The Outstanding Staff awards are chosen by nominations received by the Awards Committee from all faculty, staff, and students at VIMS. They are awarded in the categories of Facilities/Safety/Trades, Technical Support, and Administrative Support.

2022 VIMS Award winner Keith Mayer with Dean & Director Derek Aday.This year, we are pleased to present the Outstanding Employee in Facilities/Safety/Trades to Keith Mayer.

Keith has served the VIMS Marine Operations and its community of marine scientists since 2013, when he started as mate on the R/V Bay Eagle and quickly became that vessel’s engineer. Keith has worked tirelessly to keep the entire VIMS fleet in top working condition by employing his skills as an engineer, engine mechanic, hydraulics technician, machinist, welder, fabricator, designer, and overall problem solver. Keith was a key player in bringing VIMS’s cutting edge R/V Virginia online, primarily as its engineer. 

Keith became the VIMS Port Engineer in October of 2020. In this role, Keith oversees and participates in all aspects of maintenance and repair of the VIMS fleet and the Marine Operations Facility itself.   

Keith MayerSo naturally, when Marine Ops experienced a period without a Director, Keith’s breadth of knowledge helped him lead the department in the interim, while he continued to maintain the responsibilities ofPort Engineer.  

But what really makes Keith an invaluable asset to VIMS has been his willingness to work tirelessly with the scientific community to help them achieve their goals, whether it’s fabricating a mounting bracket on a small vessel for a scientific instrument, or configuring one of the many hydraulic systems on the larger vessels for the various arrays of onboard gear.  

In everything he does, Keith displays enormous leadership in helping his subordinates learn the valuable skills that he possesses to serve the VIMS community now and into the future.  

Congratulations, Keith!