Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award was created in 2009 by the Academy’s Governing Council, to honor members that have provided outstanding service to the Academy. The Council nominates, and selects by vote, recipients of this award.
George 'Bob' Wisner
Recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award
|George "Bob" Wisner accepts the 2015 Distinguished Service Award at the May Annual Meeting and Dinner. ( Photo: Frank LaBanca)
George ‘Bob’ Wisner was elected by the Academy’s Governing Council to receive the Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding leadership within the Academy and for his exceptional contributions in support of the Academy’s mission through dedicated and outstanding leadership of the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF).
Wisner was elected to the Academy in 2007 and has served on three Study Committees: Rail Energy (2014); Weigh Station Technologies and Practices (2008); and Feasibility of Utilizing Fuel Cells to Generate Power for the New Haven Rail Line (2007). In 2010, he was elected to fill a vacancy on the Academy’s Council through 2014 and for a full-term in 2015.
As Chairman and Director of CSEF, Wisner initiated the Urban School Challenge (USC) with support from the Academy’s Endowment Fund. The USC recognizes a middle school and high school student from an urban district. A past Connecticut Science Fair competitor, his volunteer support of CSEF began in the early seventies when his former 7th grade science teacher asked him to become involved with the Advisory Council. Wisner became chairman of the CSEF board of directors in 1974 and CSEF Director in 1989.
While an electrical engineering student at UConn, Wisner joined the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) – at the time known as United Aircraft Research Laboratories - as a summer intern in 1960 and continued full time as a research engineer upon graduation. At UTRC, he conducted research on high-energy lasers, adaptive optics, and power electronics. His research and product development efforts produced 15 patents. Wisner also led a research team in the development of an automated clinical gait analysis system used to evaluate children with cerebral palsy. Wisner finished the last four years of his UTC career at Otis Elevator as engineering manager for elevator drives, retiring in 1999. In addition to his science fair duties, he works as the Technology Director for Barker Mohandas-Vertical Transportation Consultants.
Anthony J. DeMaria, PhD
Recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Service Award
|Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering President Lou Manzione, left, presents the Distinguished Service Award to Academy member Anthony J. DeMaria. ( Photo: Frank LaBanca)
Tony DeMaria is a charter member of the Academy. He was elected to the governing council in 1992; served as the Academy’s fourth president from 1994 to 2000; and held the post of past-president from 2000 to 2004.
During his presidency, DeMaria served as chair of the strategic planning committee that developed the Academy’s first long range plan, providing a foundation for the academy as it is today. He also oversaw the first committee to recommend candidates for the Connecticut Medals of Science and Technology and in 2004, DeMaria himself was awarded the Connecticut Medal of Technology for his groundbreaking laser research.
DeMaria and his family came to the United States from Italy when he was just five years old. Growing up in Waterbury, he worked construction jobs to pay for his education. Always fascinated by science, DeMaria received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UConn. He worked at Anderson Laboratories while pursuing a master’s degree in science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford. DeMaria went on to earn a PhD in electronics and physics at UConn. His 1965 thesis led to his greatest breakthrough generating picosecond laser pulses, whose time durations lasted the time it takes light to travel the thickness of a sheet of paper. These ultrafast laser pulses made it possible to probe atoms and molecules and measure their relaxation rates, a discovery that led to overnight fame.
Dr. DeMaria had a 33-year career with the United Technologies Corporation before co-founding DeMaria ElectroOptics Systems, LLC (DEOS) in 1994 for the purpose of transferring laser radar technology to commercial use. In 2001, DEOS was acquired by Coherent, Inc., with DeMaria serving as chief scientist until his retirement in 2012. Coherent employs several hundred people in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Dr. DeMaria holds 56 patents. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (1976) and the National Academy of Sciences (1997) and a past president of the Optical Society of America and SPIE, the International Optics Society. He also served as Editor of the IEEE Quantum Electronics Journal 10 years.
Michael J. Werle, PhD,
Recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Service Award
|Dr. Michael J. Werle addresses the gathering after accepting his Distinguished Service Award at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. (Photo: Al Malpa)
Dr. Michael J. Werle was elected to the Academy in 1994 and began his involvement early on serving as chair of the Academy’s Human Resources Technical Board beginning in 1995 through 2002. Werle went on to serve as executive director of the Academy from July 2000 through June 2002. From July 2002 through June 2008, Werle was elected to consecutive 2-year terms as Vice President, President and Past President. In these roles, his leadership was critically important in guiding and establishing a solid financial foundation for the Academy through a challenging transition period.
An international technology development and management expert, Werle is Founder and Senior Technical Advisor of FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp., a Founder and President of FloPropulsion Systems LLC, a member of Connecticut’s Board of Governors for Higher Education, and a member of Connecticut Innovations’ Technical Advisory Board.
In 1995 he retired from 18 years service with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) as the Director for International and External Programs in the Office of Science & Technology. He previously served as the Head of the Gas Dynamics and Thermophysics Laboratory of United Technologies Research Center. Prior to that for 10 years he was a Professor of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Werle earned both his bachelor and doctorate degrees in aerospace engineering from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He began his career as a researcher in the US Navy. Werle has over 20 patents, has published over 40 papers in referred journals and served as advisor to 14 PhD graduates. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Past honors include the 2003 Public Service Award from the State of Connecticut.
David M. Wetstone, PhD,
Recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Service Award
Founding member Dr. David M. Wetstone was honored with the first Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the Academy. Wetstone served as the first secretary of the Academy and functioned as chief operating officer from the Academy’s founding in 1976 until 2001. In 1966, Wetstone and fellow Connecticut Science Fair colleague Chuck Stroebel were discussing ways to support the Science Fair when they first conceived of the idea of a state science academy. Ten years later in 1976, a Special Act creating the Academy was signed into law by then-Governor Ella Grasso.
David M. Wetstone accepts the Distinguished Service Award from the Academy’s
then-President Myron Genel. (Photo: Al Malpa)
In his 25 years overseeing Academy operations, Wetstone edited, published and contributed to over 150 reports on science policy to the Connecticut legislative and executive branches and others.
From 1959 to 1975, Wetstone worked for United Aircraft Research Laboratories (now United Technologies Research Center), as a senior research scientist in plasma physics and later as a liaison with the U.S. academic research community. In 1975, he began consulting in management information systems and data modeling and, later, in science-based public policy in other states.
A chemistry and physics graduate of the University of Connecticut, Wetstone earned his PhD in physical chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. His memberships include the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, Sigmi Xi, Scientific Research Society of America (RESA), of which he was founder of the Hartford branch, and Phi Lambda Upsilon. From 1966 to 1976, he served on the Board of the Science Museum in West Hartford, with three years as Chairman, which included oversight of the construction and opening of the planetarium.