An engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory died of COVID-19 on Saturday.
It’s the first death of an ORNL employee due to COVID-19.
The engineer, William Collier, 59, became sick the last weekend of August. He appears to have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the community, the lab said Tuesday.
Collier worked in the Nonreactor Nuclear Facilities Division at ORNL. His obituary said he grew up in Oak Ridge, graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1979, and graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for 37 years at ORNL and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
“The loss of a coworker was a possibility we have feared since the pandemic began, and our hearts go out to their family, friends, and colleagues,” ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia said in a message to staff members Tuesday. “This news tragically underscores the significance of the lab’s efforts to understand and combat COVID-19 and hardens our commitment to preventing its transmission and spread, through our own behaviors on campus and through research that is aiding the global fight against the virus.”[Read more…]