EWI is pleased to announce the winners of our annual Technical Excellence Awards. These honors recognize EWI talent and accomplishment in three key areas: project outcomes, technical contributions from an engineer, and technical contributions from a technician.
Project of the Year
Tele-manufacturing – Connie Reichert LaMorte
The concept of “tele-welding” – a remote welding system for operation in distant or hazardous conditions – was first envisioned by EWI Principal Engineer Connie LaMorte in 2018. The idea appealed for many reasons: it could keep aging master welders employed, address a looming welder workforce shortage, create jobs for workers with physical limitations, and offer an exciting opportunity to younger workers interested in skilled labor through robotic technology. An NSRP grant in 2019 enabled the development of a fully functioning, shipyard-based tele-welding system. The new technology is now being applied to other operations including tele-inspection, tele-gouging, and more. The full story of this technology development can be viewed in an interactive presentation by clicking here.
Engineer of the Year
Alex Kitt, Director of Data Science
These days, collecting manufacturing data is easy. But the real value of it lies in effectively interpreting the information and applying it to both present and future solutions for specific applications. EWI has used data science methodology for years. Now, thanks to the efforts of Alex Kitt, EWI has pooled its expertise into a technology resource group dedicated to helping manufacturers capture, organize, and apply data to create better practices, processes, and products. In the past year, Alex’s team has worked with clients on projects involving additive manufacturing, batteries, and forming, to name a few. The group’s research has also resulted in several conference presentations, published papers, and one patent. Alex’s name may sound familiar; he has been associated with several EWI initiatives since joining EWI’s Buffalo Manufacturing Works start-up team in 2014. Alex built our metrology and inspection lab in Buffalo and played a key role in the establishment of ASTM’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence.
Technician of the Year
Nate Hudepohl, Senior Technician
Nate Hudepohl has not been at EWI for even a year, but his efforts have already improved our machine shop capabilities and offerings. As a result of his proactive engagement, we have been able to identify and address process bottlenecks, upgrade our machine shop resources, and save money for EWI clients. Nate’s machine shop experience and positive approach have made him an ideal mentor to EWI’s younger technicians, and his infectious enthusiasm inspires everyone around him. To read more about the new customer service that Nate initiated, click here.
The EWI Technical Award winners were nominated by their peers based on the results of their efforts and selected by the EWI leadership team.