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Scientists Set Record Resolution for Drawing at the One-Nanometer Length Scale

Using a specialized electron microscope outfitted with a pattern generator, scientists turned an imaging instrument into a lithography tool that could be used to create and study materials with new properties.

For First Time, Researchers Measure Forces That Align Crystals and Help Them Snap Together

For the first time, researchers have measured the force that draws tiny crystals together and visualized how they swivel and align. Called van der Waals forces, the attraction provides insights into how crystals self-assemble, an activity that occurs in a wide range of cases in nature, from rocks to shells to bones.

Video Captures Bubble-Blowing Battery in Action

PNNL researchers have created a unique video that shows oxygen bubbles inflating and later deflating inside a tiny lithium-air battery. The knowledge gained from the video could help make lithium-air batteries that are more compact, stable and can hold onto a charge longer.

Study Offers New Theoretical Approach to Describing Non-Equilibrium Phase Transitions

Two physicists at Argonne offered a way to mathematically describe a particular physics phenomenon called a phase transition in a system out of equilibrium. Such phenomena are central in physics, and understanding how they occur has been a long-held and vexing goal; their behavior and related effects are key to unlocking possibilities for new electronics and other next-generation technologies.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Discover New Atomically Layered, Thin Magnet

Berkeley Lab scientists have found an unexpected magnetic property in a 2-D material. The new atomically thin, flat magnet could have major implications for a wide range of applications, such as nanoscale memory, spintronic devices, and magnetic sensors.

Stabilizing Molecule Could Pave Way for Lithium-Air Fuel Cell

Lithium-oxygen fuel cells boast energy density levels comparable to fossil fuels and are thus seen as a promising candidate for future transportation-related energy needs.

Scientists Identify Chemical Causes of Battery "Capacity Fade"

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory identified one of the major culprits in capacity fade of high-energy lithium-ion batteries.

Modeling Reveals How Policy Affects the Adoption of Solar Energy Photovoltaics in California

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, inspired by efforts to promote green energy, are exploring the factors driving commercial customers in Southern California, both large and small, to purchase and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. As the group reports this week in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, they built a model for commercial solar PV adoption to quantify the impact of government incentives and solar PV costs.

Machine Learning Dramatically Streamlines Search for More Efficient Chemical Reactions

A catalytic reaction may follow thousands of possible paths, and it can take years to identify which one it actually takes so scientists can tweak it and make it more efficient. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have taken a big step toward cutting through this thicket of possibilities.

Freezing Lithium Batteries May Make Them Safer and Bendable

Columbia Engineering Professor Yuan Yang has developed a new method that could lead to lithium batteries that are safer, have longer battery life, and are bendable, providing new possibilities such as flexible smartphones. His new technique uses ice-templating to control the structure of the solid electrolyte for lithium batteries that are used in portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-level energy storage. The study is published online April 24 in Nano Letters.


OU Engineering Professor Receives National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award

A University of Oklahoma Gallogly College of Engineering professor, Steven P. Crossley, is the recipient of a five-year, National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award in the amount of $548,829 for research that can be used to understand catalysts that are important for a broad range of chemical reactions ranging from the production of renewable fuels and chemicals for natural gas processing. The research will be integrated with educational and outreach programs intended for American Indian students, emphasizing the importance of sustainable energy.

3 Small Energy Firms to Collaborate with PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is collaborating with three small businesses to address technical challenges concerning hydrogen for fuel cell cars, bio-coal and nanomaterial manufacturing.

ORNL to Collaborate with Five Small Businesses to Advance Energy Tech

Five small companies have been selected to partner with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to move technologies in commercial refrigeration systems, water power generation, bioenergy and battery manufacturing closer to the marketplace.

U.S. Department of Energy's INCITE Program Seeks Advanced Computational Research Proposals for 2018

The Department of Energy's INCITE program will be accepting proposals for high-impact, computationally intensive research campaigns in a broad array of science, engineering, and computer science domains.

New Berkeley Lab Project Turns Waste Heat to Electricity

A new Berkeley Lab project seeks to efficiently capture waste heat and convert it to electricity, potentially saving California up to $385 million per year. With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission, Berkeley Lab scientists will work with Alphabet Energy to create a cost-effective thermoelectric waste heat recovery system.

New SLAC Theory Institute Aims to Speed Research on Exotic Materials at Light Sources

A new institute at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is using the power of theory to search for new types of materials that could revolutionize society - by making it possible, for instance, to transmit electricity over power lines with no loss.

Lenvio Inc. Exclusively Licenses ORNL Malware Behavior Detection Technology

Virginia-based Lenvio Inc. has exclusively licensed a cyber security technology from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly detect malicious behavior in software not previously identified as a threat.

Argonne Scientist and Nobel Laureate Alexei Abrikosov Dies at 88

Alexei Abrikosov, an acclaimed physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory who received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on superconducting materials, died Wednesday, March 29. He was 88.

