Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Physics and Astronomy staff members Heather Mineart and Richard Dvorsky were honored with this year’s UI Staff Council Awards for accomplishments that significantly benefited the university. 

Mineart received the Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award, which recognizes staff members in conjunction with colleagues from Iowa’s other state institutions. Their accomplishments have significantly benefited the university, brought honor or recognition to the university, and had a significant positive impact on the state of Iowa.

Mineart serves as the departmental administrator in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She has served on several university and collegiate committees/councils, including as president of Staff Council, on the Strategic Plan Faculty and Staff Success Development Team, and on various leadership searches. Mineart oversees complex budgets and building renovations; facilitates interactions between staff, facilities, external subcontractors, and outside clients; and has been essential in the execution of the $162.5 million TRACERS Small Mission Explorer grant through NASA.

Heather Mineart with award at Iowa Board of Regents Award Luncheon
Heather Mineart (center) with Board of Regents President Sherry Bates (left) and University of Iowa President Barbara Wilson (right) at the Board of Regents Luncheon June 12. 

Dvorsky received the University of Iowa Outstanding Staff Award, which recognizes staff who have made outstanding accomplishments and contributions that significantly benefited or brought honor or recognition to the university. Contributions must extend beyond those normally expected or required by job responsibilities.

As an aerospace principal engineer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dvorsky has made significant contributions to numerous high-profile space-flight projects, including NASA’s Van Allen Probes mission and the NASA Magnetosphere Multi-Scale mission. Dvorsky serves as an engineer on the TRACERS mission, where he is responsible for planning, monitoring, coordinating, and delivering the technical aspects of the entire mission. He leads the technical design, testing, verification, risk management, requirements analysis, synthesis, and concept operations of the mission. He is now one of the primary liaisons between TRACERS and customers at NASA.

Richard Dvorsky and his wife Caron
Richard Dvorsky and his wife Caron at the UI Faculty and Staff Awards May 30