WSMR employee receives ARL's Honorary Award for Community Service
December 4, 2012
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) held its 18th Annual Honorary Awards ceremony at the Top of the Bay located at Aberdeen Proving Ground on Nov. 8. Edward Creegan from the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate (CISD) located at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico was the recipient of this year's Community Service Award.
Creegan, who was unable to attend the ceremony, works in the Battlefield Environment Division of ARL CISD where he is an electronics engineer. He participates as a member of a team developing biologically inspired approaches for autonomous robotic systems, for example sensing and reactions of a Micro Air Vehicle to cope with a turbulent atmosphere.
Creegan received the 2012 ARL Honorary Award for Community Service with emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for teaching engineering principles through robotics to students in grades three through 12 in Las Cruses, N.M. for several years, and for the last five years, teaching two levels of robotics classes to groups of about 40 high school students during the Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program.
In addition to his classroom training, Creegan coached 13 student teams at the International RoboRave competition, which was an autonomous robot competition for teams of kids in grades three through 12 that was held at the Albuquerque Convention Center on May 5. There the students competed against 371 other teams -- winning three of the five top categories and the travel funds to represent the U.S. in a competition in Prague, Czech Republic next year.
"Everybody enjoys it when the team's robot does well, but when that light of discovery shows in a student's eyes, that is what makes it all worthwhile as a mentor," said Creegan. "Being able to introduce students to the fun and excitement in STEM through robotics and then to have them pursue that interest you started in their college career, is a very good feeling indeed."
Creegan believes in giving back. He began his career at ARL as a graduate student and has been an electronics engineer for the last 22 years. He currently works in the Atmospheric Dynamics Branch.
"Mr. Creegan volunteers his time without question," said Donald Hoock, chief, Atmospheric Dynamics Branch, CISD. "He effectively organizes and motivates his kids to think creatively, but with an ever improving understanding of the physics of locomotion, balance, action and reaction. His mentorship and reputation among the students is without question and his approach to explaining engineering is Socratic and effective."