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ORNL in the News

ORNL in the News

Ground geothermal systems cut home energy use in half; CT lawmakers want to make them cheaper
(CT Insider)
Ground geothermal takes advantage of the ambient heat underground in the bedrock to make home heating and cooling much more efficient. “From depths of 20 feet to 400 feet the temperature is constant,” said Xiaobing Liu, senior staff engineer at ORNL. This story was republished by 15 Connecticut media outlets. March 19

This easy fix could eliminate harmful chemical exhaust from home heaters
(Freethink) An ORNL-developed add-on to condensing gas furnaces that could fix the problem of acidic gas emissions. March 18

DOE to award $590M to renew four existing Bioenergy Research Centers
(Green Car Congress) DOE will award $590 million to renew four Bioenergy Research Centers including ORNL's Center for Bioenergy Innovation. Teknovation and Biodiesel Magazine also reported the news. March 18

What is a digital twin? And how can it make companies — and cities — more efficient?
(Wall Street Journal) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working with ORNL on a project sponsored by DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office to create a digital-twin platform designed specifically for hydropower plants. March 17

Puerto Rico’s first community-led microgrid is ready to launch
(Canary Media) ORNL is working on an “orchestrator” tool that’s meant to keep Adjuntas’ microgrid system running smoothly during an extended grid outage. A Spanish-language version of this story is also available. CleanTechnica, WVLT, MSN and the Compass subscriber newsletter also shared the news. 
March 17

UKAEA partners with ORNL on fusion
(Nuclear Engineering International) The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and ORNL have entered a strategic research partnership to better understand the performance and behavior of materials required for use in future commercial fusion power plants. The news was also shared by World Nuclear News and The Engineer
March 16

Sutharshan named ORNL deputy for operations
(Inside HPC) Balendra Sutharshan has been named chief operating officer and deputy for operations of ORNL and executive vice president, operations, for UT-Battelle. HPCwireTeknovation and the Compass subscriber newsletter also reported the news. March 13

UT-ORII director to speak on STEM to Friends of ORNL March 14
(Oak Ridger) How ORNL and UT are aligning their resources to prepare future STEM talent will be explained on March 14 by Joan Bienvenue, executive director of the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute and vice provost at UT. March 12

Next-gen motive power
(Railway Age) Burning hydrogen in an internal combustion engine will be similar to burning liquid natural gas. Wabtec is working with ORNL and Argonne on this as part of a DOE grant. March 12

Is 500-kW wireless charging just around the corner? Yes, but there's a catch
(Autoevolution) ORNL developed a unique polyphase electromagnetic coil capable of delivering 1.5 MW per square meter. All of this was possible thanks to the latest silicon carbide technology, which made possible a new coil design. March 10

Reused car batteries rev up electric grid
(Quality Digest) Researchers at ORNL have developed a new technology enabling battery reuse: a type of power electronics equipment that can manage a variety of EV batteries as an energy storage system for an electric utility. March 9

Daylight saving time 2023: When does the time change?
(Live Science) Lights have become increasingly efficient, said Stanton Hadley, a now-retired senior researcher at ORNL, so lighting is responsible for a smaller chunk of total energy consumption than it was a few decades ago. March 8

MMT chats: Key pain points and leverage areas of advanced tooling
(Mold Making Technology) ORNL's Ahmed Arabi Hassen was interviewed by Christina Fuges, MoldMaking Technology editorial director, about advanced tooling research and development. March 7

ORNL celebrates impact of women researchers and history-makers during Women's History Month
(WBIR) ORNL is celebrating the impact that women researchers made throughout its 80-year history and the women who are leading scientific fields today. They posted a video on social media highlighting women history makers, as part of Women's History Month. March 7

Record power at the Spallation Neutron Source means more neutrons for research
(Nuclear Newswire) That higher power means more neutrons for researchers who use the facility for neutron scattering research to reach materials science advances, ORNL announced recently. March 7

Additive talks: How does additive manufacturing serve electrification?
(3D Adept Media) ORNL's Amy Elliott is a scientific leader in the field of inkjet-based 3D printing of metals and ceramics, a technology that is expected to enhance and transform advanced manufacturing. March 6

HPCwire people to watch: Travis Humble
(HPCwire) Travis Humble, director of the Quantum Science Center and a distinguished scientist at ORNL, discusses quantum computing and digital twins and why he pursued a STEM field. March 6

