K-31 Demolition: 200 acres now available for development at ETTP

K-31 Demolition

The last section of the K-31 Building at East Tennessee Technology Park was demolished on Friday, June 26. It’s the fourth of five buildings to be demolished where gaseous diffusion was once used to enrich uranium. (Photo by Lynn Freeny/DOE) 


Demolition now complete on four of five gaseous diffusion buildings

Demolition of the large K-31 Building in west Oak Ridge means that 200 acres of flat land are now available for industrial development at East Tennessee Technology Park, officials said.

“It’s the largest parcel of land available at ETTP,” said Sue Cange, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management.

Infrastructure is already in place, including water, sewer, roads, and electricity, Cange said. Also, ETTP is close to Interstate 40, a short rail line, and possibly an airport. (There are plans to build an airport at the site, which is also known as Heritage Center.)

K-31 is the fourth of five gaseous diffusion buildings demolished at ETTP. The site, which has also been known as K-25 and Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, was built during the Manhattan Project in World War II as part of a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs. Officials say it helped to win the Cold War, enriching uranium for commercial nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.

But operations ended in 1985, and the site was permanently shut down in 1987. DOE then began cleanup operations and—with the help of contractors, a nonprofit organization, and others–is converting it into a large private industrial park. [Read more…]

DOE names IIa as woman-owned small business of year

Bonnie C. Carroll, IIa founder and CEO, center, receives the DOE Woman-owned Small Business Award for Fiscal Year 2014 from John Hale III, director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for DOE. (Photo courtesy IIa)

Bonnie C. Carroll, IIa founder and CEO, center, receives the DOE Woman-owned Small Business Award for Fiscal Year 2014 from John Hale III, director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for DOE. (Photo courtesy IIa)


The U.S. Department of Energy has named Information International Associates, or IIa, its Woman-owned Small Business for Fiscal Year 2014.

Bonnie C. Carroll, IIa founder and chief executive officer, accepted the award at the 14th Annual DOE Small Business Forum and Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 17, 2015, from John Hale III, director of the DOE Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

Each year, DOE recognizes the exceptional performance of a woman-owned small business directly contributing to the accomplishments of core DOE mission objectives and requirements, a press release said. In presenting the award, Hale cited IIa’s innovation and technical solutions, which exceeded contract requirements in responding to cyber security concerns, as well as its exceptional customer service and efficiency, the release said.

DOE, the largest civilian contracting agency within the federal government, awarded a total of $6.6 billion in contracts in FY 2014 to prime and subcontracts. [Read more…]

Explore ORNL event postponed to Sept. 23-24

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Explore ORNL conference has been rescheduled until September 23-24 to coincide with a larger industrial outreach event at ORNL this fall. Explore ORNL was originally scheduled for July 14-15.

The September event will feature capabilities in building technologies, vehicle technologies, and advanced manufacturing, and will highlight new opportunities for small businesses to gain access to national laboratories, including ORNL.

Information about the September industry event will be released in the coming weeks.


Helium ‘balloons’ offer new path to control complex materials

Helium Atoms into Crystalline Film

Inserting helium atoms (visualized as a red balloon) into a crystalline film (gold) allowed Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers to control the material’s elongation in a single direction. (Submitted image)


Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new method to manipulate a wide range of materials and their behavior using only a handful of helium ions.

The team’s technique, published in Physical Review Letters, advances the understanding and use of complex oxide materials that boast unusual properties such as superconductivity and colossal magnetoresistance but are notoriously difficult to control.

For the first time, ORNL researchers have discovered a simple way to control the elongation of a crystalline material along a single direction without changing the length along the other directions or damaging the crystalline structure. This is accomplished by adding a few helium ions into a complex oxide material and provides a never before possible level of control over magnetic and electronic properties.

“By putting a little helium into the material, we’re able to control strain along a single axis,” said ORNL’s Zac Ward, who led the team’s study. “This type of control wasn’t possible before, and it allows you to tune material properties with a finesse that we haven’t previously had access to.” [Read more…]

HED: Silica ‘spiky screws’ could enhance industrial coatings, additive manufacturing

It took marine sponges millions of years to perfect their spike-like structures, but research mimicking these formations may soon alter how industrial coatings and 3-D printed objects are produced.

A molecular process developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory paves the way for improved silica structure design by introducing microscopic, segmented screw-like spikes that can more effectively bond materials for commercial use.

The study, conducted by Jaswinder Sharma and his colleagues Panos Datskos and David Cullen, has been published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Authors said other applications of the screw-like spikes could include coatings for eyeglasses, television screens, commercial transportation, and even self-cleaning windows and roofs in rural and urban environments.

Created by emulsion droplets applied to a silica particle’s surface, the new, segmented spikes offer an alternative tool for material scientists and engineers that can better maintain and fuse bonds within a variety of microstructures. [Read more…]

RSI awards eight scholarships to local students

RSI Scholarships 2015

Scholarship recipients and RSI managers pictured left to right are Staci Ferguson, RSI vice president; Abby Colvais; Peter Caswell, RSI vice president; Sierra Sims; Lonnie Goss; Dmitry Petrov; Morgan Cleveland; Jackson Lloyd; and Paul Clay, RSI President. Not pictured are Christian Ironside and Tyler Moore. (Submitted photo)


Restoration Services Inc. and its voluntary Employee Outreach Committee have offered eight $1,000 college scholarships to “help students achieve their greatest potential through higher education,” a press release said.

