Sandia principal technologist Richard Simpson has filled a canyon with soap bubbles, shot photos of flaming liquefied natural gas from a helicopter, floated balloons hundreds of feet in the air to calibrate cameras, chopped out pieces of a Cape Canaveral launch pad to haul across the country for tests, and hoisted a beer with Paul Tibbets, pilot of the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan in World War II.
He also has been audited for buying such things as party bubble juice on his government procurement card.
“You buy 20 party bubble machines, they kind of wonder why. You buy 50 gallons of party bubble juice, and they really wonder why,” he said.
Simpson has worked with NASA, DOE, United Launch Alliance, the Air Force and others at Sandia and Cape Canaveral to help solve problems and sign agreements.
Read more about Simpson.
About the photo:
Principal Technologist Richard Simpson adjusts an igniter assembly at a lake Sandia built a few years ago to conduct the world’s largest liquefied natural gas fire tests ever done on water.
Y-12 historian Ray Smith, left, joins Lincoln Memorial University board of trustees chairman Pete DeBusk in front of the “Scientists Who Changed the World” exhibit in the university’s Math and Science Building. Smith contributed to the permanent display on the main campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. Located in LMU’s new Math and Science Building, the display pays tribute to nuclear energy research and the subsequent creation of what is now the U.S. Department of Energy. Read more about his work.
NNSA welcomes Air Force Col. James C. Dawkins Jr. as Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application. He will assist Don Cook, NNSA’s deputy administrator for Defense Programs, in directing the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which maintains the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile without underground nuclear testing.
Dawkins has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general.
Most recently, Dawkins served as the commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D. He was responsible for providing combat-ready B-52H Stratofortress aircraft, crews, and associated combat support for deterrence, crisis response, global power projection, major theater war and maritime operations and Air and Space Expeditionary Force deployments. He also served as the installation commander.
Dawkins was commissioned in 1989 from the Air Force Officer Training School. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours in the B-52, B-2, RC-135, F-16CJ and the F-111. He has commanded at the wing, group and squadron level and has served in two joint assignments involving nuclear operations and policy. He served as the deputy director for Global Innovation and Strategy Center at U.S. Strategic Command and as operations officer in the Directorate for Global Operations, J-3, the Joint Staff.
Dawkins has supported Operations Odyssey Dawn, Enduring Freedom, Decisive Guard, Northern Watch, and Southern Watch. He has also deployed as the director of International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Joint Operations Center in Afghanistan.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has published its 2012 annual report highlighting its work applying innovative science and technology to strengthen the nation's security.
See Livermore’s annual report.
A celebration was held yesterday to honor Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan, NNSA's Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application, for her service and commitment to NNSA. Finan has been selected to serve as commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in Albuquerque, N.M. Acting NNSA Administrator Neile Miller, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook, and others presented Finan with tokens of apperception to Finan.
Finan has been at NNSA since January 2011. Prior to NNSA, she served as the Inspector General of the Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) at Barksdale Air Force Base. She entered the Air National Guard in 1982 as an enlisted cryptographic equipment repairperson. Finan received her Air Force commission in 1985 as a distinguished graduate through Officer Training School.
Finan will succeed Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak. He has been selected for reassignment as Assistant Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon. A change of command ceremony is planned for Feb. 7 in Albuquerque.
Mike Roberts, Kansas City Field Office, was among the Secretarial Appreciation Award honorees recently at DOE in Washington D.C.
Roberts was recognized for Excellence in Project Management for his contributions as the Federal Project Director of the newly constructed $750 million replacement facility for NNSA’s Kansas City Plant. To meet a cost reduction target of $100 million annually for the Kansas City Plant, Roberts established a multi-agency project team of more than 45 federal and contractor engineering staff that used third-party financing to construct a 1.5 million square foot industrial facility with LEED gold certification in 29 months. Despite the complex nature of NNSA component fabrication requirements, the project was completed on time and within budget.
During the past two years, The Secretary of Energy has presented more than 60 individual and team awards to recognize Management and Operational excellence in support of the DOE’s vision for transformational clean energy, science, and security solutions that are significant, timely and cost effective.
For the third consecutive year, NNSA leadership hosted mayors from cities across the country while they were in Washington, D.C., for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Former NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino, acting NNSA Administrator Neile Miller and Associate Principal Deputy Administrator Michael Lempke met with the mayors representing major metropolitan cities and local communities, including Livermore, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Calif.; Albuquerque, Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Knoxville, Tenn.
NNSA leaders appreciated the opportunity to strengthen relationships with the leadership representing the communities where NNSA laboratories, plants, and sites are located and look forward to continuing to advance the nation’s nuclear security agenda with their partnership.
For the second year in a row, Pantex has been nominated by the Department of Energy and NNSA for an award in recognition of its efforts to research and protect migratory birds.
Pantex will represent the DOE/NNSA in the competition for the 2013 Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award, which has been administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 2011. Each federal agency is eligible to nominate one project or action conducted by or in partnership with a federal agency.
Read about the recognition.
About the photo:
Jim Ray, Pantex wildlife biologist, releases a Swainson’s Hawk after fitting it with a tracking device. The Swainson’s Hawk study is only one of several initiatives that led to Pantex being nominated to represent DOE/NNSA in the Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award.
Thanks to a Y-12 National Security Complex aluminum beverage can recycling program, more than 400 local organizations each received a $200 donation from the company since the program’s inception in 1994. Since then, more than $81,600 from recycling revenue has been donated to various community organizations.
The most recent recipients are Tabitha’s Table, an ecumenical Oak Ridge food ministry that provides a hot meal weekly; Family Promise of Knoxville, a program for individuals facing homelessness for the first time in their lives; Sunshine Industries, a therapeutic recreation program for handicapped adults who live in Knox County; and People Promoting Animal Welfare (PPAW), an organization that operates a feline/canine adoption center and spay/neuter clinic in Greenback and offers low-income families affordable sterilization of cats and dogs.
Read more about Y-12’s recycling.
About the photo:
PPAW Clinic assistant LeeAnn Burgett with recently adopted Oglethorpe, left, and director Deborah Searfoss, center, accept a Y-12 donation from Jan Jackson, Y-12 pollution prevention program coordinator.