Jefferson Lab Accomplishes Critical Milestones Toward Completion of 12 GeV Upgrade

The Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has achieved two major commissioning milestones and is now entering the final stretch of work to conclude its first major upgrade. Recently, the CEBAF accelerator delivered electron beams into two of its experimental halls, Halls B and C, at energies not possible before the upgrade for commissioning of the experimental equipment currently in each hall. Data were recorded in each hall, which were then confirmed to be of sufficient quality to allow for particle identification, a primary indicator of good detector operation.

Valerie Taylor Named Argonne National Laboratory's Mathematics and Computer Science Division Director

Computer scientist Valerie Taylor has been appointed as the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science division at Argonne, effective July 3, 2017.


Uncrowded Coils

A new fast and robust algorithm for computing stellarator coil shapes yields designs that are easier to build and maintain.

Fast Electrons and the Seeds of Disruption

Physicists measured fast electron populations. They achieved this first-of-its-kind result by seeing the effect of the fast electrons on the ablation rate of small frozen argon pellets.

Plasma Turbulence Generates Flow in Fusion Reactors

Heating the core of fusion reactors causes them to develop sheared rotation that can improve plasma performance.

The Roadmap to Quark Soup

Scientists discover new signposts in the quest to determine how matter from the early universe turned into the world we know today.

Neutrons Play the Lead to Protons in Dance Around "Double-Magic" Nucleus

Electric and magnetic properties of a radioactive atom provide unique insight into the nature of proton and neutron motion.

Ultrafast Imaging Reveals the Electron's New Clothes

Scientists use high-speed electrons to visualize "dress-like" distortions in the atomic lattice. This work reveals the vital role of electron-lattice interactions in manganites. This material could be used in data-storage devices with increased data density and reduced power requirements.

One Small Change Makes Solar Cells More Efficient

For years, scientists have explored using tiny drops of designer materials, called quantum dots, to make better solar cells. Adding small amounts of manganese decreases the ability of quantum dots to absorb light but increases the current produced by an average of 300%.

Electronic "Cyclones" at the Nanoscale

Through highly controlled synthesis, scientists controlled competing atomic forces to let spiral electronic structures form. These polar vortices can serve as a precursor to new phenomena in materials. The materials could be vital for ultra-low energy electronic devices.

In a Flash! A New Way for Making Ceramics

A new process controllably but instantly consolidates ceramic parts, potentially important for manufacturing.

Deciphering Material Properties at the Single-Atom Level

Scientists determine the precise location and identity of all 23,000 atoms in a nanoparticle.


Friday April 07, 2017, 11:05 AM

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Argonne National Laboratory

Tuesday March 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

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Great Neck South High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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Middle Schoolers Test Their Knowledge at Science Bowl Competition

Argonne National Laboratory

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Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

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More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

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University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

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Three SLAC Employees Awarded Lab's Highest Honor

Article ID: 671416

Released: 2017-03-16 14:05:43

Source Newsroom: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

  • Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    From left: Lydia Young, Sila Kiliccote and Jodi Verleger, recipients of the 2016 SLAC Director’s Award.

At a March 7 ceremony, three employees of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory were awarded the lab’s highest honor ­– the SLAC Director’s Award.

The award recognizes employees who achieve extraordinary results while modeling the lab’s values of excellence, integrity, creativity, collaboration and respect. This year’s recipients were Staff Scientist Sila Kiliccote; Jodi Verleger, interim manager of the lab’s VUE Center; and Lydia Young, director of the Mechanical Engineering and Technical Support Division (METSD).

“Our core values are the ‘how’ behind what we do collectively at SLAC to make great science possible,” says Lab Director Chi-Chang Kao. “When we live our values in the work we do, we demonstrate for each other the daily actions and behaviors that make us better individually and that create a unique culture at SLAC.”

Innovation through Mentoring

Sila Kiliccote joined the lab in 2015 to take on an exciting challenge with a modest budget: build a smart-grid program that would use scientific tools to solve fundamental energy problems and take them to the level of societal impact.

She quickly decided she needed a great group of bright and hard-working collaborators, and tapped into faculty and students at Stanford University and at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Silicon Valley campus.

"Every week I went down to the Stanford campus and invited faculty and students to a social gathering where we talked about smart-grid challenges and started putting concepts and ideas together," Kiliccote says.

She also pitched two practicum projects to CMU and brought eight students to work on it at SLAC. "These were highly qualified, master's level software engineers who worked with mentors on exploring concepts and then creating multimedia presentations to disseminate the results of their efforts," she says.

The result was the start-up of a group called Grid Integration, Systems and Mobility, or GISMo, that performs energy research in an innovative smart-grid lab at SLAC. As leader of this group, Kiliccote says her long-range vision is to "facilitate 100 percent clean energy adoption through advances in power systems, buildings and mobility."

"Sila built the group with external candidates and internal employees who were looking for new opportunities," Mark Hartney, director of Strategic Planning, Research Partnerships & Technology Commercialization, says. "She is providing strong mentorship, giving new employees responsibility, allowing them to write proposals, taking leadership of various project elements and helping grow the team's capabilities."