Two chemists are preparing underserved kids for jobs in STEM: 'Glass ceiling will be broken' 
(People) ORNL's Clarice Phelps and Candice Halbert talk about feeling "seen and unseen" as Black women in science — and how they're helping girls in the field to never feel unseen. BET and Upworthy also shared the story, and the pair were highlighted in the Tennessee Tribune. March 6

Clarice Phelps: From discovering a new element to making NASA’s nuclear space batteries
(Popular Mechanics newsletter) Clarice Phelps, a research technician at ORNL, helped discover tennessine, element No. 117, back in 2009. March 6

How Clarice Phelps is separating plutonium for NASA’s nuclear space batteries
(Popular Mechanics) Phelps' work at ORNL has supported NASA, as well as fellow national laboratories like Argonne. All of this follows Phelps’ prior experience in the Navy’s nuclear power program, working on nuclear support for the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. March 6

This supercomputer is helping Cincinnati Children's predict which kids might be at risk for anxiety
(WVXU) With the help of a federal supercomputer at ORNL, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is developing models which can tell with 75-80% accuracy which kids will develop anxiety and why. March 6

Composites end markets: Construction (2023)
(Composites World) ORNL fabricated carbon fiber-reinforced molds for a project in Brooklyn to speed the construction of the 45-story One South First building. March 6

Taking on renewables’ AC/DC disconnect 
(Science Friday) Suman Debnath leads a project called the Multiport Autonomous Reconfigurable Solar power plant at ORNL. He and his colleagues have designed a system of advanced power electronics that allow large, utility-scale solar facilities and battery storage projects to feed either AC or DC power, as needed. March 3

Getting to zettascale without needing multiple nuclear power plants
(Next Platform) “We just recently passed a very significant milestone last year, which was the first exascale supercomputer,” Lisa Su said, noting that Frontier – built using HPE systems running on AMD chips – is “using a combination of CPUs and GPUs. Lots of technology in there." March 3

Qrypt strengthens data defenses against quantum attacks
(Tech HQ) A big part of Qrypt’s success rests with its access to true quantum random number generators, which were developed in partnership with ORNL. March 3

Study to lower gas usage and heat homes
(Fox Illinois) Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is working with ORNL to lower how much you spend to heat your house. March 2

Alpha TAU killing tumors with highly targeted alpha radiation
(MedGadget) Alpha TAU sources thorium-228 from ORNL, which is a byproduct of actinium-227 production, and extracts radium-224 from the decaying thorium. March 2

People's 2023 Women Changing the World
(People) Chemists Clarice Phelps and Candice Halbert of ORNL spend their off-hours bringing science, technology, engineering and math education to underserved Knoxville-area youth through YO-STEM, a nonprofit Halbert founded seven years ago. The story also ran on Yahoo! Entertainment. March 1

This Navy vet helped discover a new, super-heavy element
(NPR Short Wave) To close Black History Month, NPR re-aired a Short Wave podcast episode featuring ORNL's Clarice Phelps discussing her role in creating Tennessine, one of the heaviest elements known to humankind. Phelps also appeared on CBS' The Talk, around the 29:30 time mark. March 1

Scientists target ‘biocomputing’ breakthrough with use of human brain cells
(Financial Times) One reason for turning to biological computing is that the brain processes and stores information so efficiently. ORNL's Frontier matches a single human brain for processing power — one exaflop, or a billion billion operations per second — but consumes a million times more energy. March 1

Biomembrane research findings could advance understanding of computing and human memory
(STEM Magazine) While studying how bio-inspired materials might inform the design of next-generation computers, ORNL scientists achieved a first-of-its-kind result that could have big implications for both edge computing and human health. March issue

National labs gain headway on concentrating solar power
(EE Power) ORNL recently started operating its Facility to Alleviate Salt Technology Risks, a high-temperature molten chloride salt test system that will spearhead new concentrating solar power technologies in the department’s Generation 3 program. Feb. 28

Good news for three participants in the Innovation Crossroads program
(Teknovation) Lux Semiconductors raised a $2.3 million seed round, while Hempitecture opened the country's first industrial hemp manufacturing plant. Feb. 28

ORNL researchers working to reuse EV car batteries as power source
(WATE) A new study from ORNL is working to find applications for aging batteries, specifically the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, which can be difficult given the different makers, ages and sizes. Feb. 28

Can AI treat mental illness?
(New Yorker) ORNL is the largest energy-science lab in the DOE network; during the Second World War, it supplied plutonium to the Manhattan Project. It is now home to Frontier, the most powerful supercomputer in the world, which is often loaned out to A.I. researchers. Feb. 27

