Investigating Arctic ecosystems: A conversation with Stan Wullschleger

A researcher measures snow depth at the Kougarok field site.

For the past six years, some 140 scientists from five institutions have traveled to the Arctic Circle and beyond to gather field data as part of the DOE-sponsored Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments Arctic or NGEE Arctic project. The research teams integrate this data into Earth system models to improve predictions of environmental change.

Vacuum insulation panels open the door to self-healing buildings

ORNL researcher Kaushik Biswas demonstrates how a self-healing barrier in a vacuum insulation panel can recover from a puncture.

A building’s exterior endures wear and tear from natural elements over time. Wind, rain, snow and even harsh sunlight can do costly damage. But what if a building could heal itself from cuts, tears and punctures, saving time and cost?

It may sound better suited for science fiction, but ORNL’s Building Envelope & Urban Systems Research Group may have found the answer to self-healing buildings by creating a novel multilayered barrier film with self-healing properties for vacuum insulation panels—or VIPs.

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