Argonne National Laboratory Physical Sciences and Engineering U.S. Department of Energy

Glassblowing Studio:

Gregar receives special honor from scientific glassblowing society

Joe Gregar receving ASGS award.
Argonne’s Joe Gregar (CSE), center, receives the American Scientific Glassblowers Society’s first-ever President’s Achievement Award. Presenting the honor are society president Robert Singer (left) and president-elect Jack Korfhage.

Argonne’s glassblower, Joe Gregar, received an unexpected award at the American Scientific Glassblowers Society’s 53rd Annual Symposium, held in Atlantic City in 2009: the society’s first-ever President’s Achievement Award.

“They totally surprised me at the annual banquet. They purposely left it off the printed program for the night’s activities,” Gregar said. “Needless to say, I was overcome and almost speechless. What a surprise, and how great it was to have this accolade and standing ovation. I’m glad Katie [his wife, Kathleen Carrado Gregar, CNM] was there to experience it with me.”

The award recognizes Gregar’s many years of service in the dual roles of junior member liaison and junior member workshop seminar chair.

“Your selfless devotion and dedication to this pursuit has left an indelible imprint on hundreds of our Junior Members,” the award reads. “This dedication will ensure a passing of skills to a future generation of Scientific Glassblowers as well as the torch of leadership for the ASGS.”

Through the years, Gregar estimates he has helped train more than 250 glassblowers through one-on-one coaching, formal classes, invited seminars and technical paper presentations.

A world-renowned craftsman, Gregar has 42 years of industrial and research glassblowing experience in specialties ranging from customized laboratory glassware, to quartz fabrication. In 1999, he was awarded the prestigious R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine for being a co-inventor of the Gregar Extractor, a device that extracts chemical components from solids and places them in a liquid — the form needed for most chemical analysis. Gregar has also served as president of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society and continues to be an active member in order to keep up with the latest technologies and advances in his field.

Gregar is a fourth-generation master glassblower who has been working at Argonne for nearly three decades. The Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division glass shop is equipped with some of the most advanced glassblowing tools in the nation, allowing Gregar to craft a wide variety of custom-made glassware for use in anything from chemical reactions, optical laser cells to complex vacuum systems.

The Gregar Extractor: 1999 R&D 100 Award Winner

Gregar Extractor
The Gregar Extractor

Argonne's Gregar extractor received a 1999 R&D 100 Award. The extractor, invented by Argonne's Master Glassblower Joe Gregar and scientist Ken Anderson, represents a major advance in solvent-based chemical extraction from solid samples. The design, available in two different configurations and several sizes, eliminates problems associated with conventional Soxhlet technology and can shorten extraction times. The Gregar extractor features a revolutionary new mode of continuous extraction, and it is uniquely adjustable to serve multiple extraction applications.

May 2010

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