Bidirectional energy hub successfully demonstrated in Tennessee
(American Society of Civil Engineers) Researchers at ORNL have built and tested an energy hub capable of managing two-way power flow to and from commercial buildings. Feb. 27

Computers are learning how to analyze chemists’ spectra and micrographs
(C&E News) Maxim Ziatdinov, a research scientist at ORNL, is developing a program that will work alongside a materials scientist as they run microscopy experiments in real time. Feb. 26

ORNL Spallation Neutron Source achieves 1.55MW record power to enable more discoveries
(Green Car Congress) The Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL set a world record when its linear accelerator reached an operating power of 1.55 megawatts, which improves on the facility’s original design capability. Feb. 26

Microstructure, defect engineering improves lithium-ion batteries
(Plant Engineering) A North Carolina State University study, performed in collaboration with battery testing researchers at ORNL, shows that extremely short pulses from a high-powered laser can cause tiny defects in lithium-ion battery materials — defects that can enhance battery performance. Feb. 26

Charging EVs as they travel: Wireless inductive, conductive or battery swap?
(Auto Evolution) In 2018, researchers at ORNL demonstrated a 120-kilowatt wireless charging system. It was a lab experiment, but it opened the gates to a wireless fast-charging race. Feb. 26

Honoring Black history: Groundbreaking scientist Clarice Phelps and ‘Tennessine’
(WATE) Breaking barriers in the field of science – that’s what ORNL scientist Clarice Phelps is doing in her field of research. Feb. 23

Scientists show that rapid release of GHGs because of Arctic thaw is unlikely
(Engineering News) ORNL scientists have concluded that soil subsidence in the huge tundra regions of the Arctic is unlikely to trigger large-scale rapid thawing of the region, with a concomitant release of huge quantities of greenhouse-gases into the atmosphere. Environmental News Network also shared the story. Feb. 23

Bog is dead: The waning defense of Minnesota wetlands
(Minnesota Reformer) At SPRUCE, semi-domed enclosures wrap around common plant species of the surrounding bog, including trees, moss and grasses. Heaters and fans simulate the effects of climate change under different forecasting models. Feb. 21

Innovators on Innovators: Amy Elliott and Melanie Lang on burgeoning metal 3D printing processes 
(TCT) On the latest TCT Innovators on Innovators episode, Amy Elliot, a scientist at ORNL, sits down with Formalloy CEO Melanie Lang to discuss the burgeoning additive manufacturing processes of binder jetting and directed energy deposition. Feb. 21

Big battery breakthroughs feature promising technology
(Assembly) ORNL engineers have developed a new process to produce better, cheaper cathodes for use in lithium-ion batteries. It enables a way to make more affordable batteries from a faster, less wasteful process that uses less toxic material. Feb. 21

Army strong: Teams join forces to invent weld wire for tank, infrastructure repair
(STEM Magazine) DOE and the Department of Defense teamed up to create a series of weld filler materials that could dramatically improve high-strength steel repair in vehicles, bridges and pipelines. Feb. edition

Knoxville start-up growing by mimicking the way a dog shakes after a dip in water
(Teknovation) Ayyoub Momen, founder of Ultrasonic Technology Solutions, shared his journey from ORNL researcher to the leader of a Knoxville-based start-up commercializing a technology that he invented during his slightly more than seven years at the lab. Feb. 19

Metal alloy identified as the toughest material on Earth
(Technology Networks Analysis and Separations) A team of researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and ORNL has identified the toughest material on Earth – a metal alloy of chromium, cobalt and nickel. Feb. 18

The end game of digitization
(Concrete Products) More than $500 million has been invested to create the fastest known supercomputer in the world, named Frontier, which is estimated to handle trillions of parameters. IFA Magazine also published a story about Frontier's AI capabilities. Feb. 17

Cost and availability main barriers to biofuel adoption in maritime
(Seatrade Maritime News) ORNL's Michael Kass said that DOE has been evaluating biofuels against four main criteria: potential for greenhouse gas reduction, economic feasibility, technical feasibility and the availability of feedstock resources. Feb. 16

Optimized for exascale supercomputers, the ExaSMR simulation toolkit advances nuclear reactor design
(HPCwire) Exascale SMR, which is a high-performance computing software project supported by the DOE Exascale Computing Project, aims to make large-scale nuclear reactor simulations easier to access, cheaper to run and more accurate than the current state of the art. Feb. 15

