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ORNL adds eight R&D 100 Awards to DOE lab-leading total

Researchers and engineers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have won eight R&D 100 Awards, pushing their national lab-leading total to 104 since the awards began in 1963.

The awards, announced today by ORNL Director Alvin W. Trivelpiece, are presented annually by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year's most significant technological innovations. ORNL's 104 R&D 100 awards place it first among DOE laboratories.

Congratulating the ORNL winners, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson said, "These awards are both a tribute to the creative genius of the scientists and engineers at our national labs that made these technologies possible and recognition of the practical contributions that Department of Energy research makes to the country."

The honors were for the following processes or inventions: .

Galvanneal Temperature Measurement System, developed by ORNL's Steve Allison, David Beshears, Mike Cates, Mitchell Childs, Wayne Manges, Tim McIntyre and Marc Simpson. This is a joint entry with American Iron and Steel Institute, Bailey Engineers and National Steel Technical Center.

This system provides crucial on-line thermal process control information during the manufacture of galvanneal steel. It makes it possible to monitor the temperature of the steel as the protective coating is being formed and to make adjustments during the process. The galvanneal process involves dipping the steel in molten zinc followed by high-temperature treatment in an annealing furnace. During the process, strict temperature control is critical.

ORNL Micromechanical Quantum Detector (MQD), developed by Panos Datskos, Boyd Evans, Slo Rajic of ORNL and the late Charles Egert of the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant. Also listed on the award is Irene Datskou of Environmental Engineering Group.

The MQD is a highly sensitive miniature photon detection device based on photo induced stresses in semiconductors. It allows the user to achieve exceptionally sensitive and high-speed photon detection with wide dynamic range, photon wavelength tunability, uncooled operation, low power consumption and small size. First applications are expected to be in environmental monitoring, infrared medical imaging, military surveillance, target tracking and temperature detection.

RABiTS, developed by ORNL's Amit Goyal, John Budai, David Norton, Eliot Specht, Dave Christen, Donald Kroeger, Parans Paranthaman, Frederick List, Ron Feenstra, Dominic Lee, David Beach, Patrick Martin, Ed Hatfield, John Mathis, Chan Park, Xingtian Cui and Darren Verebelyi.

This technology could make it possible to manufacture long lengths of ultra-high- performance superconducting wires necessary for a wide range of high-temperature superconductors. Single crystal-like substrates are flexible, easily mass-produced and cost-effective. They also can be fabricated in arbitrary sizes and the substrates can be tailored for the application.

Frostless heat pump, developed by Vince Mei, Fang Chen, Richard Murphy and Ron Domitrovic of ORNL.

This heat pump features a new design that greatly reduces frost formation on the outdoor coil and eliminates the need for most defrosting sequences. It results in improved efficiency and comfort for occupants because it increases air flow and heating capacity.

Multifunctional biochip, developed by ORNL's Tuan Vo-Dinh, Alan Wintenberg, Nance Ericson, J.P. Alarie, Gordon Miller, Minoo Askari and Narayan Isola.

The biochip integrates microelectronics and biotechnology in a single system. It's a biological sensor that provides for rapid screening and detection of diseases and can substantially decrease the cost of medical diagnostics. It's also the only device available with multifunctional diagnostic capability because of different types of bioprobes. When it's in use, patients will be able to have their test results for the AIDS virus, cancer, tuberculosis or other diseases before they leave the doctor's office.

Self-cleaning carbon air filter, developed by Kirk Wilson, Tim Burchell and Rod Judkins of ORNL.

This filter, designed for high efficiency and long life, is made from an activated carbon fiber composite that removes harmful gaseous indoor air pollutants. It can be installed in existing or new filter banks of industrial, institutional, commercial and residential units. When the filter becomes dirty, an automatic reverse air cleaning cycle passes electric current through the filter, releasing pollutants into a purge air stream that exhausts harmful pollutants outdoors. After the cleaning cycle finishes, the unit returns to normal operation. The filter lasts through numerous cycles.

ATLAS, developed by Jack Dongarra, a distinguished scientist with ORNL and the University of Tennessee, and Clint Whaley of UT. This is a joint winner with UT.

ATLAS is an approach for the automatic generation and optimization of numerical software for processors with deep memory hierarchies and pipelined functional units. The production of such software for machines ranging from desktop workstations to embedded processors can be a tedious and time-consuming task. ATLAS has been designed to automate much of this process.

NetSolve 1.2, developed by Dongarra. This is also a joint winner with UT.

NetSolve is a client-server system that enables users to solve complex scientific problems remotely. The system allows users to access both hardware and software computational resources distributed across a network. It searches for computational resources on a network, chooses the best one available, and, using retry for fault-tolerance, solves a problem, and returns the answers to the user. NetSolve uses a load-balancing policy to ensure good performance by enabling the system to use the computational resources available as efficiently as possible.

ORNL, which is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation, is one of DOE's multiprogram research laboratories.