A Stanford employee for 37 years, Frank Levy, technician in the Mechanical Engineering Department, is a 1999 winner of the Marsh O'Neill Award for excellence in support of research at Stanford University.
Frank has been a member of the staff of the High Temperature Gasdynamics Laboratory from its inception in 1962. Since then he has provided valuable assistance to over 150 students, as well as to the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department.
Frank directs the manufacture, assembly, installation, operation and maintenance of experimental equipment and systems used in his laboratory. Like others who have received this award, Frank was recognized for his technical competence and abilities, and perhaps even more for his initiative and willingness to help anyone needing assistance.
As Ron Hanson, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, said in his nomination, "His absolute commitment to students has been an inspiration to me. And, to be complete, he was extremely important to me as well, first while I was a Research Associate, and more recently as a faculty member and now Department Chair."
A native of Wisconsin, Levy joined the U.S. Navy and then worked as an automobile mechanic before taking a job in the research laboratory of the aerospace program of Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. Inc. A referral from a former student landed Levy a job at Stanford.
Levy's daily duties can incorporate welding, plumbing and carpentry in the department's cavernous lab, where the ceiling is an expanse of metallic insulation and exposed pipes, and the humming of exhaust fans is constant.
He's been around since the days before computers were used to gather data, and he swore he'd never use one. Then, last year, he finally gave in to peer pressure and learned e-mail. Now he loves it. "I guess I was one of the last holdouts," he says.
From the Stanford Report, November 17, 1999
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