Dr. Dennis Grimard (MSE PhD EE ’84 ’90), Managing Director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (LNF), has been selected to receive the 2011 College of Engineering’s Judith A. Pitney Staff Service Career Award, which recognizes the significant contributions of a single CoE staff member with at least 10 years of service.
One of Dennis’ key achievements in his role as Managing Director of the LNF was his contribution to the design and construction of the LNF, dedicated in 2008. It is overshadowed only by his expert daily management of the $40M world-class facility.
To put into perspective the importance of Dennis’ contributions to the creation of the new facility, the LNF was referred to as the most complex undertaking ever attempted at the University of Michigan by the head of U-M’s Plant Department. It involved 13,500 sq. ft. of new and renovated lab space. Dennis was involved in everything from the initial design to the recent installation of $20M in equipment, from the massive roof fans to the design on the floors, and everything in between.
As Managing Director, Dennis oversees the needs of our most senior and productive faculty as well as our new faculty, outside companies ranging from startups to those with billion dollar budgets, as well as student research and classroom labs. His activities also extend to outreach activities with area middle and high schoolers, and entertaining a steady stream of visitors to the lab. Somehow he manages to keep all activities flowing smoothly, while doubling the number of individual users in the lab to more than 400 during the past four years. During this time, he also revamped the LNF fee structure to make it more equitable for all concerned. This was a major undertaking and Dennis is known to continually review the system.
Dennis is responsible for the safe operation of the LNF, which houses some of the most advanced equipment and most varied collection of materials and chemicals used within the university. Much of this equipment and these chemicals require highly specialized care. He was instrumental in establishing high safety standards in the LNF, which he maintains on a daily basis.
Dennis will never accept sole credit for any activity that goes on in the LNF. He has worked very hard for many years to develop a team atmosphere among his co-workers. This teamwork has been very important to the success of the new facility, and the smooth running of its daily operation. He leads a staff of more than 20 professionals who are each exemplary in what they do, and dedicated to the LNF.
Finally, Dennis is a wonderful spokesmen for the lab. His engineering background gives him the knowledge to convey information about the lab, but it is his infectious enthusiasm for the work being done there, and his ability to communicate highly technical processes in a way that is comprehensible to young students as well as to prospective users that makes the real difference.
In short, Dennis exemplifies the Michigan Difference.
Dennis will be honored with the College of Engineering Judith A. Pitney Staff Service Career Award at a public ceremony Tuesday, May 3.