State Advisory Council for Science and Technology Announces Governor’s Science and Technology Medals for 2011

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Governor Gary R. Herbert and State Science Advisor Dr. Tami Goetz, along with the State Advisory Council on Science and Technology, have announced the winners of the Governor’s Science Medals for 2011.

“Over the last 24 years, the State of Utah has recognized innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and science industry pioneers with the annual Governor’s Science Medals. With this prestigious award, we both celebrate those outstanding achievements and acknowledge their hard work and perseverance,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “Each day we face challenges and solve problems. These honorees have found solutions and opened our eyes to new horizons. In countless ways, these award recipients exemplify the best in all of us.”

In an award ceremony that will be held in the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum on January 10, 2012, the Governor will recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the furthering of scientific knowledge, education and industry in Utah and the nation.  

Outstanding leaders in five categories have been selected to receive awards:


  • Academia: Byard D. Wood – USU; Bruce Bugbee – USU; Edward M. Eyring – U of U
  • Industry: Tim Miller – Echelon Biosciences; Kelly B. Powers – CR Bard Access Systems
  • Government: Amanda Smith – Dept. of Environmental Quality
  • Education: Hugo Rossi – U of U
  • Special Recognition Award: Richard R. Nelson – Utah Technology Council; and the Utah Advanced Composites Team including Gary Harter – GOED, Jeff Edwards – EDCUtah, and Steve Rodgers – EmergenTek

The Governor’s Medal award program was initiated in 1987 to recognize those who made career achievements and/or provided distinguished service that has benefited the State of Utah and the country in the areas of science and technology. Specific criteria were developed to determine the significance of these contributions to the economic development of the State.

The awardees and their areas of contribution are listed below:


Byard D. Wood

Department Head and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Utah State University

Dr. Wood has impacted Utah’s science and technology base through a five-decade career and commitment to developing sustainable, renewable energies including solar and biofuels, and to educating the next generation of Utah’s bright and promising engineers.  He launched the Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) Biofuels Initiative to develop research facilities and infrastructure for biofuels and bioproducts research and development.  Under his eight-year leadership, USU’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering program has increased its undergraduate student population by one-third from 432 to more than 670, and graduate students have nearly doubled at 100.  He has also demonstrated commitment to diversity and has doubled the number of female undergraduate students in the program.

Bruce Bugbee

Professor, Plants Soils and Climate Department

Utah State University

Dr. Bugbee’s work has been guided by the idea that teaching is the highest form of understanding.  Over a 30-year career at Utah State University, he has had a profound scholarly impact on both teaching and research. He has mentored 32 graduate students and taught over 1,000 undergraduate students.  His work with NASA has resulted in over $2.5 million in funding for his research program at USU.  In 1996, he founded Apogee Instruments, a high-tech company that develops sensors for measuring climate change, sustainable food production, and renewable energy. Apogee Instruments currently employees 16 people, nearly all of whom are graduates of USU.

Edward M. “Ted” Eyring

Professor, Department of Chemistry

University of Utah

Dr. Eyring is a world-renowned expert in physical and analytical chemistry. During his 50-year professional career at the University of Utah, he pioneered new experimental methods to study the rates of chemical reactions of metal ions in solution by rapidly perturbing conditions of the sample (temperature, electric-field, pressure). He was the first to combine photoacoustic detection with Fourier-transform spectroscopy, which provided the capacity to powerfully probe for chemical interactions occurring on solid surfaces. That work led to his current research in developing new catalytic materials that improve the speed and efficiency of chemical reactions. He also is an award-winning classroom instructor and has been honored with the ASUU Students’ Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Robert W. Parry Teaching Award. Dr. Eyring has supervised 24 doctoral students, 35 postdoctoral students, and six master of science degree students at the U.


W. Tim Miller

President and CEO

Echelon Biosciences Inc. – Frontier Scientific Inc. – Frontier Scientific Services, Inc.