Reused car batteries rev up electric grid
(CleanTechnica) Alternatives to carbon-producing energy sources are becoming ever more imperative as climate change shows its effects on the Earth and in our daily lives. Feb. 14

From lab to market: Bio-based products are gaining momentum
(Yale Environment 360) Propelled by government investment and shareholder demand, manufacturers are pushing to get bio-based products into the marketplace. These new materials aim to replace those that contain toxins and are difficult to recycle or reuse. The story mentions ORNL's Center for Bioenergy Innovation. Feb. 14

FC Renew making progress on 'providing an oil change for hydrogen fuel cells'
(Teknovation) Philip Stuckey has an easy-to-remember tagline for FC Renew, the start-up he launched in 2021 based on years of interest in hydrogen fuel cell technology. The story mentions ORNL's Innovation Crossroads program. Feb. 14

In her element: Meet Clarice Phelps who helped discover element 117
(Black Enterprise) ORNL's Clarice Phelps played a crucial role on a team that left her out of the celebration of a successful discovery. Feb. 13

Satellites may enable better quantum networks, ORNL researchers suggest
(HPCwire) A study by ORNL researchers has demonstrated how satellites could enable more efficient, secure quantum networks. Feb. 13

Artificial intelligence, supercomputers at Oak Ridge lab is Tuesday meeting focus
(Oak Ridger) Artificial intelligence and supercomputers at ORNL will be the topic of a lecture to Friends of ORNL. The speaker will be Gina Tourassi, director of the National Center for Computational Sciences and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. Feb. 11

Advancing the science of synthesis
(Nature Computational Science) Valentino Cooper, a distinguished R&D staff member at ORNL, talks about his research on density functional theory and on designing high-entropy materials and piezoelectrics. Feb. 10

Discoveries related to uranium oxide may support nuclear nonproliferation
( ORNL researcher Tyler Spano and her colleagues used analytical methods to observe uranium oxides under different conditions. X-ray diffraction helped them identify the chemical phase of materials. Feb. 10

How can lasers enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries?
(AZO Optics) Researchers at North Carolina State University conducted a joint study with battery testing researchers at ORNL. The team demonstrated the potential to improve the performance of Li-ion batteries by using a powerful laser to deliver very short pulses. Feb. 10

Innovation Crossroads one of several exciting opportunities for Holocene Climate Corporation
(Teknovation) Anca Timofte and co-founder Tobias Rüesch are pursuing their shared dream of commercializing technology that removes gigatons of carbon dioxide from the air as participants in Cohort 6 of the Innovation Crossroads at ORNL. Feb. 9

New exascale supercomputer can do a quintillion calculations a second
(Scientific American) In 2022 the world’s first declared exascale computer, Frontier, came online at ORNL — and it’s 2.5 times faster than the second-fastest-ranked computer in the world. Feb. 9

Researchers report new way to improve lithium battery capacity by 20% with lasers
(WRAL Tech Wire) A new North Carolina State University study, performed in collaboration with battery testing researchers at ORNL, shows that extremely short pulses from a high-powered laser can cause tiny defects in lithium-ion battery materials — defects that can enhance battery performance. Feb. 9

National labs, Wabtec partner to develop next-gen locomotive engine
(Freight Waves) Rail technology provider Wabtec and scientists with ORNL and Argonne National Laboratory are working together to develop a hybrid locomotive engine that can run on both hydrogen and diesel. Feb. 7

Watch nuclear fusion reactor form plasma: 'You can't take your eyes off it'
(Newsweek) Tokamak Energy, a commercial fusion energy company based in the U.K., has recently been given a grant by DOE to test fusion plant materials that will allow reactors to be self-sufficient while operating. The work will be done in partnership with ORNL. Feb. 7

Summer STEM learning opportunities available
(Daily Jeffersonian) Students will collaborate with award-winning scientists at ORNL on guided group science, math, and computer science technology research projects, while teachers develop STEM-related curricula with science practitioners. Yahoo! News also shared the story. Feb. 7

Plastic waste-eating bacteria break down ring carbon compounds
(GEN) Researchers from Northwestern University and collaborators at the University of Chicago, ORNL and Technical University of Denmark combined multiple forms of omics-based analyses. AZO Life Sciences also reported the news. Feb. 7

