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Institute Awards Recognize Exceptional Service

Friday, January 9, 2015  
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Each year, the National Institute of Building Sciences recognizes individuals and organizations that have provided outstanding service to the Institute, the building community and the nation. This year, at its Annual Awards Reception and Dinner, the Institute honored Dr. Mohammed Ettouney; the Building Information Model (BIM) Development Team of the Institute’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Program; and Earle Kennett.

The 2014 Institute Honor Award Goes to…

Mohammed Ettouney

After receiving his award and thanking a number of individuals, a very emotional Dr. Ettouney said, "I was planning to talk about risk, resilience and hazards, but I think you’ve had enough of that in the last few days. If you want to talk about that, you know where to find me.”

The Institute Honor Award goes to someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the nation and the building community. Institute Chairman James "Tim” Ryan, CBO, presented the 2014 Honor Award to Mohammed Ettouney, Sc.D, PE, PhD, MBA, F.AEI, Dist.M.ASCE, a principal at Weidlinger Associates, Inc.

Dr. Ettouney developed several multi-hazard engineering assessment and resilience management methods that consider both natural and man-made hazards and their interactions in order to enable objective assessments of new construction and retrofit schemes. The methodologies are meant to aid decision makers in the optimal selection of projects and options. Working first with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and later the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Dr. Ettouney’s work (in which the Institute also was involved) led to a series of publications and a collection of software tools for planning and evaluating buildings, mass transit stations and tunnels. He is a primary designer of the Advanced Materials Database (AMD) to advance research and development in better performing materials; the Owners Performance Requirements (OPR) Tool to simultaneously model risk, resilience and operational performance for a full range of natural and man-made hazards; and the DHS Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) Tool. A member of the Advanced Materials Council, Dr. Ettouney currently serves on the Multihazard Mitigation Council and the IRVS for School Safety Committee, as well as the Advanced and High Performance Materials and Methods Advisory Board for the Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences (JNIBS).

The 2014 Institute Member Award Goes to…

STEM Education Program's BIM Development Team

Accepting the award for the BIM Development Team, Dr. Kerry Joels, President of TLRI, thanked all of the volunteer participants involved in in the Facility Ops Challenge, and said, "Maybe next year we’ll have some of you flying to Mars.”

The Institute Member Award goes to a member of the Institute or affiliate council who has made a substantial contribution in support of the mission, goals and objectives of the Institute. Institute Chairman Ryan presented the 2014 Member Award to the STEM Education Program’s BIM Development Team, which consists of representatives from KieranTimberlake, Gilbane Building Company, Alderson Engineering and the Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI).

The National Institute of Building Sciences, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and TLRI partnered to establish the STEM Education Program. The first initiative under the program is the Mars City Facility Operations (Ops) Challenge, which utilizes TLRI’s Mars City concept to introduce building sciences to high school students. Through a team-based simulation exercise, students will be responsible for operating the virtual Mars base using the same tools as facility managers. The simulation will be based on real-life scenarios and linked to a building information model (BIM), complete with systems, spaces and data.

The BIM Development Team developed the BIM on a compressed schedule and solely through volunteer time. The model provides the essential building information that will be loaded into the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), which ultimately becomes the interface for the student simulation. The team made use of the Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) to streamline populating the CMMS. The resulting model will serve as the backbone of the Facility Ops Challenge.

The 2014 Mortimer M. Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award Goes to…

Earle Kennett

"I actually didn’t see that coming,” said Kennett, upon accepting the award. "The man this award is named for is one of my favorite friends and mentors.” Kennett went on to recognize the federal agencies; contractors and consultants; the council and committee members who volunteer their time; and the Institute Board of Directors. "To my staff,” he continued. "It’s all about them. I couldn’t have done anything without them.” In closing, he said, "I agreed to come work here and it was the greatest decision of my life.”

The Mortimer M. Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, the Institute's highest honor, goes to someone who has demonstrated a lifetime of dedication to the mission and goals of the Institute. Established in 2011 and named after the organization's first member, this award is bestowed upon those who exhibit the passion upon which the Institute is founded.

The Board of Directors elected to present the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to Earle Kennett, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Institute of Building Sciences, in recognition of his long and successful career and his retirement after 25 years of service with the Institute.

In his position, Kennett has managed and directed hundreds of projects for federal agencies in architecture and engineering research and science. He presently manages $15 million in research and technical programs with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, NASA, Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Army Corps of Engineers, Air Force, DHS and the General Services Administration.

He initiated many Institute programs, among them the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide®, buildingSMART alliance®, United States National CAD Standard®, National BIM Standard-United States®, ProjNet™, Total Building Commissioning, High Performance Building Council (HPBC), Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee (FMOC), National Mechanical Insulation Committee (NMIC), Low Vision Design Committee (LVDC) and Academy for Healthcare Infrastructure (AHI), as well as the Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council’s BEST Conference Building Enclosure Science & Technology™.

Before coming to the Institute, Earle served as administrator of research at The American Institute of Architects, where he managed various large and complex building research projects. He has taught a range of technical architectural courses at a number of schools, including the University of Maryland; Florida A&M University; and the Washington-Alexandria Center of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

The Institute held the Annual Reception sponsored by Building Commissioning Association and Dinner on Thursday, January 8, during Building Innovation 2015: the National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Conference & Expo at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, January 6-9, in Washington, D.C. The Annual Awards Dinner was sponsored by ASTM International, the Associated General Contractors of America, Building Owners and Managers Association International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, Kingspan and the National Insulation Association.

Earlier in the year, the Institute issued a call to industry for nominations to identify potential award recipients. An Awards Committee reviewed the submissions and selected winners from the nominees, based on how their work meets the mission, objectives and goals of the Institute.

The Awards Committee will solicit nominations for 2015 awards in late spring of 2015, with nominations due next July.


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