Tracy Drier Honored with Academic Staff Excellence Award

Glassblower Tracy Drier works with a flame and glassware in the UW-Madison Chemistry Glass Shop
Photo: Bryce Richter, University Communications

Nine members of the UW-Madison’s academic staff have been selected as recipients of the 2016 Academic Staff Excellence Awards.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank will present the awards at a reception on the evening of Tuesday, April 26 at the Fluno Center.

Tracy Drier, senior instrumentation specialist in the Department of Chemistry, is the recipient of the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research: Critical Support. A master glassblower, he collaborates with researchers to design and develop sophisticated prototypes for use in specific research applications. Beautiful and perfectly to spec, his work has been crucial to keeping specialized instruments running, particularly in the field. Colleagues describe Drier as insatiably curious about everything having to do with the art and science of glass. He teaches scientific glassblowing to students so that they can create and repair their own pieces as well as improve the design of glass artifacts they need in their research. He also offers assistance to others across campus whose research involves glass-based work. Off campus, Drier has presented at the Corning Museum of Glass and other prominent venues. He enjoys teaching K-12 students and others, hoping to convince them to consider scientific glassblowing as a career.