The PRI shop and drilling team is the recipient of the Prairie Research Institute’s 2021 Outstanding Collaboration Award. Team members include:
- Matt Thompson, PRI shop team, fleet vehicle management maintenance, PRI work-order requests, manufacturing.
- Bob Bryant, PRI shop team, work-order requests, fleet vehicle maintenance, manufacturing
- Travis Griest, PRI shop team, manufacturing, work-order requests, fleet-vehicle maintenance.
- Rich Padilla, PRI drilling team, driller, drilling vehicle maintenance/upgrades, work-order requests, manufacturing
- Aaron Blacker, PRI drilling team, driller, drilling vehicle maintenance/upgrades, work-order requests, manufacturing
- Brandon Apperson, PRI drilling team, driller laborer, drilling vehicle maintenance/upgrades, work-order requests, manufacturing
The shop and drilling team collectively manages PRI fleet vehicles, facilities work orders, in-house manufacturing, and drilling needs and maintenance.
In nominating the shop and drilling team, the INHS mollusk team (Kevin Cummings, Rachel Vinsel, Alison Stodola, and Jeremy Tiemann) writes, “The PRI shop and drilling staff have gone above their standard work duties to contribute to the overall success of PRI and INHS’s biological collections, and we wholeheartedly support their nomination for the Outstanding Collaboration Award at PRI.”
The mollusk team says that the shop and drilling team has been invaluable, helping them move their large cabinetry and other scientific equipment, building over 1,000 drawers to house mollusk specimens (which has saved INHS and PRI many thousands of dollars), providing access to shop resources to alleviate practical barriers, and just offering to lend a friendly hand.
“It is worth noting that they have expressed an interest in moving these large items themselves, rather than seeking help elsewhere on campus because they know how valuable our collection equipment can be. They often move large cabinetry in less than 24 hours of an equipment request and have taken great care not to damage the cabinets or any specimens nearby during the move,” said the INHS mollusk team.
This group not only supports research programs across PRI, but across the University of Illinois, and other state agencies helping to sustain and grow the broad scientific expertise on a larger scale.
The Michigan Geological Survey (MGS) contracts their drilling services through PRI’s shop and drilling team.
MGS director John Yellich recommended the shop and drilling team, citing their professionalism, efficiency, and expertise.
“This team’s drilling services has been one of the most professional and efficient organizations to deal with each mapping project/contract. Why? Because PRI’s shop and drilling team knows drilling and coring. This team has never failed to provide the most professional process to collaborate to remediate, correct, and meet our objectives. There are hundreds of drilling contractors, but there is only one PRI shop and drilling team,” said Yellich.