Brad J. Berron, William J. Bryan Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, has received a 2021 College of Engineering Excellence in Service Award.
Brad Berron has always served to enable the success of others. In addition to serving as head of research at UK’s James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits, where he facilitates research at UK sponsored by local distillers, he has also mentored several UK junior faculty members and provided critical feedback for NSF CAREER award programs. In April 2020, Berron volunteered to coordinate the acceleration of COVID research activity in areas related to community needs in materials and methods as a part of UK's CURE Alliance. Between May and September 2020, he held weekly meetings with four separate groups: an oversight team and research subgroups focused on disease detection, food security and PPE supply. These meetings were impactful in accelerating research in each area and keeping researchers aware of COVID funding calls. In response to the shortage of hand sanitizer at the outset of the pandemic, Berron led a team at the Beam Institute to guide distillers through the technical issues associated with hand sanitizer production, which culminated in a collection of resources available via a website. Berron organized the production of over 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for distribution at UK HealthCare, classrooms across campus, non-profits and emergency management groups across the state.