Emre Kara, associate staff scientist who works with Kiliccote on project proposals, says it is obvious that she cares about the team and about creating an environment where they excel. "When you work with her on a proposal, she tries to create a portfolio of projects where every member of the team is excited to do their bit,” he says. “It sounds easy, but requires you to know the team and the field very well to connect the pieces. She makes it look effortless, which is inspiring."

Kiliccote is also working with the Women@​SLAC Employee Resource Group on a committee that is helping build a mentoring program at the lab. She believes that mentors and mentees learn a lot from the relationship. "Mentoring also makes the workplace a more inclusive and enjoyable environment," she says.

Hartney emphasized that Kiliccote's creative, collaborative approach and dedication to excellence also helped her gain traction in building the program's budget. "She was tremendously successful in bringing in funding, winning multiple projects from the SunShot and Building Technologies programs at DOE as well as from the California Energy Commission, which will give us a diversified funding base for these efforts,” he says.

Success through Collaboration

After joining SLAC in August 2015, Jodi Verleger led the development of a new performance tool that seeks to support better habits when it comes to having performance conversations, getting better feedback and helping employees take charge of their own development.

A core team of six helped drive this effort. But Verleger knew that in order to develop something that would be welcomed and broadly used, they would need to seek the input of people from across the lab. The project also relied on a large group of people who tested and provided feedback on the tool before the launch.

This collaborative approach was skillfully managed by Verleger, whose openness to ideas and ability to work with people across functions was a great asset to the project.

“Jodi will ask the right questions and she knows how to ask them in a way that represents all groups,” says Human Resource Information System Lead Analyst Ramona Miahnarhi. “She will try and think a problem through but she won't try to come up with the solution; she will leave that up to the experts.”

The discussions weren’t always easy. There were times of disagreement as opposing viewpoints came together. It’s this kind of robust debate that motivated Verleger and the team to think creatively and look at the problems from multiple angles.

“We would just keep bringing different options back to the group, trying to find the best solution,” Verleger says. “It really was a team effort.”

Lydia Young, director of METSD, was impressed by Verleger’s thorough and practical approach to her work. “She successfully applied engineering best practices far better than many engineers typically do,” Young says. “She constantly sought feedback during the development of the online tool’s pages, and was extraordinarily attentive to details such as sequencing of steps, linkages, ease of use and general design.”

Verleger’s dedication to excellence came to fruition when the performance tool launched less than a year after the project commenced. “I’ve been involved in software development for 17 years and I’ve never seen a product owner dedicate so much time to training users,” says Grigoriy Ayzenshtadt from IT Development Operations. “I strongly believe that this is why the launch of the new tool went so smoothly.”

The team members agreed that Verleger was extremely organized and attentive to the details of her work. But what made the project such a great experience was her positive outlook and enthusiasm for what she does. Organization Effectiveness & Employee Development Manager Christi Olson was her supervisor during the project and had much praise for her ability to build relationships across the lab so soon after joining SLAC: “I was inspired by her passion, energy and genuine joy in working with her colleagues and SLAC leaders throughout the project.”

Excellence through Leadership

For Lydia Young, who arrived at SLAC in August 2014, excellence and leadership are two of the key values that elevate the management of complex projects to true project leadership – an important difference that secures SLAC’s place at the forefront of science.

“Our scientists and engineers develop highly sophisticated discovery machines that are very challenging to design and build,” she says. “Excellence and leadership means that we always strive to execute efficiently, planning ahead of time so that we can build and install these instruments not only with extremely high quality, but also within budget and on time.”

For the future LCLS-II X-ray laser, for example, Young is developing a manufacturing plan that makes sure the project proceeds as smoothly as possible from its design stage to fabrication and installation – a huge effort that requires coordination of hundreds of people and several partner labs and institutions. She is also working on establishing the infrastructure to manufacture and assemble LCLS-II parts on site in an ultraclean environment, which is an absolute requirement for the next-generation light source.

“Lydia has a natural way of bringing the best out of everyone involved in this project,” says Kathleen Ratcliffe, department head for technical planning in Young’s division and a SLAC veteran of almost 30 years. “She sees the big picture before others do and prepares for all the challenges that are coming our way.”

Foresight in dealing with large projects and the goal of managing them more efficiently also drive Young’s work on implementing a new business system, called Teamcenter, that keeps a history of all engineering- and manufacturing-related documents in one place, where they are easily accessible at any time, thereby maximizing control over complex projects.

“Lydia put in place plans and processes that are absolutely crucial for executing major projects,” says Lia Merminga, associate lab director for the Accelerator Directorate. “Her many contributions are a great example for the extraordinary leadership we need to accomplish our scientific mission.”

Although Young was trained as a scientist, her true passion is to build things, which led her to pursue a career in engineering. As a co-chair of the new Engineering Engagement Initiative, she is helping create a strategic vision for engineering that best supports the lab’s scientific priorities and the career development of SLAC engineers.

“Lydia does an excellent job in keeping the team on task,” says Lisa Bonetti, the lab’s interim chief engineer. “She’s instrumental in organizing the initiative’s subcommittees, which over the past months have begun to address important issues, including the creation of career paths and more recognition for our engineers.”

SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, Calif., SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. For more information, please visit slac.stanford.edu.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.