Mr. Miller is the President and CEO of three combined-private biotechnology companies, the most recent of which was acquired in August 2011, in Delaware. Company revenues are double-digit millions with 100 employees providing specific research tools, services and chemical building blocks for molecular biology and drug discovery in fields like neurology, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, cardiovascular disease and infections.  He has 35 years of experience building and successfully exiting medical device, diagnostic, and therapeutics companies in the public and private sectors including Fortune 100 companies. His MBA is from the University of Utah where he graduated first in class and teaches as an adjunct in business. Recognized as one of Utah’s top venture entrepreneurs; helped establish the Utah wing of Angel Flight ( in 1998, a non-profit offering free non-emergency air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes. He also started Santa Flight in 2001 for needy Utah children.

Kelly B. Powers

Vice President of Research and Development

 Bard Access Systems, Inc.

Mr. Powers has 30 years of experience in research and development engineering and management, including medical devices, medical diagnostics, implanted devices and process development.  He has contributed to the success of Utah companies through his diverse abilities in research and development, product development, business development, clinical insight, knowledge of regulatory processes (both FDA and international), design controls and quality systems, intellectual property, contracts and negotiations.  He is engaged as part of the Utah science and technology community through his work with various organizations such as the Utah Technology Council.


Amanda Smith

Governor’s Energy Advisor and Executive Director

Department of Environmental Quality

Ms. Smith’s vision for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) includes safeguarding and improving the quality of life for all citizens of the state through protection of the environment, establishing DEQ as an authoritative voice for environmental protection, and building relationships of trust and transparency with all affected stakeholders.  She has supported responsible economic growth by providing an efficient and predictable regulatory process.  Under her guidance, the DEQ is applying Lean Six Sigma principles to work processes, which are improving efficiency, streamlining the permitting processes, shortening review times, and improving communication and transparency between the agency and the public.


Hugo Rossi

Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Senior Associate Director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education

University of Utah

Dr. Rossi has had a distinguished career in mathematics for over 50 years, and has made a significant impact in science and math education at the University of Utah.  He was instrumental in creating the Center for Science and Mathematics Education, as well as the Master of Science for Secondary School Teachers program. He also established the ACCESS Program for Women in Science and Mathematics, which helps to prepare high school girls for university science, math and engineering programs. In addition, he has developed innovative online courses that infuse technology into science and math classrooms across Utah. Rossi served as Dean of the College of Science from 1987 to 1989 and again from 1990 to 1993. Dr. Rossi’s name is synonymous with the passion to improve math and science education opportunities for all of Utah’s students.

Special Recognition

Richard R. Nelson

Founder and CEO

 Utah Technology Council

Mr. Nelson is the founder and CEO of the Utah Technology Council, the premier trade association for Utah’s 6,000 high-tech, life science and clean-tech companies.  Under his leadership since 1999, the Council’s industry-driven agenda helped create the $300M Utah Fund of Funds, helped pass the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative and the Engineering Initiative, raised the rigor in high school science requirements, and has grown UTC at 16% a year for the past 8 ½ years.  He has been a champion and advocate for the industry for many years and has played a key role in passing landmark legislation.  He has been a strong representative of the Utah science and technology community both within and outside of Utah, including serving on three national executive committees/boards. Few have dedicated their lives to the Utah science and technology community to the degree that Mr. Nelson has in his role as CEO of the Utah Technology Council.  

Utah Advanced Composites Team

Gary R. Harter, Managing Director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Jeff Edwards, CEO, Economic Development Corporation of Utah

Steven Rodgers, Principal, EmergenTek, LLC

The team of Gary Harter, Steven Rodgers and Jeff Edwards championed the cluster strategy with the Utah composites industry.  As a result of the heightened awareness and collaboration among the Utah companies, the nation has noticed Utah’s excellence and leadership in all aspects of the composites industry from raw fiber to new product design and manufacturing.  The Utah composites industry is adding literally thousands of high-value technology jobs. The combination of Government (Gary Harter), Industry (Steven Rodgers), and Public/Private partnership (Jeff Edwards) was absolutely critical in fostering the best and largest example of community partnership and industry cluster economic development in Utah’s technology history.

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