Idaho National Laboratory wins four R&D 100 Awards

IDAHO FALLS – Four Idaho National Laboratory technologies are among the winners of the annual R&D 100 Awards. Widely known as the “Oscars of Innovation,” the awards bestowed by R&D World recognize the winners as being among the top 100 revolutionary technologies of 2019.

Since their inception in 1963, the awards have celebrated research and development technologies from across the public and private sectors. Laboratories and companies from throughout the nation submitted nominations for judging. A panel comprised of more than 40 industry-leading experts then ranked the nominees based on their technical significance, uniqueness, and applicability across industry, government and academia. Typically, the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories have dozens of finalists every year. Of 2019’s 162 finalists, 54 included the involvement of DOE national labs, with six technologies listing INL as the lead inventor and two labeling the lab as a supporting organization. With the inclusion of this year’s winners, INL has now won 22 R&D 100 Awards since 2005.

Winning technologies led by INL:

Electronic Neutron Generator Calibration System (N-meter)
David Chichester, Scott Thompson, James Johnson, Scott Watson, Robert Schley, Jay Hix

The N-meter is a portable, reusable, and adaptable device that has the capability to calibrate any electronic neutron generator (ENG), regardless of manufacturer. ENGs provide law enforcement officers and military personnel with the ability to detect the presence of harmful materials used in chemical, radiological and explosive attacks. The N-meter actively ensures that the devices are accurate and properly calibrated to perform any mission. By enabling this vital step for ENGs, the device can help protect Americans from nuclear threats, improve natural resource exploration, create biomedical advances and much more.

High-Temperature Irradiation-Resistant Thermocouples (HTIR-TC)
Richard Skifton, Josh Daw, Kurt Davis, Pattrick Calderoni

Until now, nuclear instruments have had difficulty obtaining precise reactor temperature measurements, forcing scientists to rely on estimates. Now, the High-Temperature Irradiation-Resistant Thermocouples (HTIR-TC) can be inserted directly into the fuel centerline to precisely read fuel temperatures at the reactor’s core. With more accurate information about core temperatures, engineers can make nuclear reactors safer and more reliable.

Wireless radio Frequency signal Identification and protocol Reverse Engineering (WiFIRE)
Christopher Becker, Kurt Derr, Samuel Ramirez, Sneha Kasera, Aniqua Baset

WiFIRE helps combat wireless attacks by monitoring wireless networks in real time, giving users the ability to respond to security breaches as they’re occurring. Should it detect rogue devices, WiFIRE provides security measures like alerting law enforcement personnel, blocking unwanted data transmission, starting data and/or video recording for potential legal use, and even locating intruders before damage is done. The technology helps protect the nation’s critical infrastructure, making attacks on the power grid and water supply increasingly difficult.

Consequence-driven Cyber-informed Engineering
Robert Smith, Curtis St. Michel, Amanda Belloff, Andy Bochman, Sarah Freeman, Michael Assante

Consequence-driven Cyber-informed Engineering (CCE) is a methodology that provides users with knowledge and skills to protect against and prepare for serious cyberthreats against the nation’s critical infrastructure systems. CCE identifies processes and functions that must not fail, then outlines steps organizations must take in order for their assets to remain secure. By re-engineering key processes while armed with a full understanding of the attackers’ tactics and options, CCE reduces or eliminates digital pathways used by attackers to reach critical systems, effectively removing the targets with the highest consequences from the table.

Finalist technologies led by INL:

Lithium-ion battery defect detector (Battery Health Sentry)
Sergiy Sazhin, Kevin Gering, Eric Dufek

With the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries, companies are being plagued by explosions, fires and other toxic discharges caused by minor defects in devices’ batteries. In a matter of minutes, the Battery Health Sentry can locate defective components that lead to these harmful effects. As a result, the technology could save manufacturers of cellphones, electric vehicles, aircraft and other products billions of dollars in testing and product recalls by detecting these defects before they lead to catastrophic failure.

Wireless sensor system for online monitoring of valve position
Vivek Agarwal, John Buttles

The wireless valve position indication sensor system solves a pressing need to lower operation and maintenance costs in industrial systems such as nuclear power plants. The sensor system automates a previously labor-intensive task of assessing valve position, leading to a significant cost reduction and improved efficiency, ultimately providing a more accurate understanding of a plant’s overall status. In doing so, the device also enhances worker safety by eliminating the requirement for personnel to move in and through hazardous areas.

