The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) – a unit of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) – recently won two awards for making significant impacts on U.S. manufacturing. The awards were presented May 17 at the national MEP annual conference in Orlando, Fla.
EI2’s Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) Group won the Innovator of the Year Award, which recognizes a team that developed modern practices to help reinvent America’s industrial base and to further the MEP system. The ESS group was instrumental in the development of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategic Energy Performance program and in leading the development of the new ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management. The team included Bill Meffert, Matt Soderlund, Robert Hitch, Ed Hardison, Holly Grell-Lawe, Randy Green, Deann Desai, Mike Brown and Jessica Brown.
The Practitioner of the Year award was presented to the Georgia MEP Lean Consortium Team. The Consortium – a forum for organizations to advance their knowledge and effective use of lean principles – leverages the collective knowledge and experience of its members and drives innovation. Lean Consortium staff members included Larry Alford, David Apple, Alan Barfoot, Tara Barrett, Sam Darwin, Danny Duggar, Art Ford, Tim Israel, Bill Nusbaum, Elliot Price, Bill Ritsch, Tom Sammon, Paul Todd and Derek Woodham.
“We are very honored to be recognized by the Department of Commerce and NIST for our work with manufacturers throughout the state and nationally,” said Chris Downing, P.E., director of Georgia MEP. “These awards reflect the positive impact our Georgia Tech outreach engineers have on the manufacturing sector in Georgia and beyond.”
In addition, EI2 client Power Partners, an Athens-based manufacturer of overhead distribution transformers, was awarded MEP’s Excellence in Sustainability award. That recognition celebrates manufacturers whose outstanding development and implementation of green and sustainable practices has contributed significantly to their business excellence, workplace and their community. Power Partners expanded its product line to manufacture solar water heater systems, which capture energy from the sun to heat water and can provide up to 85 percent of the energy needed to produce domestic hot water.
MEP – part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology – is a national network of 59 not-for-profit centers that helps U.S. manufacturers compete globally by strengthening supply chains and increasing productivity. With a team of more than 30 engineers and other professionals, Georgia MEP provides technical assistance and continuing education to improve industrial competitiveness in areas such as lean process improvement, quality and international standards, energy efficiency and management, environmental improvement and management, sustainable strategy deployment and growth services.
About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.
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Writer: Nancy Fullbright