The George E. Moden Award was established in 2003 in honor of a former lab technician and is given each year to a graduate student who best exemplifies George's criteria of an outsanding student -- one who gets things right the first time, works hard, and is dedicated to their project in the laboratory.

George Moden was for a long time the senior technician in the Ferguson Laboratory and was originally hired by Professor Ferguson. George was the epitome of versatility and dedication. He had been a master sergeant in the Air Force for almost 25 years, serving as a crew chief on B-17's, B-29's, B-36's and B-52's. His job was simply to fix anything required to keep the planes in the air. As such he was familiar with engines, electronics, hydraulics, servo systems, machining and working with both officers and enlisted men who did not have the foggiest idea of what they needed to do. After retirement from the Air Force he had been a supervisory mechanic with Frito-Lay and then a bridge construction carpenter. It was hard to imagine a better background for a structures laboratory, especially one with a minuscule operating budget and constantly changing personnel with brilliance but little practicality.

George worked extremely long hours and very effectively. He was a gruff task master for the legions of graduate students rotating through the laboratory, who often had little background or familiarity with tools and construction operations. George loved to work with those graduate students who shared his work ethic and was instrumental in helping devise many of the testing setups that brought fame to FSEL. His spirit was instrumental in shaping the hands on approach for students that exists today in FSEL. George was dedicated to helping them "get it right". He would very willingly help anyone become familiar with a new task -- once! He disliked repeat errors and his favorite expression for errant students ( or faculty ) was that G__ D_____ Dipstick! For a long time the FSEL Outstanding Blunder of the Year Award was lovingly known as The Golden Dipstick Award. Legend has it that the award was eliminated by a Past Director who received the award more than once.

The 2008 Award was given to Dean Deschenes for his dedication to research in the laboratory.

Dean Deschenes receiving award