Finalist technologies supported by INL:

Waste-to-Energy Ionic Gasification Technology (Ionic Gasifier)
Cogent Energy Systems, Inc. with support from Idaho National Laboratory
Peter Kong, Rodney Bitsoi, Dean Burt, Thomas DiSanto

Millions of small-scale waste producers lack a viable way to process local waste on site, much less turn it into valuable products like electricity, fuels or chemicals. Cogent’s ionic gasifier can give businesses or communities, no matter how small or remote, the ability to eliminate their waste streams on site while generating electricity that they can use or sell.

HELICS
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with support from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Effectively designing, analyzing, and implementing modern energy systems relies heavily on advanced modeling that captures both the cyber and physical domains in combined simulations. The Hierarchical Engine for Large-scale Infrastructure Co-Simulation (HELICS) is a layered, high-performance, co-simulation framework that builds on the collective experience of multiple national labs. When modeling advanced features of power and cyber-physical energy systems, HELICS utilizes the input of the labs to ensure a highly accurate and precise outcome.

INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

NEW APARTMENTS AND TOWNHOMES COMING TO NORTHGATE DEVELOPMENT IN POCATELLO

NEW APARTMENTS AND TOWNHOMES COMING TO NORTHGATE DEVELOPMENT IN POCATELLO

IDAHO FALLS (ID) – Ball Ventures, LLC, along with Kartchner Inc, announce plans to build a new 404-unit residential community within the Northgate development in Pocatello. Located near the Portneuf Wellness Complex at Chubbuck Road and Fairgrounds Road, the community will feature luxury apartments and townhomes.

“With the anticipated growth in and around Pocatello, there is a clear need for more residential options in the area,” says Eric Isom, Chief Development Officer for Ball Ventures. “We are pleased to work with Kartchner Inc on the apartments and townhomes, and to help meet the growing demand in the market.”

The new community includes 384 apartment units featuring one, two and three bedroom options, as well as 20 townhomes. Amenities will include a premium fitness center, an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi area, a 24-hour club room for gatherings, and a playground. There will be on-site management and 24-hour services will also be available.

“We are very excited to be working with Ball Ventures, Pocatello City, and the developers of Northgate in building this beautiful apartment community.” says Troy Kartchner, President of Kartchner Inc. “The location, the community trails, and parks in the area, provide an ideal location for the Northgate Apartment community. ”

Ball Ventures and Kartchner have a history of working together on projects in the Idaho Falls and Rexburg area. The joint venture recently purchased the property from Portneuf Development, LLC. Don Zebe of Colliers International was the broker and was instrumental in bringing the parties together and the closing of the sale.

More about Ball Ventures

Ball Ventures is a real estate investment and development company which owns and manages commercial real estate across the country. Led by an internal team of skilled real estate professionals, Ball Ventures’ primary focus is in real estate. Ball Ventures has also formed other strategic partnerships to create a diversified real estate portfolio in healthcare, hospitality, and student housing. In addition to real estate, Ball Ventures also invests in various other industries, including auto dealerships, midstream oil, energy, private funds and other operating companies. For more information, please visit www.ballventures.com.

More about Kartchner Inc.

Kartchner Inc. is a residential development company focused on land development, construction, and management of quality for sale and rental housing communities in Idaho and Utah. The Northgate Apartment Community will be Kartchner’s fifth rental community in Eastern Idaho.

FBI cuts ribbon on Poactello addition

FBI cuts ribbon on Pocatello addition
By John O’Connell joconnell@journalnet.com Nov 19, 2019

FBI Associate Deputy Director Paul Abbate talks to the media after the ribbon-cutting for its new addition to the FBI center in Pocatello on Monday morning.
Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal

An expanded FBI facility in Pocatello will fill a vital role toward protecting the nation’s security, top bureau officials said during a Monday morning ribbon-cutting ceremony for the additions.

“This building, while located in Pocatello, Idaho, will be the center and epicenter of what we are doing in Washington, D.C.,” said Jeffrey Sallet, the FBI’s associate executive assistant director of finance and facilities.
The FBI broke ground in October of 2017 on the roughly $100 million expansion, which bureau officials have dubbed Gray Wolf.

