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.
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.
Lance 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 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 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.
On Feb. 28, 1949, during Harry S. Truman's Presidency, the Bendix Corporation signed a prime contract to operate the Kansas City Plant for the Atomic Energy Commission. Today, the Kansas City Plant is celebrating 65 years of delivering on its national security mission and nearing the end of one of the largest industrial moves in the nation to the new state-of-the-art National Security Campus.
This week, NNSA brought together researchers from various academic programs to report on their accomplishments over the past year and promote interaction in areas of physical science relevant to stockpile stewardship.
Sponsored by NNSA's Office of Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, the symposium is geared toward NNSA-supported researchers with grants or cooperative agreements as part of the Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Program, the High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP) Program, the National Laser Users' Facility (NLUF) Program and the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP).
One of the goals of the symposium is to highlight accomplishments of the academic programs and encourage student and postdoctoral researcher involvement and interaction with the scientific community.
Presentations on topics of general interest were given by national lab participants. All presentations and discussions were unclassified. In addition, students and post-docs highlighted their work during a poster reception.
About the photos:
Bruce Held, Acting Administrator and Acting Undersecretary for Nuclear Security, spoke at the Stewardship Science Academic Programs Annual Review Symposium and met with various participants during the poster presentation.
Sandia National Laboratories’ engineer Greg White has been chosen as one of the 2014 New Faces of Engineering, a recognition program that highlights the work of engineers under the age of 30.
The award is sponsored by the DiscoverE Foundation (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation), a coalition of engineering societies, major corporations and government agencies.
Dona Crawford, Associate Director for Computation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been selected as a member of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST).
The council is an assembly of corporate CEOs, academics, scientists and scholars who are leaders in their respective fields. CCST members provide expert counsel on the science and technology issues facing California. CCST was formed more than 20 years ago as an independent body to advise the legislature and state agencies on technical issues.
Crawford says many of the challenges California faces, such as energy, environment and cyber security, are also national concerns that are the focus of Livermore missions.
Sandia National Laboratories researchers Matthew Brake, Adrian Chavez, Seth Root and Daniel Stick have been named by President Barack Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE is the highest honor the U.S. government gives outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their careers.
About the photo:
Sandia researchers, left to right, Adrian Chavez, Matthew Brake, Seth Root and Daniel Stick will be recognized in a ceremony later this year as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering. (Photo by Randy Montoya)
Fifth Anniversary of Radiological Alarm Response Training for Local Law Enforcement and First Responders Across the Country
This week marks the fifth anniversary of NNSA’s Alarm Response Training (ART) program for local law enforcement and other critical first responders around the country. In the five years of providing this course, NNSA has trained more than 3,000 on-site radiation safety and security personnel, local law enforcement officers, and other first responders on how to respond to a security incident involving nuclear or radiological materials.
The three-day course is held at NNSA’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. While at Y-12, participants develop and discuss their own tactics, techniques, procedures, and protocols for responding to a theft or sabotage event involving radioactive materials. After two days of classroom instruction, Y-12 experts facilitate live-action scenarios in which participants get to test their knowledge and exercise their revised response plans.
The ART program is a key component of NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), which works domestically with volunteer sites like hospitals, universities, and industry as well as state and local governments to install sustainable security enhancements for high-priority nuclear and radiological materials.
GTRI achieves permanent threat reduction by converting research reactors and isotope production facilities from highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium, removing and disposing of excess nuclear and radiological materials, and protecting high priority nuclear and radiological materials from theft and sabotage.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s GTRI program, click here.
The Future City New Mexico Competition, a unique opportunity for middle school children to use their skills in engineering, planning, writing and art to create a vision for the future, was recently held. Learning about how town infrastructures are built and how resources are shared is essential for ensuring sustainable growth for our communities. More than 70 students from 22 New Mexico schools participated in this event. The winning team was Xenex City from Albuquerque Academy. The program is sponsored in part by Sandia National Laboratories and the National Nuclear Science & History Museum.