Awards presented by

The Joe Martin Foundation
for Exceptional Craftsmanship

Each year the Foundation presents one or more awards. The premiere award presented annually is the presentation to the Metalworking Craftsman of the Year. This award consists of a $2000.00 check and engraved gold medallion. The annual award is presented at the North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) Exposition. Details about past winners of the award can be found below.


Since 1997 the foundation has given its top annual $2000 award to the world's finest craftsmen. These framed photos and an explanation of the award are on display at the Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, CA. (Click on photo for a larger image.)


Several personal Lifetime Achievement awards have also been presented. Phil Matson, Rudy Kouhoupt, Joe Vicars, Bob Shores, Kozo Hiraoka, Augie Hiscano, Ron Chernich, Bob and Frances Washburn, Louis Chenot and Szymon Klimek have been presented with lifetime achievement awards of $500.00 for their contribution to craftsmanship. In addition, special recognition is given to people who contribute to craftsmanship through their expertise or innovation. For a number of years young craftsmen were also rewarded each year with a $500 award started by Craftsman of the Year winner Young C. Park, who chose to donate his $1000 award check back to the foundation to support youth participation in craftsmanship. The Young C. Park award for Young Craftsmen continued in his name each year and was divided among the entrants under the age of 20 in the Sherline Machinist's Challenge contest each April at the North American Model Engineering Society Exposition in Michigan through 2009.


The award for
Metalworking Craftsman of the Year

Each year, an individual is selected who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to machining, with emphasis on the small end of the size scale. It is not to be a popularity contest, but rather to reward genuine achievement. The winner will be one who stands head and shoulders above all others in his area of specialty, and one whom all in his field could easily agree is "the best". The winner should be a person who has not only taken his skill to the highest level, but has also shared his knowledge, passed it along and encouraged others to improve the level of their work as well.

Although Joe Martin is the owner of a tool manufacturing company, there is no requirement that any particular brand of tools be used in completion of the projects. The award includes a presentation plaque, a gold medallion and a check for $2000.00. The award is presented by a representative of the Joe Martin Foundation at the North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) Exposition in Michigan or Ohio each April.


With each award made, the selection to this group becomes more of an honor. This is not so much because of anything the foundation has done but more because of the quality of the individuals in the group. If it is true that you are judged by the company you keep, this is certainly a group that any craftsman would be proud to be associated with. We feel the prestige of this award will increase each year as person selected sees quality of the group he or she will be joining.

Past winners of the
Metalworking Craftsman of the Year Award

Each person below has been honored by the Foundation for their outstanding craftsmanship. Each name is a link to more details about the craftsman and their projects.


2020, Richard Dosdall
A self taught designer and builder
2019, James Hastings
Building wooden sailing ship models, a lifelong hobby
2018, Chuck Balmer
“Best of the best” in miniature live steam locomotives

2017, Cherry Hill

Striving for Perfection in Model Engineering


2016, George Britnell

Steam engines, IC engines, guns, tools



2015, William R. Robertson

Engraver and custom knife maker



2014, Steve Lindsay, Kearney, NB

Engraver and custom knife maker


2013, Guillermo Rojas-Bazan, Royal Oak, MI

All metal scale model aircraft


2012, Gary Conley, Glen Ellyn, IL

1/4 scale V8 engines


2011, Louis Chenot, Carl Junction, MO

Metalworking Craftsman of the Decade

Miniature running Duesenberg


2010, Michel Lefaivre, Paris, France

Miniature arms maker


2009, Richard Carlstedt, Green Bay, WI

Model Monitor Steam Engine


2008, Ron Colonna, McKeesport, PA

Model Offenhauser and other engines


2007, Pierre Scerri, Avignon, France

Running model Ferrari race car


2006, David Kucer, Montreal, Canada

Miniature arms maker


2005, Gerald A. Wingrove, Javea, Spain

(Formerly from England)

Model automobiles


2004, Roger L. Ronnie, Rapid City, SD

Engraver, model engine and watch tool maker


2003, Barry J. Jordan, Derby, England

Miniature machine tools


2002, Young C. Park, Honolulu, HI

Aluminum cutaway aircraft models


2001, George Luhrs, Shoreham, NY

World's smallest running IC engines


2000, William R. Smith, Powell, TN

Watch and clock maker


1999, Wilhelm Huxhold, West Hill, Ontario, Canada

Miniature steam engines and machine tools


1998, Alan Ingersoll, San Mateo, CA

Miniature V-12 aircraft engine


 1997, Jerry Kieffer, DeForest, WI

Miniature steam and gas engines


Special Recognition and Achievement Awards

The Joe Martin Foundation periodically offers special recognition awards to honor a particular achievement or lifetime of achievement in craftsmanship. Following is a list of the awards presented to date. (Click on photos for larger image.)