The FBI had 110 data centers located throughout the country as of 2014 and is in the process of a consolidation effort officials say has already saved in excess of $135 million through improved efficiency. The FBI has phased out 100 of those data centers to date and will ultimately leave just three expanded facilities operational, including the Pocatello center.
The local FBI facility currently has a staff of about 300 workers. The expansion will add sufficient space to employ an additional 250 workers, whose salaries will be set based on the federal GS scale.

Paul Abbate, the FBI’s associate deputy director, said staff will be added gradually throughout the next two to five years. He said the bureau has been in regular contact with city officials about new homes being added to a tight local housing supply and local resources to accommodate workers who will be moved to the community or hired to fill new jobs here.
“We certainly need to have accommodations here for people when they move into the area,” Abbate said, adding the FBI will approach hiring in “a very measured way so individuals and their families have what they need when they arrive here.”

The additions include a 100,000-square-foot new data center and a new 40,000-square-foot office building. The renovated front entrance consists of cobblestone taken from the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C.

Abbate said there were several reasons why the FBI chose to expand in Pocatello, including that there’s already a “solid base” with technological infrastructure here.

“We just love the community and the people here, as well,” Abbate said. “Really the community has embraced the FBI and the department, and vice-versa.”
Pocatello City Councilman Jim Johnston spoke on behalf of the communities of Pocatello and Chubbuck, emphasizing the significant boon to the economy the FBI expansion represents.
“Pocatello loves the FBI and is so proud to be a part of the latest chapter of the FBI’s story,” Johnston said.

Abbate said the expanded facility will move vast amounts of data and intelligence at all times, helping to produce intelligence products, thwart terrorist activities and result in arrests of criminals.

Sallet described the expanded local center as a 21st century facility with state-of-the-art technology. Sallet believes the crimes of the future will be committed in cyberspace more than anywhere else, and workers in Pocatello will be at the forefront of fighting them.

“We hear the term cyber crime used as a separate category of crime, but more and more cyber is becoming a way to perpetuate a whole host of crimes, just as technology is becoming more integrated into our lives,” Sallet said.

Sallet said a myriad of users across the U.S. Department of Justice and the broader law enforcement community will benefit from the work done at the expanded Pocatello facility.
“We must improve, adapt and create capabilities to translate huge amounts of data into actionable information,” Sallet said. “This data center is a strategic move into that direction.”

INL program ranked No. 5 best energy internship in nation

INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 12, 2019

NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:

Julie Ulrich, 208-520-1139, julie.ulrich@inl.gov

Sarah Neumann, 208-520-1651, sarah.neumann@inl.gov

INL program ranked No. 5 best energy internship in nation

Idaho National Laboratory’s internship program has been recognized as one of the five best energy internship programs in the nation by Vault Magazine. The ranking is based off student intern feedback provided directly to Vault. Vault surveyed nearly 14,000 current and former interns from more than 130 internship programs asking respondents to rate and review their own internship experiences for the 2020 Best Internships Rankings.

Respondents were asked to rate their internship experiences on a scale of 1 to 10 in six core areas:

  • Quality of Life (office culture, hours, work-life balance, flexibility)
  • Compensation & Benefits (pay structure, subsidized expenses, office space, perks)
  • Interview Process (application process, requirements, number of interviews)
  • Career Development (including four separate ratings for training and mentoring, quality of assignments, real-life experience, networking opportunities)
  • Full-time Employment Prospects (opportunity to obtain a full-time job with this organization)
  • Diversity (including four separate ratings for diversity with respect to women, minorities, LGBT individuals, and other underrepresented groups)

The Best Energy Internships reflect the highest-rated internships among energy companies.

Each year, INL hires hundreds of students from universities around the country and the world to work under the guidance of skilled and talented mentors. These internships enable students to collaborate with experienced scientists and engineers in order to develop innovative solutions to challenging, real-world projects.

INL encourages interns to spend 80% of their time at the lab with their mentor and apply their classroom knowledge to real-life work, and to spend 20% of their time in enrichment activities like workshops or skill-building activities.

“Our University Partnerships team works closely with organizations throughout the Laboratory to assure interns get a rewarding experience. This national ranking shows that our efforts at creating the best experience for students are paying off,” said Dr. Mark Peters, INL director.

About Vault
Vault is best known for its influential rankings, ratings, and reviews on thousands of top employers and hundreds of internship programs. Vault’s rankings and ratings are regularly featured and cited by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Money, and countless other news outlets. Since 1996, Vault has been providing in-depth intelligence on what it’s really like to work within an industry, company, or profession.

