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2024 DINO Awards

By March 27, 2024news, Press Release

Additive Manufacturing Users Group Presents DINO Awards to Five Members

ZEELAND, MICH., March 27, 2024 – The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) presented its prestigious DINO (Distinguished INnovator Operator) Award for additive manufacturing expertise and service to five deserving individuals. These new DINOs received their awards at the 36th annual AMUG Conference.

AMUG representatives presented the DINO Awards in recognition of tenure in the additive manufacturing industry, years of service, contributions to the industry, and active support of AMUG and its conference.

Gary Rabinovitz, DINO Selection Committee Co-Chair and AMUG Director at Large, said, “This award recognizes not only experience but also character and passion. Following a lengthy nomination and review process, the committee selected five deserving individuals from 1,500 attendees of the AMUG Conference.”

Shannon VanDeren, DINO Selection Committee Co-Chair and AMUG President, said, “The DINO Selection Committee carefully considers each nomination for a DINO, ensuring the prerequisites for this award are met and actions are representative of the qualities of an AMUG Distinguished INnovator Operator.”

Group shot of the 2024 AMUG DINOs immediately following the awards presentation. The new DINOs are Vadim Pikhovich, Thomas Murphy, Jamie Cone, Steve Grundahl, and Bob Renella.

The 2024 DINO Awards were presented to (from left) Vadim Pikhovich, Thomas Murphy, Jamie Cone, Steve Grundahl, and Bob Renella.

The newly named DINOs are:

  • Jamie Cone, BD
  • Steve Grundahl, Prototek
  • Thomas Murphy, New Jersey Innovation Institute – COMET
  • Vadim Pikhovich, MAGMA Foundry Technologies
  • Bob Renella, GoEngineer

The new DINOs have played varied roles in making the AMUG Conference a positive experience for those seeking insights, information, and connections, as well as making AMUG a strong organization. Although their contributions are many, the selection committee cited the key activities on which the DINO Awards were presented.

For Jamie Cone, it is her six years of service as a Vice President, Volunteer Committee Chair and Expo Committee member. Vadim Pikhovich and Bob Renella were selected for their track leader and workshop coordinator roles in metal casting and 3D scanning.

Thomas Murphy was selected for his many years of volunteering as a member of the Scholarship Committee and Expo Committee. Steve Grundahl was recognized for his unwavering support of AMUG, most notably through his allocation of volunteers’ time as AMUG Board and committee members.

From the stage, Larry Monahan, Jamie Cone’s Manager at BD, said, “From her first day in additive and her first AMUG conference, Jamie Cone demonstrated the passion that began this organization many years ago. Through her innovative spirit and active contribution to AMUG, her DINO is well-earned and deserved.”

When presenting the award to Bob Renella, Giles Gaskell, Track Leader Committee member, said, “He has done everything asked of him, and more, to support the growth of the scanning and metrology track, over many years and without asking for thanks or recognition. His DINO is thoroughly deserved.”

VanDeren said, “The committee’s consideration of candidates continues at a regular cadence for the months leading up to the AMUG Conference to ensure careful investigation and recognition of our peers who are doing great things in the industry.” In recognition of those efforts, Rabinovitz added, “Thank you to the AMUG DINO Selection Committee for the volunteer efforts and commitment in selecting the five most recent Distinguished INnovator Operators.”

Receiving a DINO is not the endgame for those who demonstrate the passion and dedication that the DINO Selection Committee seeks. Instead, it is a momentous milestone in the years-long support of the community.

Rabinovitz noted that over 60 DINOs were present at AMUG 2024, and 40 percent of all DINOs attended AMUG 2023 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the DINO Award. Another demonstration of ongoing commitment is that six AMUG Board Members received DINOs 7 to 23 years prior.

AMUG DINOS spanning 26 years gathered at AMUG 2024 for this group celebration

DINOs from the past 26 years gathered to celebrate the 2024 AMUG Conference.

AMUG’s guiding principle is ‘For Users. By Users’. The newly named DINOs and all that came before them put this philosophy into action. Over its 36-year history, AMUG has awarded only 193 DINOs.

Nominations for 2025 DINO candidates will be accepted beginning October 1, 2024.


The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG), a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation, is a catalyst for its community of members to drive additive manufacturing forward. We are committed to educating and advancing AM applications for industrial purposes. Our annual gatherings provide a platform for in-depth technical presentations, workshops, and hands-on experiences, focusing on processes, technologies, and real-world applications. Join us at to be part of the innovation shaping the future of manufacturing.