Category Archives: ORNL

Sen. Alexander comments on ‘Tennessine’

alexandersummitSen. Lamar Alexander’s office this afternoon released a statement on the proposal to name a new element — Element 117 on the periodic chart — as “Tennessine” to recognize the contributions to the discovery by scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University.

Here’s an excerpt from Alexander’s comments: Continue reading

DOE’s Small Business Awards

Boston Government Services LLC,  based in Lenoir City, was honored as the Department of Energy’s small and disadvantaged business of the year at the annual awards ceremony held recently in Atlanta. BGS was recogonized for its support of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other activities.

Other local winners included BES Technologies of Oak Ridge, which was recognized as service-disabled, veteran-owned small business of the year. City-State LLC of Knoxville was honored as HUBZONE small business of the year. Continue reading

New element to be called Tennessine; recognizes work of ORNL, as well as UT and Vandy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which played a key role in the 2010 discovery and later confirmation of a series of new super-heavy elements, has been rewarded with the naming of one of the elements “Tennessine.”element

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced the “provisional recommendation” that Element 117 be called Tennessine. Its symbol on the periodic table will be Ts. The provisional name will now undergo a five-month public review before final approval.

The name also recognizes the contributions of the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University. The discovery team for three of the elements included 72 scientists from 16 institutions around the world. Continue reading

Gu elected fellow of Geological Society

guBaohua Gu, a distinguished senior scientist in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Environmental Sciences Division, has been elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Gu, who earned a doctorate in environmental chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, holds a joint appointment as a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research areas include biogeochemical transformation and transport of environmental pollutants, soil carbon–mineral interfacial interactions, spectroscopic studies and environmental applications. Continue reading

ORNL’s Kalinin in elite company


Sergei Kalinin, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, has been named one of 31 national finalists for the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. He is listed in the physical sciences and engineering category. The awards will be announced later this month. The awards, which are administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, were established in 2007. Kalinin directs ORNL’s Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials, specializing in the development of scanning probe microscopy techniques to measure and control the structure and properties of materials.

Ed Westcott exhibit opens Friday

girlscouts.jpgThis is one of Ed Westcott’s iconic Oak Ridge photos, and a favorite of mine. A Girl Scout troop walks past the Graphite Reactor on a June 9, 1951 field trip to Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  It has an eerie feel to it, with the innocence of the Girl Scouts contrasting against the industrial, forboding backdrop of the Graphite Reactor in the early years at the Oak Ridge lab. Click on pic to enlarge. (DOE archives/Ed Westcott photo)

An exhibit featuring the photographs of Ed Westcott, the government’s Oak Ridge photographer for the World War II Manhattan Project and the years that followed, will open Friday at the UT Downtown Gallery, 106 S. Gay St., Knoxville.FullSizeRender

The exhibit includes more than 50 of Westcott’s photos that were previously shown in 2005, with additional works to be included in the 2016 exhibit — which will run through Aug. 6.

Westcott is scheduled to be at Friday’s opening, from 6:30 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m. The reception begins at 5 p.m. Continue reading

Salute to an ORNL star

wilbanks3Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist Tom Wilbanks, a long-time Corporate Research Fellow who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for work on global climate change, is shown here in 2012 photo in his office. (KNS photo/Munger)

As I prepare for retirement at the end of the month, one of my heroes beat me to it.

Earlier this week, on the 39th anniversary of his arrival, Tom Wilbanks retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Wilbanks is a celebrated scientist, valued spokesman for the research staff at the Oak Ridge lab, and one of the genuinely nice people I’ve encountered in my career. Continue reading

Metis — a little bit of Titan

Buddy Bland, project director Summit Supercomputer Wednesday, April 20, 2016.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)Buddy Bland, director of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, explains Metis to me during a visit to ORNL earlier this spring. Metis is a two-cabinet Cray XK7 system that’s used by lab researchers to develop codes for Titan — a 200-cabinet version that is the nation’s fastest computer. Metis was placed in what’s called CADES (Compute and Data Environment for Science), which provides support capabilities for scientists using the stable of supercomputers for research projects. Something similar to Metis will reportedly be delivered to Oak Ridge in advance of Summit, an IBM supercomputer that’s under development and expected to be the next big thing, with capabilities in the range of 150 to 300 petaflops. (KNS photo/Michael Patrick)

ORNL signs sharing pact with Cincinnati Inc. on additive manufacturing developments

additive2The Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) 3-D printer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility is a result of the lab’s partnership with Cincinnati Inc. (ORNL photo)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced Tuesday it has signed a “nonexclusive licensing agreement” with Cincinnati Inc. that allows the Ohio company to use ORNL patents related to large-scale 3-D manufacturing.

“Under the agreement, Cincinnati Incorporated may make, use or sell the lab’s patented developments of enhanced additive manufacturing with a reciprocating platen that enables the manufacture of parts much larger and with higher quality than current standards,” the lab said in the announcement. Continue reading

GE uses ORNL’s Titan to study combustion

combustionA simulation of combustion within two adjacent gas turbine combustors. (ORNL image)

General Electric has used Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Titan supercomputer — a Cray XK7 system capable of more than 20 million billion calculations per second — to simulate combustion and increase the efficiency of GE’s H class natural gas-powered turbines, which are reportedly the most efficient turbines of their kind. Continue reading

Carbon fiber happenings at ORNL

carbonfiberOak Ridge National Laboratory announced recently that it had signed an “exclusive licensing agreement” with RMX Technologies of Knoxville. The agreement covers a new technology that reduces the time and energy needed in production of carbon fiber — a lightweight material with bundles of promising applications, especially in motor vehicles.

“Lowering the cost and expanding the use of strong, lightweight carbon fiber will improve the energy efficiency of products including cars, trucks, and aircraft without sacrificing safety,” the lab said in the announcement. Continue reading