News

Yilu Liu: Governor’s Chair Pursues a Cure for an Aging Grid

It’s an interesting time to be a power systems engineer: renewable generation is flourishing and bringing with it a unique set of challenges. For a researcher like Yilu Liu with a love of problem-solving and prowess in both engineering and science, the task of modernizing the aged electricity grid is a surprisingly enjoyable one. Liu, the Governor’s Chair for Electronics, notes that her background and expertise fit well with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s mission to help upgrade the grid and seamlessly integrate renewable energy.

Acting EM Assistant Secretary Cange Stresses Role of Local Communities in Cleanup

Acting EM Assistant Secretary Sue Cange emphasized the role and value of local communities in the DOE cleanup mission in remarks to the Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) on Feb. 23. Cange highlighted how EM’s partnerships with local communities and other stakeholders helped achieve success across the DOE cleanup program in 2016, including completing the demolition of the former uranium enrichment process buildings at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park.

EM Marks Another Building Demolition at Oak Ridge

The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) is advancing toward Vision 2020 — its goal to complete cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) by 2020 and continue transferring the remaining land to private industry, benefiting the regional economy. The latest progress comes with removal of Building K-731. OREM and cleanup contractor URS | CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) began demolishing it on Aug. 30, moments after taking down the final pieces of Building K-27 and fulfilling Vision 2016.

New House Appropriations Chair Visits ORNL, Y-12

The new chair of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee visited Oak Ridge recently. During his visit, U.S. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, a New Jersey Republican, toured Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. The visit was hosted by Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge.

Y-12 Serves Up Asphalt Cookies

Nearly 200 high school students spent their day Thursday building towers and making asphalt at Y-12 National Security Complex. Actually, they built office supply towers and asphalt cookies at one of the 26 STEM-related booths during Y-12's Introduce a Girl to Engineering event. "This event gives an opportunity to girls to engage in conversations with engineers and see all the options for different career pathways they have," Kristin Waldschlager, CNS educational outreach coordinator, said.

UT Continues to Advance Manufacturing’s Growth, Transformation

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, recently got another boost in its growing role in advanced manufacturing with the appointment of a faculty member to a team focused on strengthening curriculum and student preparedness in the field. Chad Duty, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering, will join the newly created Expert Educator Team to help spread the growth of advanced manufacturing education through colleges.

3 Can’t-Miss Technologies at the 2017 ARPA-E Summit

From solar-powered motorcycles to self-piloting drones that sniff out methane leaks, there’s always something surprising on display at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit. This year’s summit is no different, with nearly 300 envelope-pushing energy technologies ready to wow the crowds at the Technology Showcase — many of them for the first time ever. Here’s a sneak preview of three live tech demos sure to impress at this annual gathering of the brightest minds and boldest thinkers in energy innovation.

ORNL Director Moving to New Post at Battelle

Thom Mason plans to depart on July 1, his 10th anniversary as lab director OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (Feb. 24, 2017) – Dr. Thom Mason will step down as director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory effective July 1, 2017, exactly 10 years after becoming director of the nation’s largest science and energy laboratory. Mason will take on a new role as Senior Vice President for Laboratory Operations at Battelle in Columbus, Ohio. Battelle, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, has managed and operated ORNL for the U.S. Department of Energy since April 2000.

Uranium Tailings once Found at Proposed Salt Lake City Homeless Shelter Site

Opponents of a proposed Sugar House homeless shelter now have the option to go nuclear. Salt Lake City has learned during the due diligence period for a $7 million land purchase that the site was once home to radioactive tailings from a long-shuttered uranium mill. Documents indicate that the property near 653 E. Simpson Ave. was part of a nationwide federal cleanup ordered by Congress in the late 1970s, but landowner records don't reveal the precise location of the tailings or the steps taken to remove them. The city has requested additional records from the Department of Energy and will conduct at least two rounds of environmental review.

UT, NOAA to Collaborate on Atmospheric Sciences Research

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Air Resources Laboratory to advance collaborative research in atmospheric sciences. The agreement, signed Feb. 15 at ATDD headquarters in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, will facilitate joint efforts to advance understanding of air pollution, atmospheric transport processes, and weather on a regional and national level. It also will create educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to collect scientific data, develop models and simulations, and transition research to applications and commercial use.