HANOVER, N.H. – The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, New Hampshire, celebrated Engineer Day July 15.
The event is held annually to commemorate the organization’s accomplishments from the preceding year.
“Despite the challenges faced during this global pandemic, we have many achievements to recognize,” said CRREL Director Dr. Joseph Corriveau. “Today we celebrate our excellence and success in a much different atmosphere, but one remaining of camaraderie.”
While a few dozen people attended the event in person, the majority of CRREL’s researchers, scientists, engineers and support staff viewed the event online.
Each year, CRREL recognizes the exceptional career accomplishments of employees who have made a significant and positive impact on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the ERDC and CRREL by adding them to the CRREL Gallery of Distinguished Employees. This year’s new member is Dr. Don Perovich, who was selected for his leadership as an internationally renowned researcher studying Arctic systems science and that field’s role in global climate change, as well as for his enduring commitment to mentorship of countless junior researchers.
Perovich established himself as a world expert on sea ice and albedo impacts, leading some of the largest Arctic field campaigns in history. From 1996 to 1999, he served as the chief scientist for the surface heat budget of the Arctic Ocean experiment campaign, and from 2010 until 2012, he served as the co-chief scientist of the Impacts of Climate on the Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment project. Perovich’s more than 200 peer-reviewed publications have been cited over 18,000 times.
He also mentored dozens of high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as junior CRREL researchers, sharing his excitement for Arctic research with anyone who entered his office. His ability to effectively communicate complex sea ice physical phenomena to audiences of all ages and experiences has sparked the scientific spirit in numerous young researchers and scientists.
As he accepted the award, Perovich told the crowd that when he was a young researcher, he often asked “what should I do?” He was often told, “do good work.”
Perovich carried that mantra with him throughout his career, and after more than 30 years of service to the USACE, the ERDC and CRREL, Perovich added another piece to the mantra, “And have fun doing it.”
This Engineer Day corresponded with the 60th anniversary of CRREL’s founding in 1961. Corriveau told the crowd that he is excited to see where the laboratory goes in the future and the impact it will have on the U.S. and the world.
“It is through each of your efforts that CRREL’s legacy carries on as a nationally recognized resource in science, engineering, cold and austere environment resources and Arctic understanding,” Corriveau said.