DOE lab, U2opia sign cybersecurity tech licensing package deal
(ExecutiveBiz) ORNL has granted U2opia Technology exclusive licensing rights to a pair of tools designed to support cybersecurity threat visualization and analysis. The news was also reported by Help Net Security and Homeland Preparedness News. Feb. 6

Agave gene delays poplar dormancy, study finds
(Global Plant Council) A team of scientists led by ORNL discovered the gene in agave that governs when the plant goes dormant and used it to create poplar trees that nearly doubled in size, increasing biomass yield for biofuels production and carbon sequestration. Feb. 6

The hidden hydropower potential in man-made waterways
(Wall Street Journal) A report released by ORNL looked at water conduits across the nation that could be sources of hydropower, including agricultural canals and ditches, municipal and industrial water-supply pipelines, and wastewater-discharge systems — all places where water flows. Feb. 5

Let’s talk about the upside of quantum computing
(Security Boulevard)  ORNL is the home of the newest “world’s fastest supercomputer,” named Frontier (still being tested), as well as Summit, which is used for climate change modeling, extreme weather predictions and genetic research into opioid addiction. Feb. 5

Top biometrics news of the week
(Biometrics Update) Researchers from ORNL are observing student volunteers from the College of DuPage in a test of long-range biometrics under the BRIAR program run by the U.S. intelligence organization IARPA. Feb. 4

Cybersecurity firm U2opia licenses ORNL tech for advanced monitoring
(Datanami) U2opia Technology, a consortium of technology and administrative executives with extensive experience in both industry and defense, has exclusively licensed two technologies from ORNL that offer a new method for advanced cybersecurity monitoring. Teknovation also shared the news. Feb. 3

Rapid determination of radiation damage in nuclear reactors
(Electronics 360) Effective maintenance of nuclear power plants requires monitoring the condition of critical components to ensure that damage from heat and radiation has not caused unsafe cracking or embrittlement, according to ORNL research. Feb. 3

As Southeast states warm, GAO report criticizes TVA preparations for dealing with climate hazards
(Arkansas Advocate) TVA has partnered with ORNL and DOE to create an asset-specific risk management system and a “corporate-level initiative” to monitor climate resilience and associated efforts. Feb. 2

Employee-led giving at ORNL provides $937,000 to area nonprofits in 2022
(Printed Electronics Now) Employees of ORNL gave nearly $786,000 to local nonprofits through the lab’s employee giving programs in 2022. ORNL’s managing contractor, UT-Battelle, provided an additional $151,000 in corporate contributions. Feb. 2

Cadmium selenium telluride solar cell achieves 20% efficiency via bandgap gradient
(PV Magazine) Researchers from the University of Toledo and ORNL have used bandgap gradient for the first time to improve the performance of cadmium selenium telluride solar cells based on a commercial Tin(IV) oxide buffer layer. Feb. 1

Hydrothermal synthesis of cobalt-free lithium-ion battery cathodes
(Chemical Engineering) Researchers at ORNL have developed a hydrothermal-synthesis method for high-voltage lithium-ion battery cathodes that avoids several key issues with traditional battery processing. Feb. 1

ORNL synthetic biology expert targets plastics
(Oak Ridger) Adam Guss, a genetic and metabolic engineer, and his colleagues are creating microbes with a special ability to deal with the problem of mixed plastic waste as part of a two-step chemical and biological process. Jan. 31

How China built the world’s biggest EV charging network and left the US behind
(Grid) Shawn Ou, an ORNL researcher, doesn’t think the boom in China has been fast enough. “Although a large number of public charging stations are being built,” he said, “the pace of construction is not keeping up with sales.” EQ International also ran the story. Jan. 31

These 32 people just moved to Knoxville. Here's what they love and what they don't
(News Sentinel) Select ORNL staff offered their insights on relocating to the Knoxville area in recent years. Jan. 31

National lab develops face and body recognition technology at COD
(The Courier) Researchers from ORNL spent the last three weeks on College of DuPage’s campus conducting a face and whole-body recognition study. Jan. 30

Should you warm your car up in the winter before driving?
(Insider) In a report from ORNL, researchers compiled idling recommendations from owner's manuals across various makes including Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, BMW, Lincoln and many more. Jan. 29

Is autism genetic?
(Psychology Today) Michael Garvin and his colleagues at ORNL have demonstrated a new way to determine a genetic basis for Autism Spectrum Disorder. While it's long been accepted that ASD is heritable, no studies have been able to offer a genetic explanation. Jan. 26