Six scholarships were awarded to graduating high school students who will be attending college in the upcoming fall 2015 semester. The remaining two scholarships were awarded to children of RSI employees who are upcoming sophomores, juniors, or seniors currently enrolled in an accredited college for the 2015 fall semester. Scholarship recipients were selected from submitted applications that included academic accomplishments, community involvement and leadership roles, and an essay on current environmental threats.

The scholarship recipients entering college are: [Read more…]

DOE Oak Ridge names director of facilities, information, reservation management

Johnathan Sitzlar

Johnathan Sitzlar

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office recently named Johnathan Sitzlar as director of the Facilities, Information, and Reservation Management Division, or FIRMD, in the Office of Assistant Manager for Administration at DOE-ORO.

In this position, Sitzlar directs a staff of 24 federal employees in the FIRMD with responsibility for the development and execution of a variety of programs including reservation management and infrastructure and facility management.

Sitzlar is directly responsible for all support services and reservation management issues on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation. His duties also include planning and executing programs for the federal workforce designed to provide a clean, safe work environment with all the necessary resources required for ORO employees and customer organizations to fulfill their assigned missions. [Read more…]

UCOR contributes to ADFAC as benefactor sponsor

UCOR ADFAC Donation 2015

UCOR President and Project Manager Ken Rueter, right, presents the 2015 Corporate Membership contribution to ADFAC’s Ray Smith, left, Board of Directors and Corporate Committee member, and ADFAC’s Executive Director, Annie Cacheiro. (Submitted photo)


UCOR recently contributed to Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties as a benefactor sponsor for ADFAC’s 2015 Corporate Membership Campaign, a press release said.

UCOR President and Project Manager Ken Rueter presented the contribution to ADFAC representative Ray Smith and Executive Director Annie Cacheiro. UCOR is a partnership between URS and CH2M Oak Ridge LLC.

Smith, an ADFAC board member and Corporate Committee member, said: “This campaign is geared toward encouraging area corporations to support the very important mission of helping those most in need in our community. UCOR has been a corporate member for several years and we greatly appreciate their continued generosity.” [Read more…]

ORNL invites companies to connect with lab at ‘Explore ORNL’ 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will open its doors July 14-15 for its “Explore ORNL” conference designed to introduce the region’s business community to the lab’s world-class research and development facilities and expertise, a press release said.

“Explore ORNL is an outreach event that provides companies both large and small with a unique opportunity to learn about collaboration possibilities,” said Tom Rogers, ORNL’s director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development.

Representatives from companies such as Boeing, Cummins, Local Motors, Ten-Tec, Dresser-Rand, and Eagle Bend Manufacturing will speak about their experiences in working with ORNL experts to overcome technical challenges and develop new products. [Read more…]

ORNL: New tool on horizon for surgeons treating cancer patients

Droplet-based Surface Sampling Probe

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s new droplet-based surface sampling probe speeds the process of analyzing a liver biopsy sample. (Photo courtesy ORNL)


Surgeons could know while their patients are still on the operating table if a tissue is cancerous, according to researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

In the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, a team led by ORNL’s Vilmos Kertesz describes an automated droplet-based surface sampling probe that accomplishes in about 10 minutes what now routinely takes 20 to 30 minutes. Kertesz expects that time to be cut to four to five minutes soon. For this proof-of-concept demonstration, researchers rapidly profiled two hormones from human pituitary tissue.

“Instead of having to cut and mount tissue and wait for a trained pathologist to review the sample under a microscope, a technician might soon perform an equally conclusive test in the operating environment,” Kertesz said.

The new mass spectrometry-based technology provides an attractive alternative to the traditional method called immunohistochemistry, or IHC, which looks for specific protein biomarkers to make a diagnosis. Although the IHC approach provides a high degree of spatial recognition, it is time-consuming and limited by the quality and specificity of the antibody used to detect the protein. [Read more…]

Advanced composites expert named newest UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair

Uday Vaidya

Uday Vaidya

KNOXVILLE—The position of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as leaders in the manufacturing revolution has taken another bold step forward with the hiring of Uday Vaidya as the Governor’s Chair in Advanced Composites Manufacturing.

Vaidya becomes the 14th UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair and the seventh devoted to some aspect of advanced manufacturing, underscoring the importance of this research and the role of the two institutes in it.

“We are pleased to welcome Uday and the leadership he brings in the growing area of advanced composites manufacturing,” said UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “His research will contribute to the vital building blocks we have with ORNL and our momentum as leaders in the field.” [Read more…]

Experts launch advanced composites institute announced by Obama, led by UT

Craig Blue, David Danielson, and David Millhorn

Pictured above are Craig Blue, IACMI CEO; David Danielson assistant secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy; and David Millhorn, executive vice president for the University of Tennessee System and president of the UT Research Foundation. (Photo courtesy UT)


ORNL a founding partner

Hundreds of composites experts from industry, government, and academia gathered at the Knoxville Convention Center on Wednesday for the launch of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI.

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are among IACMI’s founding research partners.

A signing ceremony between the U.S. Department of Energy and IACMI representatives marked the official start of business for the newly established institute, which was announced in January by President Barack Obama.

IACMI will work with industry to reduce technical risk and develop a robust supply chain for advanced composite materials in automotive components, wind turbines, and compressed gas storage applications. Funded with $70 million in federal funds and more than $180 million in nonfederal funds, IACMI will focus on making advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites less expensive and less energy-intensive, helping give America’s resurging manufacturing sector a more competitive edge in the global economy. [Read more…]