On February 3, 2015, Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) team members Wanda Harding and Thomas Wrublewski were awarded the Bronze Medal and the Distinguished Career Award from the Department of Commerce, respectively. Since 1949, the Bronze Medal Award has been the highest honor award granted by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, recognizing superior performance by federal employees. NOAA’s Distinguished Career Award honors cumulative career achievement of sustained excellence, as well as recognizing significant accomplishments across all NOAA program areas and functions that have resulted in long-term benefits to the mission and strategic goals.
Wanda Harding Wanda Harding, JPSS General Engineer, was awarded the Bronze Medal, for her exceptional leadership of the JPSS Mission and Program Key Decision Points and JPSS-1 Mission Critical Design Review. Ms. Harding went above and beyond in her efforts to lead this work, guiding the program through the completion of several key JPSS milestones, critical for the overall success of the program.
Ms. Harding implemented a new process to formalize the technical scope, milestones and funding requirements of the NOAA-implemented elements of JPSS. She inspired her colleagues, resolved program risks by identifying and negotiating solutions to many obstacles, and built coalitions to ensure the work kept the program on schedule and within budget. Ms. Harding provided positive avenues for collaborative, results-focused communications and kept JPSS Ground segment and the JPSS-1 mission within its required cost and schedule margins.
The effective integration and management processes instituted by Ms. Harding will serve as an enterprise ground segment model for years to come.
Thomas Wrublewski, NOAA Physical Scientist, was awarded the Distinguished Career Award, for his 36 years of valuable technical guidance and outreach support of NOAA’s polar-orbiting and geostationary satellite programs. Mr. Wrublewski has provided outstanding outreach contributions and valuable technical support for the acquisition and sustainment of NOAA’s main critical weather satellite programs, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) and its’ successor, the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) including the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership that launched in 2011.
Mr. Wrublewski’s accomplishments span years and programs to include: supporting the education effort NOAA weather missions for stakeholders, the public, and students; being a major contributor on solving technical issues with flight hardware and on-orbit anomalies; reviewing and approving requirements serving on proposal evaluation teams, independent review teams, and performance evaluations boards; and bringing his expertise to bear in support of other NOAA programs.
Mr. Wrublewski has established a reputation as the NOAA expert to advise and work weather mission flight hardware issues and manage outreach efforts. The success of NOAA’s weather satellite missions are due to countless people and Mr. Wrublewski is one of the main contributors.
JPSS congratulates Ms. Harding and Mr. Wrublewski on their awards and thanks them for their hard work and dedicated service to NOAA and the JPSS program.