Check out these projects at the National Transportation Research Center
(Teknovation) Transportation over land, underwater, in the sky, and out of this world is being enhanced one project at a time at ORNL's National Transportation Research Center in Knoxville. Jan. 25

Company that makes battery safety technology opens new laboratory in Knoxville
(WBIR) The location of the new laboratory was chosen to help the company build on its partnership with ORNL. The News Sentinel, WATE, WVLT, Teknovation, Compass and Environmental Leader also covered the news. Jan. 24

ORNL’s Merlin Theodore appointed to National Science Board
(Printed Electronics Now) Merlin Theodore, a researcher at ORNL, has received a presidential appointment to the National Science Board. Theodore is one of eight new board members announced by President Joe Biden. Jan. 24

Fluidic chemical systems can mimic the way the brain stores memories
(Chemistry World) Biocompatibility is perhaps even more evident in the neuromorphic memory effects described by Patrick Collier of ORNL and colleagues. Jan. 24

ORNL wins three national tech transfer awards
(Teknovation) ORNL took home two awards for DOE in the excellence in technology transfer category. The lab was also awarded a state and local economic development award. Jan. 23

ORNL researchers identify mechanism in 3d-printed alloy that could enable better lightweight materials for vehicles
(Green Car Congress) ORNL researchers have identified a mechanism in a 3D-printed alloy—termed “load shuffling”—that could enable the design of better-performing lightweight materials for vehicles. Metal AM also shared the story. Jan. 23

SkyNano developing technology for new carbon economy
(Teknovation) If you’re looking for a great example of a start-up that has used government grants to advance the company without giving up any equity, look no further than Knoxville-based SkyNano. Jan. 23

Discoveries in phases of uranium oxide advance nuclear nonproliferation
(Homeland Security Newswire) The word “exotic” may not spark thoughts of uranium, but ORNL scientist Tyler Spano’s investigations of exotic phases of uranium are bringing new knowledge to the nuclear nonproliferation industry. Jan. 23

Researchers present vision for HPC fusion data gateway
(HPCwire) Researchers from General Atomics, ORNL and the University of Virginia outlined their vision for a science gateway to help manage and share fusion data that the authors expect to “substantially balloon in the near future.” Jan. 21

America’s Forests Minnesota — SPRUCE
(America's Forests with Chuck Leavell) SPRUCE, an experimental station in remote Minnesota, looks like something out of a science fiction movie. Scientists have built enclosures that allow them to precisely increase the level of carbon dioxide inside each one. Jan. 20

Tokamak Energy to put materials through rigors of fusion conditions
(The Engineer) The performance of specialty steel materials in extreme fusion conditions are to be tested by Tokamak Energy at ORNL and funded through the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy program. Power Engineering International, Business and Innovation Magazine also shared the news. Jan. 20

ORNL hires executive search firm to find its next director
(Oak Ridger) UT-Battelle has retained executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to help in the search for a new lab director. The News SentinelOak RidgerInsideHPCHPCWire and Oak Ridge Today also reported the search update. Jan 19

White House names Oak Ridge scientist to National Science Board
(Teknovation) Merlin Theodore, Advanced Fibers Manufacturing group lead for the Manufacturing Science Division at ORNL, has been appointed by President Joe Biden to the prestigious National Science Board. The Virgin Islands Daily News also reported the news. Jan. 19

DOE researchers design solar project that can power both AC and DC lines
(Solar Power World) A team led by ORNL has developed a utility-scale design and control system for a hybrid solar power plant that can operate with both direct and alternating current — providing more flexibility, security and reliability than similar plants operating today. The story was also posted by ElectrekCanada Today and BusinessNews. Jan. 19

Executive search firm to help in hunt for new ORNL director
(WBIR) An executive search firm will help in the hunt to find the next person to lead ORNL. Russell Reynolds Associates has been tapped by UT-Battelle to help find someone to replace Thomas Zacharia. The news was also reported by Teknovation and Compass. Jan. 18

Converting Colorado coal plants to nuclear? Fed report shows benefits
(Denver Gazette) Hundreds of decommissioned or soon-to-be-shut-down coal-fired power plants — including at least five in Colorado — can be saved by converting them to nuclear power with small modular nuclear reactors, according to a report sponsored by DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy. The study was conducted by the Argonne, Idaho and ORNL. Jan. 18

