The Michigan Engineer News Center

Dr. Dennis Grimard receives Work/Life Champion Award for Supervisors

Dr. Grimard is Managing Director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility, a position he's held since 1998. Congratulations!| Short Read

Dr. Dennis Grimard (far right, standing) was honored recently at a public ceremony for receiving one of the inaugural U-M Work/Life Champion Awards for Supervisors. Dr. Grimard is Managing Director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (LNF), a position he’s held since 1998. He oversees all aspects of this $40M, 13,500 sq. ft., state-of-the-art cleanroom facility, including staff, equipment, operations, and safety.

The Work/Life Champion Award “recognizes U-M faculty and staff supervisors who promote work/life balance through consistent recognition of and responsiveness to their employees’ professional and personal lives, incorporating important job demands along with customer and team needs.”

The normally very talkative Dennis could only muster “Wow” – when asked what he thought about receiving the award. That was after admitting what he really felt when the staff who nominated him first told him of the nomination and win, “I’m going to kill you guys.” Dennis prefers to be on the other end, nominating his staff for awards.

Dr. Grimard was praised for turning a group of individually focused technical staff members into a cohesive group. Each group member understands their unique role and their importance to the overall success of the facility. Morale is at an all time high under his leadership.

Dennis is driven to do what is best for the lab, and for the individuals who sustain the lab. He continues to serve as a first responder for the lab, which he has done for more than a decade, and is known for never asking a staff member to do something that he wouldn’t personally do himself. He allows flexible work schedules for his staff in order to accommodate family and personal needs; he responds appropriately to disruptions in the workplace environment when needed; and not surprisingly, he makes the LNF staff feel that their work is valued, and that they themselves are valued.


This is not the first award recognizing Dennis’ sustained excellence as lab manager. Earlier this year he received the 2011 College of Engineering Judith A. Pitney Staff Service Career Award, which recognizes the significant contributions of a College of Engineering staff member with at least 10 years of service. [more about Dr. Grimard’s Staff Service Career Award]

Having received his master’s and PhD degrees from U-M in electrical engineering, performing above expectations even when no one is watching, caring about others, and bringing the same energy and dedication to his job as he did when he first started, he is truly an example of what we call a “Michigan Man.”

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Catharine June
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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

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