NNSA Blog

Kirsten E. McNeil, Foreign Affairs Specialist, U.S. Export Enforcement Support, Office of Nonproliferation and International Security at NNSA, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Linton Brooks Medal for Dedication to Public Service. She was recognized today for her outstanding service to NNSA. Former NNSA Administrator Brooks and NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino presented the medal to Kirsten.

Among Kirsten's many accomplishments, she was instrumental in NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security (NIS) development of a sustained effort to adapt a unique set of NNSA assets to support U.S. enforcement. Kirsten’s commitment, professionalism and cutting-edge efforts have resulted in a dedicated support program through which NNSA provides coordinated training and real-time technical reach-back support for U.S. enforcement agencies.

Additionally, as the lead point of contact between NNSA and all U.S. export enforcement agencies, Kirsten has created strong working level interagency partnerships, and has helped to elevate the dual–use smuggling issue. These accomplishments demonstrate her devotion to the NNSA mission and commitment to excellence in the service of national security.

Kirsten has a Master of Arts in Security Studies from Georgetown University and both a Master and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University. Kirsten resides in northern Virginia with her husband Sean and their 14-month old daughter, Claire.

The Linton F. Brooks Medal for Dedication to Public Service, named for former NNSA Administrator Brooks, was established in 2008 to recognize employees with fewer than five years of civilian Federal service and fewer than five years of professional experience, whose actions and deeds exemplify the spirit of public service commitment.

Nov 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Representatives from 23 federal agencies, including NNSA, recently observed emergency response drills in Washington State’s Puget Sound. The full-scale exercise was designed to prevent and respond to a simulated small vessel radiological/nuclear smuggling scenario. It was part of the Puget Sound Area Maritime Training and Exercise Program led by the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.

The full-scale exercise comprised two scenarios: a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device on a Washington State ferry and radiological/nuclear smuggling on a small vessel. Dick Pappas of NNSA’s Office of Second Line of Defense observed the drills and full-scale exercise. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory provided technical support for the specialized detection equipment, training, drills, and exercise.

The Small Vessel Preventative Radiological/Nuclear Detection effort began as a Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office pilot in 2007. The continued initiative is now funded via port security grants with the Seattle Fire Department as the regional grantee.

About the photos:
(left)  Dick Pappas (left) observes a joint U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection boarding team during drills in Sequim Bay, Wash.
(right)  Law enforcement members detain a “threat vessel” during a port security simulation exercise.

Law enforcement members detain a “threat vessel."Dick Pappas (left) observes drills in Sequim Bay, Wash.







Nov 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

NNSA BlogA Knoxville engineering resources firm recently became the newest licensee of technology developed at the Y-12 National Security Complex. MK Technologies Corporation is now the exclusive commercial patent licensee of SIMWyPES®, a method of enhancing cleaning items so that they leave dry surfaces ultraclean.

The environmentally friendly method of removing contamination on a nanoscale level incorporates a highly effective nontoxic proprietary treatment that transfers no residue to cleaned surfaces. A variety of items including cloths, swabs, polishers, filters and sponges can be treated. The company plans to start production in 2013. Read about the cleaning technology.

About the photo:
MK Technologies CEO and founder Mike Carroll and director of strategic development and acquisition Chris Van Beke met Y-12 chemist and inventor Ron Simandl in his Y-12 laboratory to see the SIMWyPES® production process along with a sampling of its numerous applications. From left, Simandl shows Van Beke and Carroll two of a variety of items enhanced with SIMWyPES® technology.

Oct 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm

NNSA BlogPantexans are proud of the work they do to “Secure America,” but Wanda Call was looking to make an impact on a more local security issue in her spare time. Call, the Internal Audit Manager for B&W Pantex, found the opportunity she was looking for three years ago when she became treasurer for Amarillo Crime Stoppers.

“My special interest in Crime Stoppers was to make Amarillo and the surrounding communities a safer place to live and work by getting criminals off the street,” Call said.

Call was honored for her dedication last week when she received the Board Member of the Year Award from the Texas Crime Stoppers Council, the first time the honor has gone to a board member from Amarillo, said Cpl. Sean Slover, coordinator of Amarillo Crime Stoppers Inc.

Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards to individuals who anonymously give tips about criminals that ultimately lead to arrest. Call, who has worked at Pantex more than 13 years, picked up her award at the 24th Annual Texas Crime Stoppers Conference in New Braunfels, Texas, earlier this month.

About the photo (from left to right):
Chief W. Randy McDaniel - Council Member, Officer Ernesto “Ernie” Rodriguez, Jr. - Council Member, Wanda Call - Amarillo Crime Stoppers Treasurer, Jorge Gaytan - Council Chairman, Emerson Frederick Lane, Jr. - Council Vice Chairman

Oct 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Los Alamos National Laboratory recently showcased some of its cutting-edge research concepts at the annual Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) event, “Creating Our Tomorrows, LDRD Day 2012.” LDRD Day is a rare opportunity to get a glimpse into the future of science and engineering at LANL.