About INL

INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

INL strengthens partnerships with small businesses and exceeds annual procurement goals

INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov.14, 2019

NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:

Michelle Goff, michelle.goff@inl.gov, 208-526-1650

Sarah Neumann, sarah.neumann@inl.gov, 208-526-0490

Editor’s Note: A graphic depiction of the funds awarded throughout Idaho is attached for your use.

 INL strengthens partnerships with small businesses and exceeds annual procurement goals

 The U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory has once again demonstrated a firm commitment to partnering with small businesses by meeting all but one of its small business goals.

At the close of Fiscal Year 2019 on Sept. 30, Battelle Energy Alliance, which holds the INL management and operations contract from DOE, reported spending over $332 million with small businesses. This accounts for 54.9% of INL’s overall business spending, and substantially exceeds the $114 million amount set as a goal at the beginning of the year, which would have accounted for about 51% of INL’s spending.

Not only did INL exceed its overall small business goal, but it also exceeded spending goals with Idaho businesses, spending $222 million in Idaho, for a total of 36.7% percent of overall spending, as opposed to the $181.5 million and 30% goal originally established.

“Our partnerships with Idaho businesses are invaluable to the success of INL’s operations,” said Dennis Newby, the lab’s chief financial officer. “We are fortunate to have such high-quality resources throughout our state to fulfill the day-to-day demands of the lab.”

At the beginning of each fiscal year, new small business goals are negotiated as part of the lab’s DOE contract, to determine what percentage of procurement volume needs to be set aside for small business spending. INL’s contracts with small businesses are designed to provide materials and services needed to achieve its diverse missions, including items such as office supplies, fuels and information technology equipment, as well as construction services and skilled expertise in key research areas. The national statutory requirement for small business procurement is 51%. In both 2018 and 2017, INL hit 59.1% in small business volume, so lab leadership saw this as a very attainable goal. As part of their efforts to achieve statewide procurement goals, the INL Small Business Team travels throughout the state to share opportunities for contracting and partnering to do research, as well as information about proposal writing to increase a business’s chances of receiving an award.

Socioeconomic goals are also set for small, disadvantaged businesses, Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone businesses, businesses owned by women and service-disabled veterans, and businesses in Idaho. In FY-19, INL met five of its six socioeconomic procurement goals. They came close but did not quite meet their service-disabled veteran-owned small business goal.

“I am incredibly proud of INL’s strong commitment to working with small businesses and especially Idaho-based small businesses,” said Stacey Francis, the lab’s Small Business Program manager. “Small businesses are integral to our success, and we are excited to continue these positive partnerships.”

INL is one of the U.S. DOE’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow @INL on Twitter or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IdahoNationalLaboratory.

INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 5, 2019

NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:
Julie Ulrich, 208-520-1139, julie.ulrich@inl.gov
Sarah Neumann, 208-526-0490, sarah.neumann@inl.gov

Four from INL selected as Women Worth Watching awardees

Four from Idaho National Laboratory have been selected as Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity, a national publication dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, STEM and higher education sectors.

The list of Women Worth Watching contains leaders from a variety of industries throughout the U.S. and the world. The recognition is designed to recognize and publicly celebrate the achievements of women who are “leading the way to excellence in the workplace, marketplace and the world.”

Each awardee is featured in a full-page highlight in the fall issue of Diversity Journal. Congratulations to the four INL winners:

• Dr. Anne M. Gaffney, chief science officer and Distinguished Laboratory Fellow (p. 40)
• Dr. Monica C. Regalbuto, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Strategy director (p. 33)
• Dr. Erin Searcy, Institutional Planning and Programs director (p. 30)
• Virginia L. Wright, Energy Cyber Portfolio manager (p. 39)

“We’re proud to have four outstanding leaders at Idaho National Laboratory recognized as Women Worth Watching. This national recognition is a testament to the talented workforce we have at INL and encouragement that our inclusive employment policies are making a difference,” said Ron Crone, Materials & Fuels Complex associate laboratory director and Women in Leadership Council executive sponsor.

You can view the full issue of the online magazine issue here. https://issuu.com/diversityjournal/docs/women_worth_watching_2019?fr=sMzUzOTcyNjQ5

INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

Profiles in Diversity Journal, a quarterly publication, is dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, STEM and higher education sectors. Since 1999, Diversity Journal has helped stimulate organizational change by profiling the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and individual commitments to making it happen.

See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.