Recipients of the Award of Merit

Joe Soderquist

Award of Merit
April, 1998, San Diego, CA

Joe Soderquest retired from the FAA and the Handbook before a system of awards was instituted. However, it would be impossible to have an Award of Merit without recognizing the founder of the modern CMH-Handbook-17. Joe had the vision of revitalizing the Handbook in 1978 as an important tool that the FAA could use to support approval of composite aircraft structures. At the same time, he structured the goals and processes of the handbook so that became a national resource for all composite programs. Joe's personal energy and vision have left an indelible stamp on the world-class product that we have today.

Joe was recognized at a retirement banquet in April, 1998

Mark Vangel
Award of Merit
October, 2003, Charleston, SC

As chairman of the Awards Committee, I'm pleased to have the opportunity to give the Handbook's first Award of Merit to Dr. Mark Vangel.

The Award of Merit was conceived as the CMH-17 organization's highest honor. It recognizes major service toward advancing the goals of the handbook. The process established by the committee is that nominations for this award are passed along to the executive committee and handbook chairman for approval. When Mark's name was mentioned, there was unanimous agreement that he fit the model for the intent of this award. The award was actually made at the 2002 meeting, but because of Mark's new responsibilities, this is our first opportunity to actually give it to him. The Award of Merit is not given at every meeting, and indeed, there have been no additional nominations since Mark's.

For those of you that are new to CMH-17, Mark was the chairman of the Statistics Working Group, and our statistics guru for many years. For a handbook with the words "authoritative source of statistically-based characterization data" in our mission statement, this is clearly an important role. Mark came to us by way of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His leadership gave us the rather impressive Chapter 8, and his guidance touched many other sections. In recent years he tackled the issue of equivalency in data, and was instrumental in developing the AGATE methodology being used in the General Aviation Community.

One of Mark's traits that has helped the Handbook tremendously is his appreciation for the fact that there are engineering and practical aspects of the Handbook statistics as well as the desire for statistical rigor. Although Mark is not a composites engineer, and strives for statistical accuracy, he has always been willing to acknowledge the need for engineering judgment. He has realized that what might be statistically significant may not be significant or of interest from an engineering standpoint. I remember being at many meetings where Mark begged for "real" data to test abstract methods. This has provided a welcome balance in the statistical guidelines in the Handbook. Another important trait was his ability, and patience to explain statistical concepts to other engineers. This frequently required multiple attempts using different physical examples to get the point across to those of us that were statistically challenged.

Mark stepped down as chair of statistics in 2002 because of a change of jobs. However, his legacy will remain with the handbook for decades to come.

Gary Hagnauer
Award of Merit
January, 2008

Dana Granville
Award of Merit

August 2012, Boston, MA


Dana Granville was awarded the CMH-17 Award of Merit at the Boston meeting in August 2012.  He has been a faithful and productive member of MIL-HDBK-17 and CHM-17 for 20 years.  He started as a member of the Materials and Processes Working Group in 1993.  In the fall of 1995 he was asked by then Chairman Gary Hagnauer to co-chair the Specialized Data Development Working Group with Gene Camponeschi and Terry VanDiver.  Under his leadership this Working Group provided an opportunity for contributors to the Handbook to learn about novel composite materials for applications other than aircraft, and about the processing challenges that were associated with their use.  Development of composites for sea and ground vehicles was supported by the activities of the Working Group, and information about novel material forms and processing methods was made available through the Handbook.  In 2000 Dana was asked to serve as Co-Chair of the PMC Coordination Group with Larry Ilcewicz .   He was instrumental in getting the Composite Handbook briefed at annual Defense Manufacturing Conferences and SAMPE conferences, and helped establish the key partnership with NASA's National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP).  He has been a champion of composite materials, and a friend to all his colleagues in CHM-17 and beyond. 


Dana holds a B.S. in Plastics Engineering from UMASS-Lowell, and is just retired senior materials engineer for the Materials Manufacturing Technology Branch of the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. He has over 37 years experience with thermoplastic and thermosetting polymer materials and processing methods. He served as Army Principal and is past chair of the DoD Manufacturing Technology (MANTECH) Composites Processing and Fabrication Subpanel, Army deputy of the DOD RELIANCE 21 Technical Panel for Advanced Materials, and served on the Journal of Advanced Materials (JAM) editorial board.  Locally, he continues to serve as a trustee for the Plastics Institute of America at UMASS-Lowell, industrial board member at Northeastern University, and is an officer and Board of Directors member of the Society for Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE).