Y-12 Celebrates Innovative Tech Accomplishments
Source: CNS Y-12 | Release | January 11, 2022
Inventions and patents recognized
Consolidated Nuclear Security recently celebrated innovations at Pantex and Y-12 during fiscal year 2021. Personnel behind nine inventions and five patents were recognized in a combined virtual ceremony.
Speaking to the attendees, Chief Operating Officer Bill Tindal challenged the inventors to develop a vision for leveraging transformative technology solutions to advance the National Security Enterprise. He noted, “Modeling of production processes helps us make decisions and determine how technologies can be applied by enabling understanding of the inherent complexity.”
Pantex Site Manager Jeff Yarbrough remarked on the necessity of innovation to support the increasing workload. He said, “We’re trying to replace a lot of sunsetting technology at Pantex, and we need to do that faster with innovators’ help.”
Nine inventions disclosed
Y-12 employees filed eight invention disclosures during FY 2021, ranging from environmental and electrical load controllers, to diagnostic tools, sensors and unique material processes. Among those recognized were Eric Spurgeon, Justin Holland, Rachel Bachorek, Robert Cole, Ed Ripley and Jacob Miller. At Pantex, Stephen Jones and Brian Harlow filed an invention disclosure for laser pulse shaping for a laser-powered bed fusion printer.
Five patents awarded
Y-12 employees were also awarded five patents in FY 2021:
- Toughened, Corrosion- and Wear-Resistant Composite Structures and Fabrication Methods Thereof by inventors Roland Seals (retired), Ed Ripley, and Rusty Hallman;
- Titanium-Group Nano-Whiskers and Method of Production by inventors Roland Seals of Y-12 and Paul Menchhofer and James Kiggans, Jr, of Oak Ridge National Laboratory;
- Ceramic Radiation Detector Device and Method, by inventors Jeff Preston and Ashley Stowe;
- Additive Manufacturing of Mixed-Metal Parts Using Sol-Gel Feed Materials by inventors Vincent Lamberti, Roland Seals, and Patrick Moehlen; and
- Fail-Safe Reactivity Compensation for a Nuclear Reactor by inventors Peter Angelo of Y-12 and Erik Nygaard and Scott Aase of BWXT.
A new addition to the event this year was a leadership roundtable, which engaged members of the executive leadership team in an open discussion to share their vision for innovation and inspire creative thinking for some of the most pressing and challenging problems facing national security.
Support enables success
None of these achievements would be possible without substantial support. In that vein, Ed Ripley of Y-12 and Jeff Yokum of Pantex were honored with Technology Transfer Support Awards for their significant support of the tech transfer program at their respective sites. The award recognizes employees whose efforts go above
and beyond the call of duty in contributing to technology promotion and licensing.
Ripley has a long history with tech transfer, including more than 30 patents. “Ed is a thought leader, innovator, and champion for the CNS Technology Transfer Program,” said Jennifer Palmer, CNS Technology Transfer Program manager. “He’s also fostered key technology partnerships and enabled exploration of new opportunities in critical areas.”
Yokum also encourages new innovations for technology development and advancement. “Jeff is an advocate for technology innovation in high explosives manufacturing, and he worked with a machine tool company to custom design a computer numerically controlled five-axis mill-lathe machining center,” said Palmer.
Technology innovation benefits taxpayers, workforce
Y-12 Site Manager Gene Sievers closed the ceremony by thanking the group for their commitment to innovation. “Technology provides better products, better processes, and a safer work environment,” he said. “Your efforts benefit taxpayers, the workforce of today, and the workforce of tomorrow by making our work better, easier, and safer.” Consolidated Nuclear Security manages and operates the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A central Technology Transfer Office manages the commercialization and partnership efforts for both sites
About CNS: Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under a single contract for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. CNS member companies include Bechtel National, Inc.; Leidos, Inc.; ATK Launch Systems, Inc.; and SOC LLC. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, and CNS performs its work with a focus on performance excellence and the imperatives of safety, security, zero defects and delivery as promised.