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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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First trained as a nuclear electronics technician and reactor operator in the US Navy, Maureen Searles has worked on HFIR’s operations team since February 2015.
March 20, 2017 – Nuclear reactors require around-the-clock attention. Before the sun has even begun to rise, nuclear reactor controller Maureen Searles is already well into her shift at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor.
ORNL’s Xiahan Sang unambiguously resolved the atomic structure of MXene, a 2D material promising for energy storage, catalysis and electronic conductivity. Image credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; photographer Carlos Jones
March 14, 2017—Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders. Unlike most 2D ceramics, MXenes have inherently good conductivity because they are molecular sheets made from the carbides and nitrides of transition metals like titanium.
For NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, Nidia Gallego produces components of carbon-bonded carbon fiber (CBCF, in gray) for insulating an iridium-clad plutonium heat source power supply (inert prototype shown in silver).
March 13, 2017—Growing up in Colombia, Nidia Gallego was a diamond in the rough; she had no inkling that she would later shine as a scientist. Her father, a salesman, and mother, a homemaker, had not had the opportunity to complete high school themselves and urged their six children to stay in school.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 10, 2017—HTS International Corporation and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have signed an agreement to explore potential collaborations in advanced manufacturing research.
Map of locations associated with FRED observations.
March 9, 2017—Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists have released a new global, centralized database of plant root traits, or identifying characteristics, that can advance our understanding of how the hidden structure of plants belowground may interact with and relate to life aboveground.
Depicted at left, small nanoparticles stick to segments of polymer chain that are about the same size as the nanoparticles themselves; these interactions produce a polymer nanocomposite that is easier to process because nanoparticles move fast, quickly ma
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 8, 2017—Polymer nanocomposites mix particles billionths of a meter (nanometers, nm) in diameter with polymers, which are long molecular chains. Often used to make injection-molded products, they are common in automobiles, fire retardants, packaging materials, drug-delivery systems, medical devices, coatings, adhesives, sensors, membranes and consumer goods. 
Molecules of the heavy hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium preferentially bind to copper atoms in a metal-organic framework compound. The metal atoms are therefore symbolically represented as shells in this image. Image credit: Thomas Häse, Leipzig U
March 8, 2017—Deuterium and tritium—heavy isotopes of hydrogen—not only have numerous applications in science and medicine, but could also contribute to the energy mix of tomorrow as fuels for nuclear fusion. However, the process of filtering deuterium out of the natural isotopic mixture of hydrogen is at present both difficult and expensive.
A study led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory subjected tungsten to low energies, akin to normal operations of a fusion reactor (left), and high energies emulating plasma disruptions (right).
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 7, 2017—A fusion reactor is essentially a magnetic bottle containing the same processes that occur in the sun. Deuterium and tritium fuels fuse to form a vapor of helium ions, neutrons and heat. As this hot, ionized gas—called plasma—burns, that heat is transferred to water to make steam to turn turbines that generate electricity.
Jason Newby is a physicist in the Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division at ORNL.
March 6, 2017 — Not everyone can look back on their life and pick the specific instance that brought them to their current field and dictated the course of their career. For Jason Newby, that instance was a high school physics class that would eventually lead to him studying nuclear technology and investigating unknown corners of particle physics.
Using 3-D printing, ORNL researchers rapidly prototyped a complex gearbox pattern and created sand molds to make no-waste aluminum parts for industry partner, Emrgy Hydro.
March 2, 2017 – Oak Ridge National Laboratory has successfully developed and tested a novel sand casting technique to quickly design complex patterns to fabricate components for industry partner Emrgy Hydro, makers of hydropower devices designed to generate electricity from slow or shallow water flows.
Scientists synthesized porous hollow carbon spheres (HCS, shown in pink), incorporated them in a triblock copolymer (PS-PEB-PS, two blocks of polystyrene flanking a block of poly[ethylene-ran-butylene]) matrix and spin cast the mixture to create a robust
March 2, 2017 – Oak Ridge National Laboratory chemists report in the journal Advanced Materials that they have accelerated membrane-based gas separation with porous hollow nanospheres that could ultimately separate carbon dioxide from flue gases at pow
Pushing Boundaries - JOM Cover
March 2, 2017 – Advanced manufacturing will benefit from additive manufacturing techniques as demonstrated by a team led by Michael Kirka of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
An ORNL report provides best practices for electric utilities using drones to monitor transmission systems.
March 2, 2017 – Electric utilities seeking to enhance worker safety and system reliability by using drones to inspect their transmission systems can look to a new report by Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers to help guide their efforts.
Kevin Kerr of ORNL’s Information Technology Services Division was one of the speakers at last year’s conference.
March 2, 2017 – Three of eight cyber technologies to be showcased at the 12th Annual Cyber and Information Security Research Conference April 4-6 were developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which will host the event.
ConnectedHome.JPG
March 2, 2017 – Homeowners, utilities and the environment could be winners with a home energy management system, or HEMS, developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The team’s open-source, user-friendly and easy-to-use software monitors and controls energy consumption, according to Helia Zandi of ORNL’s Modeling and Simulation Group.
A second generation of the Pu-238 pellet automated metrology system being developed in an ORNL lab.
March 1, 2017–Under a collaborative partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy, a new automated measurement system developed at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will ensure quality production of plutonium-238 while reducing handling by workers. 
Yilu Liu with the FNET GridEye system in the lab.
February 28, 2017 – It’s an interesting time to be a power systems engineer: renewable generation is flourishing and bringing with it a unique set of challenges. For a researcher like Yilu Liu with a love of problem-solving and prowess in both engineering and science, the task of modernizing the aged electricity grid is a surprisingly enjoyable one.
Thom Mason
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (Feb. 24, 2017) – Dr. Thom Mason will step down as director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory effective July 1, 2017, exactly 10 years after becoming director of the nation’s largest science and energy laboratory.
Water is seen as small red and white molecules on large nanodiamond spheres. The colored tRNA can be seen on the nanodiamond surface. Image by Michael Mattheson, OLCF, ORNL
February 24, 2017 -- It’s not enough to design new drugs. For drugs to be effective, they have to be delivered safely and intact to affected areas of the body. And drug delivery, much like drug design, is an immensely complex task. 
A visualization using Finite Time Lyapunov Exponents (FTLE) of the bulk velocity field derived from particles in an XGC1 fusion simulation. The bulk velocity field was computed and visualized in situ using the ADIOS staging transport method.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 23, 2017 – The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has announced the latest release of its Adaptable I/O System (ADIOS), a middleware that speeds up scientific simulations on parallel computing resources such as the laboratory’s Titan supercomputer by making input/output operations more efficient.
Larry Robinson, interim president of Florida A&M University, was the keynote speaker at ORNL’s Black History Month celebration.
February 22, 2017 – Larry Robinson, former ORNL researcher and interim president of Florida A&M University, discussed the past, present and future of African Americans and education as the featured speaker at the Black History Month Committee’s Annual Soul Food Tasting event at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Sergei Kalinin
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 14, 2017 – Two researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sergei Kalinin and Mariappan Parans Paranthaman, have been elected fellows of the Materials Research Society (MRS).
Colleen Iversen
OAK RIDGE, Tenn, Feb. 14, 2017 – Colleen Iversen, an ecosystem ecologist at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been named an early career fellow of the Ecological Society of America. ESA early career fellows are elected for five-year terms.
Agricultural engineer Erin Webb is raising two sons with her husband on their 94-acre farm
February 13, 2017 – As an agricultural engineer, Erin Webb would do almost anything in the name of science.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Open Port Sampling Interfaces for Mass Spectrometry, invented by Gary Van Berkel (left) and Vilmos Kertesz, features simplicity and elegance.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 9, 2017 – Four technologies developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have earned Federal Laboratory Consortium awards for excellence in technology transfer.