LDRD funding supports the most advanced, high-risk ideas at LANL. LDRD at LANL is a prestigious source of internal funding awarded to top-notch scientists and engineers to address national problems in the areas of energy security, nuclear security and scientific discovery and innovation.

Oct 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

NNSA BlogAs part of the project to translocate 60 desert tortoises to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), a competition was held to name the fastest moving tortoise. From the more than 100 suggested names, Scurry was the winner with 30 votes posted on NNSS’s Facebook page. Second place was Rock Steady and third place was Taco.

The name Scurry certainly fits this young but incredibly fast tortoise, who has traveled more than six kilometers since Sept. 21, 2012, when he and 59 of his friends were moved from the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas to the Nevada National Security Site.

Following the translocation, Scurry immediately went on the move and surpassed even the quickest of his mates. Most of the tortoises, including Scurry, are settling down now and are expected to claim one general burrowing location for the rest of the fall and winter. Each week researchers continue to record the location, burrow size and type and the kind of plants surrounding the burrows of each tortoise.

The winning name came from Patricia Guy Cooper who received a gift basket provided by the Nevada Field Office.

Oct 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

NNSA Blog

Brian Bielecki, Director & Facility Security Officer for Security & Emergency Management at Sandia National Laboratories (right), provided NNSA Associate Principal Deputy Administrator and Associate Administrator for Infrastructure and Operations Michael Lempke (left) and NNSA Sandia Field Office Manager Geoff Beausoleil a tour of the Emergency Operations Center during Lempke’s inaugural visit to the site last week. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Oct 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

NNSA Blog

 

Steve Castillo, manager of Sandia’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems Engineering & Decision Support group, has been named 2012 Engineer of the Year by the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC).

He received HENAAC’s highest honor, which recognizes leadership and technical or scientific achievements.

Castillo received the Engineer of the Year award at the organization’s annual conference. HENAAC was established in 1989 to honor the contributions of outstanding Hispanic American science, engineering, technology and math professionals.

Read about the award.

Oct 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Five Pantex volunteers recently partnered with Girl Scouts to put on a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) workshop for elementary-aged girls and assisted the Girl Scouts with their STEM-based activities.

Savannah Gates, a Pantex volunteer, said she jumped on the opportunity to volunteer with the Girl Scouts in hopes of being one of the rippling sources for the younger generation of girls.

"It felt so right being surrounded by the women working effortlessly to shape, guide and enable the next generation of young women into the strong female figures of tomorrow,” she said.

Kathi Schutz, Amarillo Area Director for the Girl Scouts, said she was grateful that the women engineers came on the day the Girl Scouts were focused on engineering.

"They made the activities for the girls special just with their insight and passion for their profession,"  said Schutz. "This group of women spent one afternoon with girls and just by being young professional role models, influenced so many girls in a profound way."

NNSA Blog

NNSA Blog

About the photo:
Pantex engineers who partnered with Girl Scouts in Amarillo (left to right): Jessie Phifer, Savannah Gates, Ashley Taylor, Raquel Barrera, Brandy Ramirez

Oct 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

NNSA BlogY-12 has taken additional steps to reduce its energy costs by installing nearly 100,000 square feet of new heat reflective cool roofs at the Oak Ridge, Tenn. facility. The latest Y-12 cool roofs were added to Buildings 9204-2E and 9103. Fifteen percent of roofs at Y-12 are currently equipped with cool roof technology. This technology is expected to be applied to the majority of Y-12 roofs.  

“Replacing older, heat-absorbing roofs with the heat-reflective cool roofs is part of NNSA’s strategy to achieve energy and cost efficiencies,” said Dino Herrera, NNSA's Deputy Associate Deputy Administrator for Infrastructure and Construction. “We strive to lead the way as good stewards of the environment.”

The light-colored cool roofs reflect more heat than darker roofs emitting absorbed solar radiation back into the atmosphere. By doing so, the roof covering remains relatively cooler and less likely to transfer heat down through the other components of the roof system and into the building.NNSA Blog

The average energy savings for cool roofs range up to 15 percent of total cooling costs. Under the Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program Roof Asset Management Program, NNSA has installed nearly three million square feet of cool roofs at eight sites across the country and expects to save energy and related costs over the next several years.


About the photos:

(top right) Y-12 workers install a new “cool” roof on Building 9103 as part of NNSA’s Roof Asset Management Program.
(bottom left) A newly installed “cool” roof on Building 9204-2E.

Oct 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm