Employees receive excellence awards

Employees receive excellence awards

Two Nuclear Waste Partnership employees were among the recent Tier-1 winners of Amentum’s 2nd Annual Athlon Awards, which are given for achieving the highest standard of professional excellence while exemplifying Amentum’s core values. There are five award categories, which align with Amentum’s core values, with one recipient out of thousands of employees per category.


Eli Gerlach

Gerlach was nominated for the Live Safe award by Environmental Safety & Health (ES&H) Manager Tim Taulbee. He was also a recipient of the NWP President’s Award in 2020.

According to the nomination, “Eli has developed multiple new program elements at the WIPP site including, but not limited to, a completely revamped worker recognition program… This revamped program included the formation of the worker Safety Culture Committee to monitor and measure worker opinions on the performance/culture of the site’s safety programs and workers… Through the changes implemented by this individual, the entire site population will have defined membership in designated Safety Work Zones and will now have a process to ensure issuesare brought forward and addressed by responsible management.”

Eli has also developed the “focus area for safety” in the NWP systems of safety by developing quarterly topics, such as hand safety and walking is working. These programs highlight some of the highest occupational safety issue risks and define actionable activities, with funding, to reduce the risks, according to the nomination.

Other programs that Eli has worked to improve include case management for which he has developed a follow-up process to ensure findings lead to the appropriate corrections, including for near misses, and issues are coordinated with the Central Monitoring Room and medical and safety offices.

He also leads a program to perform daily Mine Safety & Health Administration based surveillances, ensuring self identification and abatement are the cornerstone of the mine safety program.

Eli chairs the NWP Safety Culture Committee, co-chairs the worker safety and health “Safety Zone Committee” leadership committee, and sponsors the site’s DOE-VPP Star Committee and implementation team. He also performs the collateral duties of trainer for the site’s Job Hazard Analysis class and provides instruction in 10 CFR 851 program elements for Line Management “Blocking and Tackling” class. He serves on the FACT team representing NWP for ES&H and is the champion for the NWP Safety Trained Supervisor (STS) program.


Khushroo Ghadiali

Ghadiali was nominated for the Integrity award by Communications Manager Donavan Mager. He was also a recipient of a Salt of the Earth Award in 2021.

According to the nomination, “Khushroo Ghadiali has established a reputation with coworkers and the community as someone who keeps his word and models high ethical standards for all.”

“Khushroo embodies the Amentum value of giving back to the communities where our employees live and work,” the nomination reads. “He is always the first person to lend a hand and the last to leave a volunteer activity. Khush’s efforts have reflected positively on Amentum and the WIPP project. From taking on leadership roles in our community to rallying employees to address a community need to seeking out Amentum-NWP senior leadership to provide resources, Khush is respected by his colleagues, community and client.”

For example, in the midst of the pandemic, Khush was able to pull together community/ company resources to ensure a kids’ summer lunch program remained intact, according to the nomination. Not only did he help secure funding, Khush also organized company/community volunteers to distribute the food.

He was lauded for his efforts by the Carlsbad mayor and many other area leaders. He also organized a week-long event recognizing first responders and health care providers during the pandemic, rallying company volunteers and seeking out volunteers/resources from other companies and organizations.

He is a leader on several boards in the community, including the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Education Team Lead and President of the Carlsbad Rotary Club.

Khush also spearheads innovative methods to accomplish tasks, for example, using his knowledge of IT systems to work with a subcontractor to ensure an important permit modification virtual town hall meeting went off without a hitch, according to the nomination.