Dr. Richard Pettit – Education and Training Award 2009
Dr. Richard Pettit was presented the 2009 Education and Training award at the Annual Workshop and Symposium in San Antonio. Dr. Pettit has made numerous contributions to NCSLI and to measurement and science education over the years.
Some of Dr. Pettit’s earliest contributions to education outreach and mentoring occurred in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Dick was a PhD Candidate Advisor at the New Mexico Institute of Mining Technology in Socorro, New Mexico. His job at the school consisted of advising several PhD candidates who were working on their PhDs in solar energy materials. At the time, Dick was working in solar energy at Sandia and did so very successfully for many years. It was following his research in solar that he was promoted to a management position in the Standards Section of the Sandia Laboratory. The School is 60 miles south of Albuquerque and Dick drive down every one to two months to meet with the students and their Professor. He continued this work for three or four years and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Dr. Pettit's contributions included tutoring math and science students at various high schools in the Albuquerque area. He did this while he was working and continued these efforts in his retirement. Dick’s tutoring has involved working with individual students (or sometimes two or three at a time) at the high school after class hours in all kinds of high school math or science, whatever the student(s) asked for help with. He did this once a week generally during the winter months for a couple winters. While Dick did not have a specific outreach program designed to educate students in the science of measurements, all of us know the need for mathematics mentoring to support science, engineering, and metrology!
In his work at Sandia Laboratories, Dr. Pettit often referred to his work in educating the National Laboratories in activities related to accreditation, traceability of measurements and national standards. He was active as a Board member of the National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA) and also contributed to the Lockheed-Martin Corporate Metrology committee. Dr. Pettit has been directly involved in mentoring professionals in a diverse spectrum of metrology activities and in advocating and educating others about the metrology discipline and the benefits of accreditation. His efforts have directly led to others becoming involved in NCSLI programs up to and including positions on the NCSLI Board of Directors. Through his position on the NACLA Board of Directors, Dr. Pettit has educated numerous government officials on the quality and cost benefits of accreditation. This outreach led directly to the DOE acceptance of accredited calibration laboratories as suppliers to the National Nuclear Security Administration – this was the first governmental acceptance of accredited suppliers. This significantly decreased the oversight burden of this federal agency.
Dr. Pettit also served as the NCSLI Workshop and Symposium Technical Program Coordinator. His work on improving the technical program greatly enhanced the educational and training benefit of the conference program. The first Education and Training Sessions developed for the NCSLI Workshop and Symposium were instituted through coordination between Dr. Pettit and Georgia Harris during Dr. Pettit’s tenure as Technical Program Coordinator. Dr. Pettit also worked closely with Dr. Klaus Jaeger to improve and institute new training opportunities through the NCSLI Workshop and Symposium Tutorial Program. These improvements continue to foster improved educational and training opportunities to this day.
Dr. Richard B. Pettit has served as Managing Editor of the NCSLI Publication “MEASURE: The Journal of Measurement Science” since its inception and publication of the first issue in March 2006. The journal is currently publishing the 4th Volume, having published a total of 13 issues over the past 3 years. This journal has served as an exceptional resource for metrology education and training. Specifically, the journal serves the following educational functions:
Publication of peer reviewed technical
Publication of technical tips
Publication of Interviews with technical leaders in the field of metrology
Publication of metrology studies specific to education and training
Publication of metrology news and new product announcements
Notification of upcoming training events
Notification of the annual NCSLI conference
Notification of tutorial sessions at the conference
Dr. Pettit has been the leader and driving force in assuring the success of the MEASURE Journal. His leadership has engaged others within the field in the service of NCSLI’s educational and training mission. He has led a volunteer team in the varied tasks (writing, technical review and support, marketing and advertising, publication, etc…) of bringing this publication to NCSLI membership. Through this effort, Dr. Pettit has directly influenced the education and training of thousands of metrology professionals and leaders. His work has assisted in the furtherance of the education and training mission through publicity and advertising.
While Dr. Pettit would most certainly attribute these successes to a variety of individuals, Dr. Pettit’s individual contributions, leadership, and commitment to the metrology profession, NCSLI, and MEASURE have assured the success of this journal and its tremendous, immeasurable value to the goals and mission of the Education and Training activities of NCSLI.