Phil Mattson, La Jolla, CA

2002 Lifetime Achievement Award

The first lifetime achievement award in the area of model building was awarded in April, 2002 to Philip Mattson of La Jolla, California. A certificate of achievement and a check for $500.00 were presented to Mr. Mattson for his contribution to craftsmanship specifically in the area of ship modeling. Details of Mr. Mattson's life and work can be seen in the Internet Craftsmanship Museum in the section for model builders.

Rudy Kouhoupt, New Jersey

2003 Lifetime Achievement Award

The second lifetime achievement award was presented to Rudy Kouhoupt in April, 2003 for his work in the field of model engineering. The award included a plaque and a check for $500.00. After a full career as a chemist, Rudy turned to building model engines. He documented his designs, drew plans made videos and wrote construction articles, making it possible for many others to build his engines and learn about engine design and machining. His articles have appeared in magazines like Popular Mechanics and The Home Shop Machinist. Details of his life and work can be seen in the Internet Craftsmanship Museum in the section for model engineers.

It is with sincere regret we announce that Rudy Kouhoupt passed away in October, 2004. His presence will be greatly missed in the world of model engineering. His family has generously donated his entire engine collection, which will be on display at the Craftsmanship Museum facility in California.

Joe Vicars, 2003 Special Award for Innovation

Joe Vicars sent in a video of a small automatic tool changer he had developed in his own garage shop that fit on a Sherline or other small milling machine. Joe Martin was very impressed with the design and inventiveness of the project and awarded Mr. Vicars a Special Award for Innovation and Craftsmanship. The award certificate and a check for $50 was presented at the North American Model Engineering Society Show in Detroit April 27, 2003.

2003 Young C. Park Youth Award winners

2002 Craftsman of the Year winner Young C. Park donated his $1000.00 winner's check back to the foundation to encourage and support craftsmanship among young people. The Foundation will use the money to award $500.00 each year to the entrants in a new YOUTH DIVISION of the Sherline Machinist's Challenge contest each year. After the original amount is awarded, the Foundation will continue to fund the Young C. Park Award in Mr. Park's name each year to encourage more young people to become interested in making projects that exhibit outstanding craftsmanship.

Bob Shores, Ruskin, Florida

2004 Lifetime Achievement Award

On the right Bob is shown with his wife of 54 years, Margaret. (Photos: Steve Peirce)

Bob Shores has invested a tremendous amount of time and effort developing engine designs and plans so that others can enjoy the fun of building IC engines. Bob's designs include the Little Angel and Silver Angel hit-and-miss engines, the Silver Bullet, Hercules and other multi-cylinder engines and many others. Bob makes plans for these kits available basically at his cost to produce them. He was also always available by phone or in person to help anyone who bought his plans and kits get through the tough spots. He is one of the founding members of the Florida Area Model Engineers (FAME). Bob wrote a book entitled Ignition Coils and Magnetos in Miniature to help engine builders. Because of his devotion to the hobby and the many hours of fun he has made possible for many engine modelers, Bob Shores has been selected in May, 2004 to receive a $500 award for Lifetime Achievement.

We regret that Bob was in ill health when notified of the award and passed away soon thereafter, but we were glad that we were able to show this sign of our appreciation for all the people he helped before he passed away.

Kozo Hiraoka, Tokyo, Japan

2005 Lifetime Achievement Award

The fourth lifetime achievement award was presented to Kozo Hiraoka of Japan in 2005. Mr. Hiraoka is known to all who build small live steam locomotives for the books he has written on the subject. His books on gear driven Shay's like the Climax and his latest on the Pennsylvania A3 Switcher are lavishly illustrated with hand-drawn technical art and clear photographs. Kozo also took on the daunting task of learning English so that he could write the technical instructions for an American audience rather than producing them in his native Japanese. Mr. Hiraoka's books are published by Village Press in Michigan and can be found at

Mr. Hiraoka was presented with an award plaque and special gold medallion to honor his achievement.

Augie Hiscano, Miami, FL

2006 Lifetime Achievement Award, shown here with his wife Carol.

The fifth lifetime achievement award was presented posthumously to Augie Hiscano for both the incredible achievement of producing "Best of Show" winning model automobiles over a span of four decades, and also for the tireless effort he put into helping all those interested in learning about modeling. Augie won the biggest car modeling contest ever held--the first Revelle National Contest in 1964, beating out over 500,000 entries. From there he went on to build real hotrods and eventually got back into modeling as manager of Orange Blossom Hobbies in Miami, Fl. In 1989 he was invited back to the big Salt Lake City contest as a judge and was inspired to get back into modeling. He went on to produce several more winners that to this day set the standards for customized plastic car models.

Augie passed away unexpectedly in 2005 at the height of his mastery as a model maker and as one of the greatest ambassadors for the hobby.

