News

Hines Receives Mid-Career Award by American Nuclear Society

Department of Nuclear Engineering Head, Postelle Professor, and Chancellor’s Professor Wes Hines was the inaugural awardee for H.M. Hashemian Mid-Career Award from the American Nuclear Society at the ANS annual meeting. Established in 2018 by the ANS Human Factors, Instrumentation and Control Division (HFICD), this award recognizes an individual who has made a sustained significant contribution during the first 15-25 years of his or her career. The award both recognizes an individual’s sustained outstanding contributions to fields including nuclear instrumentation and control and honors “Hash” Hashemian, a UT alum and an internationally recognized expert in nuclear instrumentation and controls and avid proponent of the future generation of nuclear scientists and engineers.

Sandia Labs Appoints James Peery as Director

The next director of Sandia National Laboratories has ties to both national laboratories in New Mexico. James S. Peery will succeed Stephen Younger who is retiring at the end of the year. He will become the 16th laboratories director in Sandia’s 70-year history and will officially lead the labs beginning Jan. 1. Peery, 57, worked at Sandia from 1990 to 2002 and then again from 2007 to 2015. He has served in multiple leadership capacities at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories during his career. He currently serves as Associate Laboratory Director of National Security Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

4 Ways Nuclear is Moving Beyond ‘Traditional’ Electricity

As the nuclear industry wraps up a challenging decade, advocates for the power source are weighing where to fit the next wave of reactors into a U.S. energy marketplace increasingly focused on carbon emissions. And they're not just planning to produce electricity. Nuclear developers are finding alternative uses, from hydrogen production to water desalination, for the next generation of smaller, more flexible and more efficient reactor concepts — should they earn regulatory approval.

ORNL Story Tips, December 2019

Unique stories from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

New ORNL Study Of Sustainable Fuels

A technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and scaled up by Vertimass LLC to convert ethanol into fuels suitable for aviation, shipping and other heavy-duty applications can be price-competitive with conventional fuels while retaining the sustainability benefits of bio-based ethanol, according to a new analysis. ORNL worked with technology licensee Vertimass and researchers at 10 other institutions on a technoeconomic and a life cycle sustainability analysis of the process—single-step catalytic conversion of ethanol into hydrocarbon blendstocks that can be added to jet, diesel, or gasoline fuels to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. This new technology is called Consolidated Dehydration and Oligomerization, or CADO.

Officials Tour Area Where New Oak Ridge Airport Would be Located

A future airport could allow planes to take off and land from the Heritage Center at East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, known by many as the former K-25 site. Billy Stair, a spokesman for Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority(MKAA) led a tour of the property for the planned airport on Wednesday afternoon. While a memo sent out before the meeting stated the tour was for the MKAA Board of Commissioners, the van-full of people taking the tour also included Blount County Commissioner Joe Dawson and Oak Ridge resident Ray Garrett.

UT Adds Graduate Certificate in Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing is playing an ever-increasing role in the world’s economy, and UT is answering the call with research and innovation. The importance of this new method of production is reflected in additional classes devoted to the field as well as ongoing research. Seven of the prestigious UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chairs, as well as others throughout the university, are dedicated to studying advanced manufacturing or the materials that support it. With that solid foundation, UT will begin offering a graduate certificate in advanced manufacturing in January.

UT Professor Named Deputy US Chief Technology Officer

UT Professor Lynne Parker was one of two people named deputy US chief technology officer on Wednesday, joining Winter Casey in that honor. The US chief technology officer is a position within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where Parker has been serving as assistant director for artificial intelligence since August 2018. In this new role, she’ll help guide policies and efforts related to the industries of the future, which include quantum information science, advanced communications, advanced manufacturing, and the bio-economy, in addition to continuing a strong focus on artificial intelligence.

What Jobs are Affected by AI? Better-Paid, Better-Educated Workers Face the Most Exposure

Artificial intelligence (AI) has generated increasing interest in “future of work” discussions in recent years as the technology has achieved superhuman performance in a range of valuable tasks, ranging from manufacturing to radiology to legal contracts. With that said, though, it has been difficult to get a specific read on AI’s implications on the labor market. In part because the technologies have not yet been widely adopted, previous analyses have had to rely either on case studies or subjective assessments by experts to determine which occupations might be susceptible to a takeover by AI algorithms. What’s more, most research has concentrated on an undifferentiated array of “automation” technologies including robotics, software, and AI all at once. The result has been a lot of discussions—but not a lot of clarity—about AI, with prognostications that range from the utopian to the apocalyptic.

Y-12 Delivers Educational Outreach to Young Students

Oak Ridge second-grader Amya is one smart cookie. She might not be able to give a textbook explanation of Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, but she knows how to apply it. In a recent classroom experiment, Amya grasped a billiard ball on one end of a long, narrow wooden cradle and struck a line of billiard balls in the cradle, sending the ball on the opposite end rolling. There you have it: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. “I thought at first I was going to get all of the balls rolling, but I only got one,” Amya said. “I learned that.”