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March 2014

The Cleantech Open, the world’s largest accelerator for clean technology start ups, hosted a regional networking event last week to discuss the challenges and opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to do business with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories.

Cleantech Open meets with Lawrence Livermore, Sandia national laboratories

The event at the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), which is a joint initiative between both labs, drew an audience of 121 that included the private sector, lab researchers and economic development administrators. It consisted of two panel discussions on moving lab technologies to the market place, followed by a networking session.

Both laboratories, which cosponsored the event with the i-GATE Innovation Hub, have clean energy technologies for which they would like to find commercial partners to develop further.

About the photos:
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell gave opening remarks at the event. He said clean technology is important for region’s economy and that more partnerships should be formed between the public and private sectors.

The panel Discussion members are, from left: Brandon Cardwell, VP of i-GATE Innovation Hub, Brian Steel, cop direct of Cleatech to Market program, Rob Lamkin of Cool Earth Solar, Andy McIlroy, Sandia’s senior manager of the Livermore Valley Open Campus, and Betsy Cantwell, director of  Economic Development at LLNL.

Cleantech Open meets with Lawrence Livermore, Sandia national laboratories

Cleantech Open meets with Lawrence Livermore, Sandia national laboratories

The most recent NNSA quarterly summary of experiments conducted as part of its science-based stockpile stewardship program is now available here

The quarterly summary prepared by NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs provides descriptions of key NNSA facilities that conduct stockpile stewardship experiments. These include some of the most sophisticated scientific research facilities in the world including, the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. The summary also provides the number of experiments performed at each facility during each quarter of the fiscal year.

The U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program is a robust program of scientific inquiry used to sustain and assess the nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear tests. The experiments carried out within the program are used in combination with complex computational models and NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program to assess the safety, security and effectiveness of the stockpile. An extraordinary set of science, technology and engineering (ST&E) facilities have been established in support of the stockpile stewardship program.

The National Security Campus culminated its Diversity Among Us-themed celebration with a special guest speaker on March 13. Dr. Andres Sayles, DOE Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, spoke to employees about inclusion and fostering mentorships. He praised employees’ passion for encouraging STEM education and volunteering in the classroom.

Dr. Sayles joined the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in September 2013. In his role, Sayles supports initiatives that ensure underrepresented communities and minority businesses fully participate in DOE programs and are favorably impacted by energy policies. Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Sayles was the Director of Diversity Strategy and Implementation for the U.S. Army, where he developed and led implementation of strategic plans that sustained the Army as a national leader in diversity and supported the Army’s 1.3 million soldiers and civilians who serve our country.

NSC employees celebrate diversity

Elaine Bunn, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy (DASD/NMD), today spoke at NNSA about her experiences across the nuclear enterprise. The talk was part of ongoing lectures hosted by Brig. Gen. James C. Dawkins, NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application. Today’s talk was co-hosted by Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI).

Bunn directs the offices of the Under Secretary for Policy that develops and reviews Departmental and National policies for nuclear and missile defense capabilities. These responsibilities include defining requirements for future capabilities, reviewing and adjusting operational planning, and leading discussions to develop strategies and options with allies and friends as well as international cooperation or agreements in the areas of nuclear forces, global strike and missile defense.

She has also served as a Distinguished Research Fellow in the Center for Strategic Research at National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and as a senior executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she worked for 20 years in international security policy.

Defense Programs lecture series continue

More than 40 engineers, scientists and technicians from the Savannah River Site recently brought creative science- and engineering-based demonstrations to more than 3,000 middle school students, captivating their minds with things like flying objects and robotic creatures to give them a broader understanding of the field of engineering.

Over a two-week period, employees of SRS management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions conducted  99 demonstrations at 31 middle schools in the region surrounding SRS in honor of National Engineers Week 2014

Called “teach-ins,” the demonstrations have proven to be instrumental in promoting the importance of a high level of math, science and technology literacy. 