Ron Chernich, Brisbane, Australia

2007 Lifetime Achievement Award

Ron Chernich of Australia has been selected as winner of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Ron is a long time engine modeler who has shared details of the hobby with many around the world through his ever-expanding web site at Producing this site and keeping it updated is a massive undertaking, and Ron has mastered this new form of communication to bring model engine builders from around the world into a single community where they can share their passion. Ron has also shared his skills as a machinist by making the pistons and rings for the Seal Engine Project hosted by the Foundation.

Ron is being presented a gold medallion and a check for $500 with our thanks for his contribution to quality modeling.

Robert and Frances Washburn, Kent, Washington

 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award

This second 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award is to honor both Robert and Frances Washburn, the team responsible for publication of Strictly IC magazine. Starting in February,1984 and continuing through Volume 14, #84 in January 2002, they split the chores with Robert contributing the illustration, technical writing and production while Frances contributed the photography and administrative (distribution and subscription) duties—a true team effort. The magazine was one of the few that catered only to builders of miniature internal combustion engines, and it was eventually to boast subscribers in many countries around the world. The information contributed by Frances and Robert was instrumental in helping many MICE builders to complete engines of all configurations, and the back issues they still distribute continue that tradition to this day.

To read more about Robert, Frances and the magazine, CLICK HERE.

Louis Chenot, Carl Junction, MO

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award

Louis Chenot caught our eye years ago at the North American Model Engineering Society Expo in the Detroit area with a very ambitious project. When we first saw it, he only had completed the engine and frame of a 1936 Duesenberg, but it was done to a high degree of perfection, and his plan was to build the complete car. Each year more progress could be seen on the car to the point where it is now almost complete. Lou is now working on getting the engine running before going ahead with the final step, the paint job. We felt this project, along with other fine models Lou has built deserved some special recognition and encouragement.

Lou was presented with a certificate of achievement, an engraved gold medallion and a check from the Foundation for $500.00 at the 2009 NAMES show in Toledo, Ohio on April 18, 2009.

NOTE: in 2011, Lou was awarded the Metalworking Craftsman of the Decade award, the foundation's highest award.

Szymon Klimek, Poznań, Poland

2009 Special Achievement Award

Szymon Klimek has taken elements of metalworking, model engineering, jewelry and art and combined them into the production of pieces that defy firm categorization. The detailed, polished brass pieces model articles including things as different as locomotives and hatboxes. Starting in 2004 this craftsman, who is trained as an engineer, has created over 100 miniature metal sculptures. They are often displayed within the protection of a glass wine goblet and feature inlaid jewels. Model engines run inside the goblet, hooked to tiny solar panels for power. A model of an antique bicycle has a brass hat and pair of gloves on the seat. His vision of these objects is uniquely his own, yet three is something to please each viewer.

For his unique vision of model making, Szymon received a certificate of achievement, an engraved gold medallion and a check from the Foundation for $500.00 in September, 2009.

Fred Heim, Marlborough, MA

2012 Lifetime Achievement Award

Before retirement a few years ago, Fred Heim’s occupation was building boats. He has built many beautiful, full-size wooden powerboats over the years and has been working in wood since the age of 10. This means he now has a big shop to work in, plenty of good tools and the ability to make just about anything in wood, fiberglass or metal. A few years ago he got the bug to build models of trucks and construction equipment and chose the large scale of 1/2 size. He completed a Peterbilt 379 semi with Hill dump trailer and also a flatbed trailer. Needing something to put on it, he went on to build several pieces of Caterpiller equipment including a D8R, an excavator and a wheel loader. He then turned his interest to large 1/12 scale ship models and has built 4 at that scale, from a modern fiberglass sport fisherman to a vintage 1929 luxury motor yacht.

For his lifetime of creating works of art in wood, metal and fiberglass at full size and to scale, Fred has received a certificate of achievement, an engraved gold medallion and a check for $500.00 in December, 2012.

Iqbal Ahmed, Nagpur, India

2012 Lifetime Achievement Award

Iqbal Ahmed first came to our attention when he entered a small project in the Sherline Machinist's Challenge contest. We were impressed with the model, especially when we saw the giant, outdated machine tools on which it was made. Iqbal was working in a relative model engineering vacuum in his area of India and had little interaction with other model engineers or basis of comparison for his work. Over the years he continued to enter the contest and each year his work improved in detail and finish. Finally, in 2007 he took an unprecedented first and second place with his entries. He has also built many steam engines and locomotives of ride-on size. He also recently received international acclaim for his 1/4 scale running model of the historic Benz Motorwagen from 1886, which was the featured model at the 2012 North American Model Engineering Society Expo in Detroit, MI.

For his lifetime pursuit of model engineering excellence, Iqbal Ahmed has received a certificate of achievement, an engraved gold medallion and a check for $500.00 in December, 2012.

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