MTL News

MTL Team wins Infinite Mile Award

May 14, 2010

The MIT School of Engineering hosted its 10th annual Infinite Mile Awards ceremony on April 28 to recognize and reward members of the school's administrative staff, support staff, service staff and sponsored research staff. The awards support the Institute's and the school's objectives for excellence. Among this year's honorees were MTL's Computation team of Mike Hobbs, Tom Lohman and Bill Maloney.

Since their inception in 2001, the School of Engineering's Infinite Mile Awards have been presented to more than 150 staff members in the school. Nominations for Infinite Mile Awards are made by department heads and laboratory directors in the School of Engineering. They are presented to individuals and teams whose work is of the highest quality. They stand out because of their high level of commitment and because of the enormous energy and enthusiasm they bring to their work.

The full citation for the MTL team, read by Eileen Ng-Ghavidel at the ceremony, follows below:

This year our single team award goes to the Microsystems Technology Laboratory. Tom Lohman, Bill Maloney, and Mike Hobbs are the dedicated individuals that make up the MTL computer team. Tom, Bill, and Mike work collaboratively to satisfy the computational needs of the MTL community. As we understand, this is a large job that includes maintaining and upgrading the computation and network infrastructure of the building; installing, patching, debugging and decommissioning servers and personal computers, and attending to the many cries for help from all corners of the community for all kinds of problems. Tom, Bill and Mike attend to all these requests with patience and with unmatched technical expertise.

Nominators shared with us their compelling stories of the team's responsiveness, professionalism, and flexibility. Their technical expertise in making sure users have minimal down time and their ability to recover files quickly is remarkable. We learned from a student of the team's outstanding performance when his laptop got a black screen. The team was able to recover the lost data and because a new hard drive was needed, they carved out time to not only procure a new hard but to have his machine re-configured and ready for use within 24 hours of the black screen incident.

What sets this team apart is their commitment and dedication to providing superior customer service. The selection committee was provided evidence of their hard work via an email trail which began on Christmas Eve at 10:40pm from a student who was having problems logging into machines. As it turns out, a power failure had taken down the building's server. There were a half of dozen email exchanges between the student and the team. Ultimately, the problem was resolved at 1:00am on Christmas Day. In addition to resolving this problem, the team was able to remotely activate a back-up server so that users would have continuous service until the faulty building server could be fixed.

The MTL community is truly fortunate to have this wonderful team that ensures smooth computing operations. They are knowledgeable, talented, and, when it counts most, they are remarkably resourceful. Tom, Bill, and Mike in recognition of your extraordinary contributions to MTL and the School, it is our pleasure to present you with an Infinite Mile Award for team excellence.

(Excerpts from MIT News Office report; School of Engineering)


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