Agave gene delays poplar dormancy 
(Compass newsletter) A team of scientists led by ORNL researchers has genetically engineered poplar trees that are larger, leafier and have extended growing seasons. By sequencing the messenger RNA of Agave americana, researchers found the REVEILLE1 gene that controls both dormancy and budding. Jan. 18

Punching above your weight 
(SME) Brian Post has worked at ORNL since 2013. Today he leads the Manufacturing Systems Design Group, where he spends much of his time taking 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies in novel, often surprising directions. Jan. 18

Lincoln University grant funding to propel diversity in climate science
(News Tribune) Lincoln's grant will fund a 10-day trip to ORNL, followed by a camping trip in the Smoky Mountains. Five students will go each year for the next four years, with the first visit scheduled for this summer. Read more from DOE about the Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce initiative. Jan. 15

ORNL isotope center estimated to cost $250 million
(Oak Ridge Today) A new center to research and produce isotopes at ORNL could cost an estimated $250 million. Oak Ridge made stable isotopes for decades. Those are non-radioactive forms of atoms that can be used in medicine and industry and for research and national security. Jan. 14

Cold, powerful magnet will help control hot plasma in fusion reactor
(Oak Ridge Today) A magnet so powerful it could lift an aircraft carrier six feet into the air was designed in a project managed by ORNL. It will be used in an international experimental reactor in southern France to produce energy using fusion. Jan. 13

Biden administration picks eight new National Science Board members
(FedScoop) ORNL materials scientist Merlin Theodore is set to join the NSB. The NSB is made up of 25 members, which are appointed by the president, and each member serves a six-year term on the board. Oak Ridge Today also reported the story. Jan. 13

Places for discovery: Institutions with energy’s future on their minds saturate TVA territory
(Site Selection Magazine) Just up I-75 sits the ultimate asset: ORNL. Among recent discoveries relevant to the clean energy future of TVA territory are a cleaner, cheaper, more efficient method for making a new class of high-capacity cathode material without cobalt. January issue

Erica Prates: Bridging science across scales with computational biology
(STEM Magazine) Erica Prates has found a way to help speed the pursuit of healthier ecosystems by linking the function of the smallest molecules to their effects on large-scale processes, leveraging a combination of science, math and computing. January issue

Researchers develop cobalt-free cathodes using hydrothermal synthesis
(Charged Electric Vehicles Magazine) Researchers at ORNL have developed a new method for producing cathodes for lithium-ion batteries by relying on hydrothermal synthesis, which eliminates the need to use cobalt, making the process quicker, less wasteful and less toxic. Jan. 12

Army researchers develop weld wire for tank, pipeline repair
(Engineering 360) ORNL and the U.S. Army have jointly developed weld wire filler materials that promise to improve high-strength steel repair in vehicles, bridges and pipelines, subsequently revitalizing aging infrastructures. Jan. 12

The future of energy: QED with Dr. B
(WOSU Public Media) Scientists around the world are working to develop innovative energy solutions. Dr. B travels to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to speak with leading experts about advances in nuclear fusion, materials science and biofuels. Jan. 12

Rare earth mining may be key to our renewable energy future. But at what cost?
(Science News) One of the biggest issues plaguing the extraction process is its inefficiency, says Santa Jansone-Popova, an organic chemist at ORNL. The scavenging of these metals is slow and imperfect, and companies have to go through a lot of extraction steps to get a sufficiently marketable amount of the elements. Jan. 11

Techstars Cohort Update | Silvis Materials opens lab in Knox County
(Teknovation) During the three-month Techstars program, Patty Ferreira connected with Sheng Dai, of ORNL and UT, and Chi-Linh Do-Thanh, Dai's post-doctoral research associate. Those relationships convinced her that being close to ORNL and UTK were important. Jan. 11

The quantum kaleidoscope – 2022 highlights and what to watch in 2023
(HPCwire) Topological qubits based on the much-speculated on but yet-to-be-proven Marjorana particle are still missing from near-term qubit lineup. ... At least one of DOE’s six National QIS Research Centers (the Quantum Science Center at ORNL) has a focus on bringing topological quantum computing to life. Jan. 9

40 Under 40: N. Dianne Bull Ezell advances ORNL's nuclear research while mentoring next generation
(News Sentinel) As she leads nuclear reactor projects for NASA, DOE and the Department of Defense, N. Dianne Bull Ezell is committed to mentoring and advancing the careers of future scientists around her. Jan. 9