Middle schools in seven South Carolina and Georgia counties have participated in this outreach program managed and sponsored by SRNS since 2008. During this time period, over 10,000 students from this region have benefited from the creative work and hours of effort provided by hundreds of enthusiastic teach-in volunteers.

National Engineers Week celebrates the positive contributions engineers make to society and is a catalyst for outreach across the country to kids and adults alike.

About the photo:
Savannah River Tritium Enterprise engineer Bill Wabbersen explains how air can be used to float a home-made hovercraft capable of supporting two students at the 2014 teach-in at Riverside Middle School in Evans, Ga.

SRS 'teach-ins' show why math and science are cool

The Y-12 Apprentice Program recently celebrated its third graduating class as 27 participants gained their journeyman status.

Each graduate spent three to four years with a journeyman and attended between 144 and 246 hours of classroom training each year on his or her own time, usually in the evenings at local union halls.

Those graduating include Adam Braden, Daniel Brown, Jessica Griffin, Kevin Christmas, Benjamin Dickerson, Erin Earley, David Gates, Chris Hackworth, Jason Harris, Richard Henry, Raymond Hutzler, Kristie Lee, Michael Lopez, Lee McCurry, Tommy Melhorn, Donna, Whitson Cinnamon Williams and Zachary Yost as electricians; Lance Branum and Brandon Gibson as pipe fitters; Jonathan Bowling, Joshua Howard, Rodney Howard and Benjamin Kerwin as HVAC technicians; Samuel Irwin and David White, Jr. as insulators; and Joseph Riordian as a welder.

Read more.

Y-12 Apprentice Program celebrates third graduating classLance Branum (at right) receives congratulations on achieving his journeyman status as a pipe fitter from father Jim, (at left) a Y-12 pipe fitter. Lance makes the fourth generation of Branums working at Y-12.

Y-12 Apprentice Program celebrates third graduating class
Y-12 apprentice graduate Jessica Griffen receives congratulations on achieving her journeyman status as an electrician from husband Gabriel and their four-month-old daughter Berkley.

Y-12 Apprentice Program celebrates third graduating class
Y-12 apprentice graduate David Gates shows son Lucas the certificate of achievement he received at the recent ceremony. Gates, now a journeyman electrician, was one of the 27 Y-12 apprentice graduates.

A group of explosives experts have been honored with a Defense Programs Award of Excellence for their help in securing supply of a critical material for the Departments of Energy and Defense.

The four Pantexans, Tod Botcher, Tony Dutton, Ken Franklin and Kathy Mitchell, played a leadership role in a Defense Logistics Agency team that was tasked with developing a supply of a type of high explosives (HE) that has been out of production for 30 years. The Pantex contributors applied expertise developed over decades of work with HE; expertise that made Pantex the DOE’s HE Center of Excellence for Manufacturing.

The HE, known as Triaminotrinitrobenzene (TATB), is used by both the DOD and DOE in conventional and nuclear weapons. TATB was produced in large quantities in the 1970s and 1980s. With a large stockpile on hand, production ceased. Increased usage by the military and by NNSA in nuclear Life Extension Programs meant the supply was expected to be insufficient in the coming years.

Pantex had previously synthesized TATB and participated in scaling up the process for commercial production of the explosives in the 1980s, so the Pantex team had a key role to fill in managing the process of finding a new supplier. Once it is qualified, full production of TATB will take place at Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Tennessee.

The DP Award was presented by NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application Brig. General James C. Dawkins Jr.

About the photo:
NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application Brig. General James C. Dawkins Jr., center, presents a Defense Programs Award of Excellence to Kathy Mitchell and Tod Botcher. The two awardees, along with fellow Pantexans Tony Dutton and Ken Franklin, were recognized for managing a team that helped procure a new source for a key type of High Explosive that had been out of production for 30 years.

NNSA honors Pantex explosives experts