Employees at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, were recently celebrated for inventions and patents.
Y-12 employees filed eight invention disclosures during fiscal year 2021, a press release said. The inventions ranged 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, the press release said.
At Pantex, Stephen Jones and Brian Harlow filed an invention disclosure for laser pulse shaping for a laser-powered bed fusion printer.
That’s a total of nine inventions at the two sites.
Y-12 employees were also awarded five patents in fiscal year 2021:
- toughened, corrosion- and wear-resistant composite structures and fabrication methods 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.
The employees were celebrated for their nine inventions and five patents in a combined virtual ceremony, the press release said.
Speaking to the attendees, Bill Tindal, chief operating officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security, which operates the two plants, challenged the inventors to develop a vision for using “transformative technology solutions to advance the national security enterprise.”
“Modeling of production processes helps us make decisions and determine how technologies can be applied by enabling understanding of the inherent complexity,” Tindal said.
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.”
A new addition to the event this year, the press release said, 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.”
The press release said 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 press release said. “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, the release said.
“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, the press release said.
“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,” Palmer said.
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,” Sievers 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.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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