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 A group of ORNL staff standing in a long corridor with flags hanging from the ceiling

For 25 years, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used their broad expertise in human health risk assessment, ecology, radiation protection, toxicology and information management to develop widely used tools and data for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the agency’s Superfund program.

Attendees of SMC23 pose for their annual group photo in downtown Knoxville, TN.

ORNL hosted its annual Smoky Mountains Computational Sciences and Engineering Conference in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steven Hamilton, an R&D scientist in the HPC Methods for Nuclear Applications group at ORNL, leads the ExaSMR project. ExaSMR was developed to run on the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s exascale-class supercomputer, Frontier. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The Exascale Small Modular Reactor effort, or ExaSMR, is a software stack developed over seven years under the Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project to produce the highest-resolution simulations of nuclear reactor systems to date. Now, ExaSMR has been nominated for a 2023 Gordon Bell Prize by the Association for Computing Machinery and is one of six finalists for the annual award, which honors outstanding achievements in high-performance computing from a variety of scientific domains.  

Diagram of faults affecting a conventional power system.

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are leading the way in understanding the effects of electrical faults in the modern U.S. power grid.

ORNL’s Fernanda Santos examines a soil sample at an NGEE Arctic field site in the Alaskan tundra in June 2022. Credit: Amy Breen, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Wildfires are an ancient force shaping the environment, but they have grown in frequency, range and intensity in response to a changing climate. At ORNL, scientists are working on several fronts to better understand and predict these events and what they mean for the carbon cycle and biodiversity.

Clouds of gray smoke in the lower left are funneled northward from wildfires in Western Canada, reaching the edge of the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean. A second path of thick smoke is visible at the top center of the image, emanating from wildfires in the boreal areas of Russia’s Far East, in this image captured on July 13, 2023. Credit: NASA MODIS

Wildfires have shaped the environment for millennia, but they are increasing in frequency, range and intensity in response to a hotter climate. The phenomenon is being incorporated into high-resolution simulations of the Earth’s climate by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with a mission to better understand and predict environmental change.

Saubhagya Rathore uses his modeling, hydrology and engineering expertise to improve understanding of the nation’s watersheds to better predict the future climate and to guide resilience strategies. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Growing up exploring the parklands of India where Rudyard Kipling drew inspiration for The Jungle Book left Saubhagya Rathore with a deep respect and curiosity about the natural world. He later turned that interest into a career in environmental science and engineering, and today he is working at ORNL to improve our understanding of watersheds for better climate prediction and resilience.

CFM’s RISE open fan engine architecture. Image credit: GE Aerospace

To support the development of a revolutionary new open fan engine architecture for the future of flight, GE Aerospace has run simulations using the world’s fastest supercomputer capable of crunching data in excess of exascale speed, or more than a quintillion calculations per second.

Jerry Parks leads the Molecular Biophysics group at ORNL, leveraging his expertise in computational chemistry and bioinformatics to unlock the inner workings of proteins—molecules that govern cellular structure and function and are essential to life. Credit: Genevieve Martin, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

When reading the novel Jurassic Park as a teenager, Jerry Parks found the passages about gene sequencing and supercomputers fascinating, but never imagined he might someday pursue such futuristic-sounding science.

ORNL’s Shih-Chieh Kao has been named a 2023 fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental & Water Resources Institute. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Shih-Chieh Kao, manager of the Water Power program at ORNL, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Environmental & Water Resources Institute, or EWRI.