David Green   2010 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Mr. David M. Green is a thirty-five-year staff member in the Department of Chemistry, UNB Fredericton. He is probably younger than I am by age but to me he has the wisdom and the sense of a big brother.

He has risen to the rank of Technical Officer in the area of electronics.  His expertise in this area is unquestionable and his enrichment of the intellectuality of our academic community is admirable. On the technical side of his business, the revivals, the service extensions and the rescue missions of laboratory equipment, large and small, antiquated and the state-of-the-art, is a list too lengthy to produce. But to just name a few: examples are the modification of the x-ray diffractometer to re-enforce its reliability and hence its life expectancy, the superb diagnosis and meticulours repair of the NMR instruments and the delicate maintenance of the high resolution mass spectrometer. The liquid nitrogen production machine, while not an electronic device, was designed and manufactured 50 years ago, has been maintained to be almost the only operating one of its type left in existence -- as a liquid nitrogen machine salesperson recently alluded to.

There are many examples of one off pieces of research equipment that Dave has designed and built for research groups (which are too numerous to count). His services have made a significant difference in our progress. The obstacles due to machine down-times are effectively minimized due to the diligence, the knowledge and the superb problem-solving skills of David. This has alleviated significantly the need for funding, if any existed, that would otherwise be necessary for replacement purchases.  Funds could therefore be more adequately used for the advancement of research and education.

As teachers in laboratory sciences, we especially appreciate his attitude toward teaching. When I first started in '79, there was always that anxiety of having to face the mischievous and temperamental behaviours of undergraduate instruments during the laboratory sessions -- called "breaking down without prior notices". "Don't worry, James", said David,"I understand that teaching can't wait." What a security blanket! And that blanket is still as good today as it was then for all of us. His respect for teaching is appreciable. He is a mentor. He listens to questions from a novice, like me, with patience and he explains his answers with clarity.

He offers advice when we don't even know the questions to ask. He has a passion in educating his clients and is eager to have them understand the problem and the remedy.  He entertains innovative thoughts as well as far-fetched ideas.

Some of these ideas have been converted by Dave into action and reality.

One example is the optics-free double-beam nephelometer with the sensitivity and stability unsurpassed by any commercial products at many times its cost. He churned out eight of these devices for us in Y2K and they have been used in undergraduate teaching ever since. The unwavering dedication to his duties and the persisting passion for development are the basis of support that we all have enjoyed and benefited from. Such benefits have been extended well beyond the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Science into the University community at large.

Thank you, David.

James Tong
Andreas Decken
Gilles Voutour
Department of Chemistry (presented by James Tong)