Pantex employees on Saturday got a chance to check out the 2013 Capitol Christmas tree and helped serve snacks to attendees at an event celebrating the visit. The 88-foot tall Engelmann spruce was harvested from the Collville National Forest in Washington and will be erected at the Capitol Building. Babcock & Wilcox was one of the corporate sponsors of the tree tour which will make 22 stops, including Amarillo, Texas, before arriving in Washington, D.C.
Tiffany A. Blanchard-Case has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Linton Brooks Medal for Dedication to Public Service. She was recognized yesterday for her outstanding service to NNSA and the American people. Former NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks and Acting NNSA Administrator Bruce Held presented the medal to Tiffany.
Tiffany has served with distinction within the NNSA’s Office of Global Threat Reduction. She has led efforts within the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus to secure and remove vulnerable radioactive sources. She has spearheaded projects to improve transportation security and regulations on radioactive source security. Her efforts resulted in the recovery and disposition of thousands of radioactive sources representing the equivalent of more than 5,000 dirty bombs thus, making the United States and the international community safer from terrorism. Her dedication, creativity, and innovative spirit have helped to overcome technical and bureaucratic obstacles and furthered the success of the NNSA’s nonproliferation programs.
Prior to her current position, Tiffany worked within the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation as part of the Nonproliferation Graduate Fellowship Program. Prior to her employment with the U.S. Department of Energy, Tiffany worked in the United States Congress, serving in the office of a legislator in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Tiffany holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish Translation from Kent State University.
About the photos:
Top: Blanchard-Case with former NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks (left) and NNSA Acting Administrator Bruce Held (right).
Bottom: Blanchard-Case with her family.
More than 500 Pantexans and their families attended Pantex Night at the Don Harrington Discovery Center Sunday. The event featured an exhibit on the extinct Megalodon shark as well as a mummy in the Lost Egypt exhibit. B&W Pantex sponsored the shark exhibit.
Quality New Mexico, the New Mexico Performance Excellence Awards Administrator, has announced 13 quality award recipients for 2013, including two Sandia organizations.
Sandia’s Tech Area V earned a Roadrunner award. Roadrunner recipients demonstrate substantial progress in building sound and systematic processes to strengthen overall operations and attain improved outcomes. This is evaluated through an assessment and site visit.
Sandia’s Payroll Dept. earned a Piñon award. Piñon recipients demonstrate commitment and show evidence through their assessment and site visit that they are using systematic processes and data to strengthen overall operations and attain improved outcomes.
The New Mexico Performance Excellence Awards are modeled after the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. They provide applicants with feedback on strengths and opportunities for improvement, based on the time-tested Baldridge Criteria for Performance Exellence.
Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers are investigating the complex relationships between the spread of the HIV virus in a population (epidemiology) and the actual, rapid evolution of the virus (phylogenetics) within each patient’s body.
The team models the uninfected population using traditional differential equations on the computer; this is done for computational speed, because an agent-based component is much more demanding. The team has developed novel ways of estimating epidemics dynamics such as who infected whom, and the true population incidence of infection versus mere diagnoses dates.
About the photo:
Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocytes. The image has been colored to highlight important features. Photo credit: C. Goldsmith, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) was awarded the 2013 Non-Conventional Threat (NCT): CBRNe Capability Award. This award is one of several given annually by IB Consultancy (IBC), a company that provides defence and security services and organizes related events worldwide to connect businesses, governments, NGOs and subject matter experts. The CBRNe Capability Award is given to a country or organization for improving its conventional, biological, radiological and nuclear explosives (CBRNe) capability, or for initiating or executing a capability development program that impacts another country or organization.
Some of the criteria for the award include proven end-user benefit; lasting impact on the CBRNe capability of a country, region or group of countries; and proven efficiency with regards to cost and avoiding duplication with other forms of assistance and/or development. Also nominated for the award were programs from the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). SLD’s capacity-building work in the area of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security was selected as the winner for the award in September 2013.
NNSA’s SLD program works to strengthen the capabilities of partner countries to combat the illicit trafficking of special nuclear and other radiological materials at international border crossings and checkpoints. SLD accomplishes its mission by providing partner countries with radiation detection equipment, communications systems and training that will enable them to respond effectively to radiation alarms. The program also provides partners with support to further develop their capability to operate and maintain these detections systems over the long-term. To date, SLD has equipped 500 sites in more than 50 countries with radiation detection equipment.
About the photo:
The CBRNe Capability Award is presented to Elly Melamed (middle) and Dick Pappas (right) of the Office of the Second Line of Defense. The award was accepted on behalf of SLD by Guy Roberts (left).
Four of Popular Science’s 100 best innovations from 2013 are from NNSA national laboratories. Los Alamos National Laboratory’s MiniMAX was recognized in the Security category as the world’s smallest, most portable X-ray machine. Sandia National Laboratories was recognized in the Engineering category for its fiber-optic network, the world’s largest high-speed LAN, and in the Security category for its non-detonable fertilizer formula. Ammonium nitrate fertilizer was used in most of the IEDs found in Afghanistan. A Sandia engineer developed a fertilizer that uses iron sulfite in the mixture, suppressing detonation. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was recognized for creating the first-ever retinal prosthesis, or bionic eye.
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A group of Pantex engineers spent their Saturday putting on an annual engineering workshop, known as S’More Engineering, for Amarillo-area Girl Scouts.
The engineers helped the Girl Scouts with several projects that demonstrated fundamental engineering concepts. One challenge was an egg drop, in which the girls built structures that would allow an egg to survive a one-story drop. Another activity, called Angry Birds, involved building catapults and other launching devices that re-created the popular mobile game app.
NNSA Acting Administrator Bruce Held visited Pantex Thursday and during an all hands meeting he told employees that they are supported and appreciated. “It is important to me to tell you thanks for what you do, because we don’t do that enough. The work done here is profoundly important to the security and well-being of our nation,” Held said.
After the meeting, he toured plant facilities and visited with employees at the NNSA Production Office.
After several years of collaborative work, the Kansas City Plant has implemented an innovative solution that integrates the Personal Identification Verification (PIV) badge by combining logical and physical access based on the Smart Card technology.
This work was recently honored by the Kansas City Business Journal’s 2013 KC ImpacT Award, which recognizes organizations that use technology to solve problems.
It's typically too expensive to replace existing physical access systems since they tend to be ingrained in the infrastructure. However, the move to the National Security Campus provided a unique opportunity to implement this solution. As a result, KCP is the first site within the DOE to integrate all the appropriate databases to seamlessly provide physical and logistical access in a streamlined process.
This effort has directly impacted the success of employees relocating to the National Security Campus and will ultimately result in a cost savings of $1 million.