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

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won three R&D 100 Awards from R&D magazine, which annually gives awards for the 100 most significant innovations of the year.

ORNL has the national lab-leading total of 112 since the awards began in 1963 and is second only to General Electric.

ORNL Director Bill Madia said the three R&D 100 awards "are once again a tribute to the truly outstanding talent of our research staff. Year after year, the science and discoveries at ORNL are recognized among the best in the world."

The honors were for the following processes or inventions:

Any Source, Any Position Fluid Handler (ASAP), developed and submitted jointly by Mitch Doktycz, Life Sciences Division; Steven Hicks, Engineering Science and Technology Division; and Innovadyne Technologies of Santa Rosa, Calif.

Pharmaceutical companies and researchers testing genetic materials will find the technology valuable and cost-effective in testing and developing new drugs. ASAP enables the high-speed transfer of small volumes of liquid between source and target. The ability to transfer small amounts means that less liquid is used during experimentation and development, translating into significant cost savings.

ORNL Spiral Notch Torsion Test, developed and jointly submitted by Jy-An Wang, Nuclear Science and Technology Division; Ken Liu, Metals and Ceramics Division; and Inventure Laboratories of Knoxville.

The Spiral Notch Torsion Test is a portable system that tests fracture toughness and strength of materials, such as ceramics, composites, polymers, carbon foam and concrete, to be used in designs. Knowledge of material strengths and weaknesses helps engineers set limits in structural designs so that certain materials are not used in conditions unsuitable to the strengths of that material. This system will provide engineers with state-of-the-art materials testing and analysis to aid in design work with the primary aim to prevent accidental cracking or breaking of the structural materials.

DSI AIR: Defect Source Identifier - Automated Image Retriever, developed and jointly submitted by Ken Tobin, Tom Karnowski and Regina Ferrell, all from the Engineering Science and Technology Division, and Applied Materials of Santa Clara, Calif.

DSI AIR is a software product that solves manufacturing problems in semiconductor fabrication environments. The system works by comparing images of the product defect against hundreds of thousands of historical images that are maintained in the plant's data management system. DSI AIR uses a unique image description of the defect and background region to describe, index and rapidly retrieve information from the database. This technology allows a single engineer to quickly and accurately locate and resolve costly manufacturing problems, replacing a team of engineers conducting time-consuming manual data search and analysis.

ORNL is a Department of Energy multiprogram research facility managed by UT-Battelle.