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July 2012

NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino yesterday awarded the first ever NNSA Science and Technology Excellence Award to Dr. Michel McCoy from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for his groundbreaking computer science research and leadership with the Advanced Simulation and Computing program.

The newly-established NNSA Science and Technology Excellence Award is the highest level of recognition for science and technology achievement in NNSA. It recognizes accomplishment that can include vision, leadership, innovation and intellectual contributions. The award is intended to draw attention to the remarkable scientific and technological successes that are achieved by the researchers that support the NNSA mission, and will be awarded at the sole discretion of the administrator.

"Dr. McCoy’s groundbreaking work in the field of computer science and his commitment to the Advanced Simulation and Computing program is unmatched,” said D’Agostino. “The award presented to Dr. McCoy represents our deep commitment to the science and technology that serves the breadth of our national security missions. His leadership, ingenuity and dedication not only helped NNSA’s Sequoia supercomputer become the fastest supercomputer in the world, but also led to discoveries that will define our work for decades to come. We are fortunate to have dedicated professionals like Dr. McCoy who are truly leaders in their fields, and I am proud to have him part of our enterprise.”

Read more about the NNSA Science and Technology Excellence Award.

About the photos:
NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino presents Dr. Michel McCoy from LLNL with the newly-established NNSA Science and Technology Excellence Award.

Y-12 recently honored six small businesses for their exceptional contributions to Y-12’s missions during Fiscal Year 2011. In addition, two Y-12 employees also were acknowledged for their role as small-business advocates.

During the annual Socioeconomic Programs Awards reception, Y-12 highlighted the valuable role small businesses and entrepreneurs play in Y-12’s transformation from the nation’s 20th century Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise.

Read more about the Y-12 honorees.

Socioeconomic Programs Awards ceremony

About the photo:

Darrel Kohlhorst, president and general manager of B&W Y-12, at right, and Gary Johnson, president of CG Services Corporation, sign a Mentor-Protégé agreement as his wife and CG Services Corporation Vice President Cindy Johnson looks on at the annual Socioeconomic Programs Awards ceremony held at Y-12’s New Hope Center on July 12. CG Services’ capabilities include environmental restoration, waste management, waste transportation and pollution prevention.

Senior leaders from various agencies are meeting in Kansas City, Mo., this week to take part in Amber Waves 2012, a radiological dispersal device (RDD) exercise series sponsored by DOE and NNSA. Leaders from various counties and federal agencies representing Missouri, Kansas and Iowa are taking part in the incident management table-top exercise. The goal of the exercise is to foster interagency collaboration among federal, state and local organizations. The Federal Radiological Management and Assessment Center, coordinated by DOE/NNSA, is a major player in the exercise.

Amber Waves 2012 emergency exercise

About the photo:

Dave Bowman, NNSA's director or Office of Emergency Response, (fourth from left) takes part in a session of the Amber Waves 2012 emergency exercise.

Photo credit:  Los Alamos National Laboratory

Photo credit:  Los Alamos National Laboratory

In 2007, the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security (NIS) launched the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) to develop the policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, and infrastructure necessary to sustain the international safeguards system as its mission evolves over the next 25 years. One of the major goals of this initiative is to develop the next generation of safeguards professionals who have the qualifications and experience necessary to tackle the emerging challenges facing the nuclear safeguards regime. To meet this goal, the NGSI Human Capital Development subprogram recruits, educates, and trains students from U.S. universities for safeguards positions at the national laboratories, encourages U.S. experts to seek employment at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and supports young and mid-career professionals new to the safeguards field.  To date, the program has sponsored more than 350 undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students in internship and research positions, and provided further safeguards education across the DOE/NNSA National Laboratory complex.

A key focus for the NGSI program is to ensure that incoming staff have the technical and policy expertise necessary to contribute effectively to the international safeguards system. One former intern, Amanda Rynes, spent a summer at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) developing a metric to assess proliferation risk using political, economic, and social factors in addition to technical capability. Through NGSI, she was able to participate in intensive training sessions, tour nuclear facilities, and gain hands-on experience with many of the tools and devices used in safeguards implementation today. She commented that “the NGSI internship program gave me a solid understanding of basic safeguards issues and technologies that I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else.” Amanda, who was hired by INL following her internship, is currently on detail to the State Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Safety, and Security. She will begin graduate studies at the University of Chicago’s Committee on International Relations in the fall.

NGSI’s unique challenges require the cultivation of professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Evan Wyse, a former intern at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), used his background in economics to research alternative funding strategies available to the IAEA. He will present his findings on possible funding models to supplement the IAEA’s budget at the 2012 Institute for Nuclear Materials Management Annual Meeting. Evan’s background in Arabic has also allowed him to participate in NIS’s international engagement efforts, particularly in the Middle East. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Economics from the University of Washington, he was hired full-time at PNNL, where he conducts economic analyses in a nonproliferation context and continues to support NIS’s international engagement work.

Interested in participating in the NGSI internship program? Contact Melissa Scholz at melissa.scholz@nnsa.doe.gov.

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