40 Under 40: Kashif Nawaz's research at ORNL battles climate change
(News Sentinel) Kashif Nawaz is on the front lines of developing research and technology to battle climate change at ORNL. His work focuses on extracting carbon dioxide through heating and ventilation systems. Jan. 9

How winter weather lowers fuel economy, tips to combat it
(Fox 43)  According to researchers at ORNL, colder air means your car takes longer to reach the optimal temperature to operate most efficiently. Jan. 9

Forging new science for the future of 3D-printed metal
(Metrology News) Researchers at ORNL have created a one-of-a-kind automated robotic platform that allows them to study the microscopic behavior of additive metal welds in real time as they’re being created. Jan. 9

Jet fuel, waste plastic are topics for Tuesday's FORNL talk
(Oak Ridger) Producing sustainable fuels and chemicals from renewable or waste carbon using synthetic biology is the topic of a lecture to be presented by Adam Guss at noon Tuesday at the University of Tennessee Resource Center. Jan. 8

News and Notes | First week highlights from 2023
(Teknovation) Jeff Smith, who retired as deputy director for operations at ORNL in November 2021 after 21 years in that role, is now back at the lab, this time as interim lab director. Jan. 8

Phasons boost thermal conductivity of incommensurate crystals
(Physics World) Experiments done by Michael Manley and colleagues at ORNL have shown how quasiparticles play an important role in transporting heat through these unusual materials. Jan. 7

It takes 6,000 gallons of water to cool the world’s fastest supercomputer
(Bloomberg Businessweek) Scientists in Tennessee in May unveiled a supercomputer that cracked the threshold of a quintillion calculations per second. The system, called Frontier — officially the world’s fastest — requires many gallons of water (for cooling), highly trained staff and massive physical infrastructure to operate. Jan. 5

Busby named ORNL associate lab director for fusion, fission energy and science
(Oak Ridge Today) Jeremy Busby has been named associate laboratory director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate at ORNL. His appointment became effective Jan. 1. Jan. 5

Thornton named director of ORNL Climate Change Science Institute
(Oak Ridge Today) ORNL appointed Peter Thornton as director of its Climate Change Science Institute, or CCSI, effective November 1. Thornton, who succeeds Stan Wullschleger as CCSI director, has been active in CCSI since its inception and has served as its deputy director since 2017. Jan. 5

ORNL names new fellows, distinguished inventors, associate lab directors
(Teknovation) ORNL announced several promotions, appointments and awards toward the end of 2022. Jan. 5

IC COHORT 6 | Vitriform3D Inc. creating product opportunities using recycled materials
(Teknovation) The two co-founders of Vitriform3D met while they were working on their doctorates as part of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jan. 4

ORNL names new associate director of fusion, fission energy and science
(Nuclear Newswire) American Nuclear Society member Jeremy Busby has been named associate laboratory director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate at ORNL, effective Jan. 1. Jan. 4

Xerox Elem Additive installs ElemX 3D printer at ORNL to advance metal additive manufacturing
(AIthority) Xerox Elem Additive Solutions announced the installation of a Xerox ElemX 3D metal printer at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL to advance metal additive manufacturing technologies. Jan. 4

Method for verifying 3D-printed parts aimed at fostering innovation
(Design News) A team at ORNL is using X-ray computed tomography to inspect metal parts being fabricated using additive manufacturing to ensure they are being produced according to desired specifications, researchers said. Jan. 4

Langan returning to ORNL as associate lab director
(Oak Ridge Today) Paul Langan will return to ORNL in the spring as associate laboratory director for the Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate. Jan. 3

ORNL names two top executives over the holidays
(Compass newsletter) Jeremy Busby is the new associate laboratory director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate, while Paul Langan will be associate laboratory director for the Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate. Jan. 3

To make valuable bioproducts, pick the right solvent pretreatment
(Renewable Carbon) Researchers from UT and ORNL used three pretreatment solvents to partially deconstruct and break away plant lignin from other cell wall components so the lignin modules can be extracted. Jan. 3

Thomas Zacharia reflects on 35 years at ORNL, region’s progress and possibilities as an innovation hub
(Teknovation) Across the country and, for that matter, the globe, Thomas Zacharia has been an outspoken champion of the Knoxville-Oak Ridge region in a number of very different ways. Jan. 3

DOE Exascale Computing Project to advance metal additive manufacturing
(3Dprinting) A team of researchers from ORNL, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NIST and UT have been working on a means to use exascale computing to simulate the development of microstructures as they are 3D printed. Jan. 2