- W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service (2006)
- Herman Frederic Lieber Award (1991)
Catherine Olmer received her B.S. from Boston University in 1970. She then proceeded to earn her M.S. from Yale in 1973, and subsequently her Ph.D. in 1976. She completed her post-doctoral work at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and the Argonne National Lab.
As of 2012, Olmer is the executive director of the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology in Bloomington, Indiana. The Award winning museum is the inspiration of a Bloomington journalist and mother, Debra Kent, and originated as a non-profit traveling outreach program run purely by volunteers in 1994. The present museum location was donated by the city of Bloomington and is now run by Olmer, staff and many volunteers. The museum features over 80 hands on exhibits and activities, as well as changing programs.