staff member to receive this honor, and joins other 2004 winners from IBM, Hewlett Packard and Argonne National Laboratory. Diaz is being recognized for both his technical accomplishments as well as his extensive contributions of community service in the greater Hispanic community.

The second is the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation's (CCFF) Homeland Security Award. Diaz is being recognized in the field of border/transportation security for his scientific research and engineering development of nondestructive and noninvasive ultrasonic technologies.

At PNNL, Diaz led the development of ultrasonic measurement techniques that have resulted in the invention of the Acoustic Inspection Device, a technology being commercialized for use by border patrol agents around the United States. This technology also won an R&D 100 Award and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Technology Transfer in 2003.

Diaz has been an invited speaker at numerous scientific conferences, and has continued that speaking role for minority student audiences ranging from elementary to post-graduate level. He has been active in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the International Society for Optical Engineering and the American Society for Nondestructive Testing. Additionally, he continues to make regular visits to his hometown of Toppenish, Wash., where he encourages high school students to pursue studies in science.

He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1989, and has more than 30 publications and technical reports to his credit.

Diaz will receive the HENAAC award during the 16th Annual HENAAC Conference on Oct. 8, in Pasadena, Calif., at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, a venue that also has hosted the Emmys and the Oscars. He will receive the CCFF Homeland Security Award on Oct. 11 - Columbus Day - at a ceremony held at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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