Excellence in Safety Award Winners - 2022

The University Laboratory Safety Committee (ULSC) at The Ohio State University recognized the fifth annual winners of the “Excellence in Safety” Award. The award, in three categories, recognizes a university faculty or staff member (Individual Award), an undergraduate or graduate student (Student Award) and a laboratory research group (Group Award) who has made a considerable contribution to improving laboratory safety on the Ohio State campus. Such contributions can be defined as, but are not limited to, actions taken to prevent injury or illness, outstanding response and cooperation given to resolve unsafe conditions, consistent improvement during laboratory inspections, or any other consistent and proactive demonstration of efforts in support of a positive laboratory safety culture.


Individual Award – Joe SchwerdtfegerAward Winner 2022 - Joe Schwerdtgefer
Joe is the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor for the Aviation Flight Laboratory located at the OSU Airport. In addition to performing his job at an extremely high level, Joe demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to safety by collaborating with the OSU maintenance team, the FAA, flight team, airport operations, and flight students daily to help improve the safety culture. Each semester nearly 300 students participate in labs or coursework at the university airport, utilizing its fleet of 20 aircraft, flight simulators, air traffic control tower, weather station, and communications and navigation systems.

Joe has made a considerable contribution to safety by single-handily developing the flight education's Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). The development of this program is significant because it is the first university flight program to have implemented and partnered with the FAA to increase safety standards, communication, and collaboration with the FAA and flight students. The program replicates industry safety standards so that students are prepared when transitioning to their professional careers. Joe's efforts to develop the aviation's ASAP program played a major role in the OSU Airport's Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) accreditation renewal.



Student Award - Max Wright Award Winner 2022 - Max Wright
Max is a shop supervisor for the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) facility and is currently enrolled in the OSU Flight school. In addition to performing his job at an extremely high level, Max demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to safety by ensuring all students and staff working in the shop space are properly trained. Max Wright has made a substantial impact on shop safety and exemplifies the safety mission of the university. His leadership, commitment to safety, and character are excellent examples for those in the College of Engineering.



Group Award - Brunelji Group Award Winner 2022 - Brunelli Group
The Brunelli Lab has implemented a laboratory continuity plan requiring all members to be familiar with key safety procedures and able to cross-train others. This has provided a pathway to ensure lab members are being trained and key safety practices and procedures are not lost, especially as it pertains to EHS safety inspections. The Brunelli Lab has done a tremendous job with taking a proactive approach to safety. The group regularly performs self-inspections to ensure EHS guidelines are being followed throughout the year versus a day before the EHS inspection. The lab routinely receives perfect EHS inspections which is a strong reflection of the lab’s knowledge on various safety topics.