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ORNL is designing a neutronic research engine to evaluate new materials and designs for advanced vehicles using the facilities at the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL. Credit: Jill Hemman/ORNL, U.S. Dept of Energy, and  Southwest Research Institute.

In the quest for advanced vehicles with higher energy efficiency and ultra-low emissions, ORNL researchers are accelerating a research engine that gives scientists and engineers an unprecedented view inside the atomic-level workings of combustion engines in real time.

ORNL researchers have developed a new class of cobalt-free cathodes called NFA that are being investigated for making lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replace the costly cobalt-based cathodes typically found in today’s lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

A Co-Optima research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jim Szybist in collaboration with Argonne, Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, created a merit function tool that evaluates six fuel properties and their impact on engine performance, giving the scientific community a guide to quickly evaluate biofuels. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

As ORNL’s fuel properties technical lead for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuel and Engines, or Co-Optima, initiative, Jim Szybist has been on a quest for the past few years to identify the most significant indicators for predicting how a fuel will perform in engines designed for light-duty vehicles such as passenger cars and pickup trucks.


A multi-institutional team, led by a group of investigators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been studying various SARS-CoV-2 protein targets, including the virus’s main protease. The feat has earned the team a finalist nomination for the Association of Computing Machinery, or ACM, Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research.

Blue sky above ORNL campus.

ORNL and three partnering institutions have received $4.2 million over three years to apply artificial intelligence to the advancement of complex systems in which human decision making could be enhanced via technology.

New virtual tours of ORNL facilities include the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center, shown in dollhouse view. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL has added 10 virtual tours to its campus map, each with multiple views to show floor plans, rotating dollhouse views and 360-degree navigation. As a user travels through a map, pop-out informational windows deliver facts, videos, graphics and links to other related content.


NellOne Therapeutics has licensed a drug delivery system from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that is designed to transport therapeutics directly to cells infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

Suman Debnath is using simulation algorithms to accelerate understanding of the modern power grid and enhance its reliability and resilience. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Planning for a digitized, sustainable smart power grid is a challenge to which Suman Debnath is using not only his own applied mathematics expertise, but also the wider communal knowledge made possible by his revival of a local chapter of the IEEE professional society.

Sandra Davern performs cell based assays to evaluate cell death and DNA damage in response to radiation in order to gain a better understanding of how radioisotope nanoparticles affect the human body.

When Sandra Davern looks to the future, she sees individualized isotopes sent into the body with a specific target: cancer cells.

ORNL’s collaboration with Cincinati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will leverage the lab’s expertise in high-performance computing and safe, secure recordkeeping. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

There are more than 17 million veterans in the United States, and approximately half rely on the Department of Veterans Affairs for their healthcare.