Eileen JohnstonEileen Johnston, assistant manager for Safeguards and Security at the NNSA's Sandia Field Office, was recently awarded the NNSA Silver Medal. Eileen was selected for the award by former NNSA Administrator Tom D'Agostino for her exceptional service and unwavering dedication and commitment to safeguards and security for the NNSA and DOE.

Eileen's leadership and oversight expertise has set the standard for safeguards and security budget development across the Enterprise. Her high-level guidance and direction helped to ensure effective and efficient utilization of safeguards and security funds by Sandia National Laboratories. It is estimated that the cost savings at the site are in excess of $2 million. Eileen has made significant contributions by applying her knowledge and leadership to assist at other NNSA sites as well. Her security subject matter expertise was invaluable in the recent technical evaluation of security performance and past data at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

About the photo:
Sandia Field Office Manager Geoff Beausoleil presents Eileen Johnston with the NNSA Silver Medal.

Feb 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Senator Udall

Sandia National Laboratories this week celebrated the formal opening of its Cybersecurity Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL). Among those who spoke at the opening were Sandia Labs’ Director Paul Hommert, Cray Computer’s CEO Pete Ungaro, Senator Tom Udall, Representative Ben Ray Lujan, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, and Dimitri Kusnezov, NNSA Chief Scientist and Director of the Office of Science and Policy.

The CERL, located in the Sandia Science and Technology Park in Albuquerque, N.M., is part of the Cyber Engineering Research Institute (CERI) which include Sandia’s cyber research staff and two facilities: CERL and the Cyber Technology Research Laboratory (CTRL), located in the Livermore Valley Open Campus in California. The CERI focuses on open, exploratory research in cyber security in partnership with academia and industry and provides collaborators an accessible portal to Sandia’s cybersecurity experts and facilities. The two research facilities are established outside Sandia’s classified campus to facilitate hosting of academic and industry collaborators.


Feb 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Technician Frank Cebreros tests the activation of the target shroud

The NIF team completed a record 28 laser shots on targets last month, along with two shots without targets. January also saw a significant increase in NIF's experimental flexibility, as the team completed 40 laser wavelength changes – more than double the number in any previous month. Changing the laser wavelength by a few angstroms in different cones of laser beams enables researchers to adjust the amount of energy reaching different areas of the hohlraum targets.

Read more.

About the photo:
Technician Frank Cebreros tests the activation of the target shroud in the NIF cryogenic target positioner (CryoTARPOS) in preparation for the Jan. 6 tantalum EOS experiment.

Feb 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

Y-12 recently honored 12 individuals for receiving U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patents and 74 individuals for submitting invention disclosures. The individuals were honored at the ninth annual Y-12 Technology Transfer awards ceremony.

The year was a record-breaking one for new patents at Y-12, with 11 awarded. The Silver Acorn Award, presented to first-time patent recipients, went to Ed Babelay, Bill Barkman, Amy DeMint, Jackie Gooch, Patrick Thomas and Paul Vanatta. Ashley Stowe and Lee Bzorgi each earned a Technology Support Award. Six honorees took home cash in the form of a Government Use Award, which recognizes inventions that add significant value to DOE or other government agencies.

Read more.

Ninth annual Y-12 Technology Transfer awards ceremony

Feb 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Blue Valley West team

After a full day of intense competition, Blue Valley West and Fort Zumwalt South high schools claimed the top two seats at Kansas City Regional Science Knowledge Bowl. They will represent the Kansas City region this spring at DOE’s National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.

The event took place last Saturday at Rockhurst University and brought together some of the brightest students from more than 64 high schools teams from Kansas and Missouri. The match competition was in quiz-show format with questions on biology, chemistry, physics, earth/space science, mathematics and computer science.

Local school Blue Valley West of Overland Park, Kan., claimed the Kansas Division and bragging rights as three-time Divisional Champions, while Fort Zumwalt South of St. Peters, Mo., traveled more than 230 miles to win their first Divisional Championship in the Missouri Division.

The Kansas City competition has grown to become one of the largest of the more than 60 DOE-sponsored regional science bowls in the country. It has been co-sponsored by the NNSA’s Kansas City Plant and managing contractor, Honeywell since 1991. Approximately 100 volunteers from the Kansas City Plant assisted with this year’s event.

About the photos:
Blue Valley West (top) and Fort Zumwalt South (bottom) high schools claimed the top two seats at Kansas City Regional Science Knowledge Bowl.

Fort Zumwalt South team

Feb 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Los Alamos High School students headed to DOE National Science Bowl

Students from Los Alamos High School will represent New Mexico at the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl in May. The team took first place on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the New Mexico Regional High School Competition after besting 28 teams representing 14 New Mexican high schools.

Students answered questions related to astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, math, trigonometry and calculus during the fast-paced, 10-hour, “Jeopardy” style competition. The winning team received a $5,000 check for their school and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete against top teams across the nation in late April.

About the photo:
The students representing Los Alamos are Willie Zhao, Aaron Bao, Alex Wang, Alex Swart and team captain Kevin Gao, coached by Kathy Boerigter. Second and third place went to Albuquerque Academy and La Cueva High School, respectively.

Feb 19, 2013 at 11:00 am

Sandia chemical engineer Nancy Jackson

Space exploration, fusion energy, relevance of combustion engines and other topics will be presented by representatives from NNSA’s national labs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, Feb. 14-18 in Boston.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory representatives will highlight expertise in fusion energy and space exploration. Read about the presentations by LLNL’s Mike Dunne, Debbie Callahan and Elizabeth Cantwell.

Nils Hansen from Sandia National Laboratories will participate on a panel concerning transportation energy issues. Sandia’s Nancy Jackson will be honored with the 2013 Science Diplomacy Award. Jackson has worked in laboratories around the world to help ensure that chemicals are used safely and kept secure.

Dick Sayre from Los Alamos National Laboratory will discuss his work on optimizing biomass productivity from algae. Dave Clark, director of LANL’s National Security and Education Center, will be part of a panel to discuss new frontiers of the periodic table and state-of-the-art electronic structure theory.

For a complete listing of all presentations, see the 2013 AAAS annual meeting website.

About the photo:
Sandia chemical engineer Nancy Jackson will be honored at the AAAS annual meeting with the 2013 Science Diplomacy Award.

Feb 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

ARGUS ILawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories have contributed to a decade of revolutionary research that has helped create the first ever retinal prosthesis – or bionic eye. The artificial retina, dubbed the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for blind individuals with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa.

The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System proves to be an aid to those blinded by the disease retinitis pigmentosa, which can run in families and is estimated by the National Institutes of Health to affect about one in 4,000 people in the United States. Over the ten year lifetime of the project, the Department of Energy has provided $75.2 million for the development of technologies aimed at advancing artificial retinas like the Argus II.

See more.

Feb 15, 2013 at 10:00 am


The American Red Cross was at NNSA's Kansas City Plant yesterday to honor a special group of employees for saving a coworker's life with CPR. The employees were presented the highest American Red Cross award. The award, signed by President Obama, is only presented once or twice in the region each year. More than 300 KCP employees are trained in CPR and automated external defibrillator use.

About the photo:
KCP Electronics Equipment Technician George Hickman, center, was saved by a group of KCP employees who performed CPR on Hickman. The employees were honored by the American Red Cross yesterday.

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Pantex Science Bowl - Dumas

More than 30 teams from various students from across the Texas Panhandle took part in the annual Science Bowl competition this weekend at West Texas A&M University hosted by Pantex.

The students had been preparing for months to compete in the competition, which challenges students to answer questions in math and science for prizes, prestige and the right to represent the area at the national competition in Washington, D.C. Part of the goal of the competition is to help foster enthusiasm for science and engineering in young students.

Dumas Junior High School (Black Team) took first place. Second place went to Canyon Junior High School and third place went to Panhandle Junior High School (Purple Team).

Pantex Science Bowl - CanyonPantex Science Bowl - Panhandle

Feb 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm