Hrubala and Laskaris to be Honored Next Month in Phoenix

Oct. 21, 2016

Bernard E. Hrubala

Bernard E. Hrubala and Evangelos Trifon Laskaris, Ph.D., are two of nine engineering professionals being recognized for their achievements at this year’s Honors Assembly, which is sure to be one of the highlights of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) next month in Phoenix, Ariz. The Honors Assembly will be held Sunday, Nov. 13, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center.

During the ceremony, Hrubala, the global business development manager for pressure equipment certification at TÜV Rheinland AIA Services LLC in Houston, will receive the ASME Melvin R. Green Codes and Standards Medal in recognition of his outstanding leadership in ASME Standards and Certification, notably the advancement and promulgation of the Society’s conformity assessment programs, the global acceptance of ASME codes and standards, and the implementation of key initiatives that continue to enhance ASME’s position as a world-renowned standards development organization.

Named in honor of Melvin R. Green, a dedicated advocate for industrial standards and longtime employee of the Society, the award acknowledges an individual’s outstanding contributions to the development, promulgation or management of documents, objects or devices used in ASME programs of technical codification, standardization and conformity assessment.

Hrubala, an ASME Fellow, has nearly 40 years of experience in the pressure equipment industry in such areas as international conformity assessment, ASME codes and standards compliance, jurisdictional requirements, inspection, and auditing. From 2004 to 2016, he served as manager for pressure equipment and plant technologies at TÜV Rheinland Industrial Solutions in Caledonia, Mich. Hrubala joined the company — a leading global provider of technical services for testing, inspection, certification, consultation and training to ensure safety, quality and economic efficiency — in 2002.

Prior to his employment at TÜV Rheinland, Hrubala served as managing director of alliance services at General Electric’s Industrial Risk Insurers in Hartford, Conn., from 2000 to 2002, after working for 23 years at the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co. in Hartford, Conn., where he held positions including boiler and pressure vessel inservice, claims and risk assessment inspector; authorized inspector performing third-party inspections to ensure ASME code compliance; and director of engineering consulting services.

Evangelos Trifon Laskaris, Ph.D.

During the past 39 years, Hrubala has made considerable contributions to ASME Standards & Certification and has participated in a number of key activities including the realignment of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code organization, the elimination of the codes and standards addenda subscription service, and the expansion of authorized inspection agency eligibility to better support the global growth of ASME’s Conformity Assessment programs. Additionally, he has served in a number of ASME leadership positions including vice president of the Board on Conformity Assessment from 1997 to 2000, vice president of Safety Codes and Standards from 2000 to 2003, senior vice president of Standards and Certification from 2008 to 2011, and Board of Governors member from 2012 to 2015. He received the ASME Dedicated Service Award in 2004.

Dr. Laskaris, chief engineer in diagnostics imaging and biomedical technologies at GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., will also be honored during the ceremony. Laskaris will receive the Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal. Established in 2011, the award recognizes pioneering contributions to the frontiers of engineering leading to breakthroughs in existing technology or leading to new applications or new areas of engineering endeavor.

Laskaris is being honored for his pioneering contributions to the design and construction of superconducting magnets for magnetic resonance imaging systems and energy applications, and for continued efforts to increase affordability and penetration of MRI equipment in underserved regions of the world.

During his nearly 50-year career researching superconducting magnets, Laskaris and his colleagues have made groundbreaking engineering advancements in power generation and medical imaging. After joining GE Power Systems in 1967, Laskaris transferred to GE Global Research four years later to head the company’s research activities in applied superconductivity. His primary research efforts have focused on applications including large electrical machines from 20-100 MW, high-power density homopolar inductor alternators, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnets.

Laskaris has been directly involved in the development of the magnets that are the foundation for a number of revolutionary products, including the GE’s first MRI system and a subsequent series of increasingly sophisticated open and closed MRI systems possessing higher field strengths for improved image quality. More recently, Laskaris’ research has focused on advancing the technology of MRI magnets to enable their operation with a hermetically sealed charge of helium so they can be employed in areas of the world where there is limited access to liquid cryogens. His technical accomplishments have resulted in more than 200 patents and have been detailed in more than 60 refereed publications.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Laskaris’ other honors include an IEEE Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to the Field of Applied Superconductivity in 2014 and induction into Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Hall of Fame in 2015. He also received three awards from GE Global Research: the Whitney Technical Achievement Award in 1994, the Coolidge Fellowship Award in 1998, and the Dushman Award in 2002.