Ever wonder what it's like to tap into the human brain? Or did you ponder about the best ways to understand neurological diseases and functions such as memory? Did you know tiny neural devices can potentially help patients see, hear and move?
Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at LLNL's Center for Bioengineering, will be answering those questions and more on the popular social media site Reddit as part as of the Bay Area Science Festival activities.
Tolosa will be answering questions about her neural research from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Oct. 29, on Reddit's AMA (Ask Me Anything) social media forum. The forum is opened to all Reddit users who post questions for a subject-matter expert to answer.
About the photo:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineer Vanessa Tolosa holds up a flexible electrode array that gets implanted into animals to record brain signals. Tolosa will be answering questions about this technology and more on the social media site Reddit.
This month, we gathered all of NNSA’s Senior Executive Service leaders together for a productive and valuable set of discussions on the strategic direction of NNSA. At this offsite meeting, leaders from several different government agencies shared their best practices to being a high performer on the annual “Best Places to Work” survey. We also held breakout sessions devoted to communicating effectively, driving a performance-based culture, fostering effective leadership, and developing a strategic plan.
This is not the first time NNSA’s senior leadership has addressed these issues. Much work has already been done on identifying and addressing enterprise-wide problems that need attention. We are now in a position, however, to move from having high-level discussions to identifying concrete, actionable solutions, and bringing these measures to closure.
Thus, the final product of this meeting will be an action plan detailing steps NNSA’s leaders can implement in the next 120 days. This plan also kicks-off an effort to update the NNSA Strategic Plan. We want all employees of the nuclear security enterprise to be involved in developing the strategic direction of NNSA, so there will be several opportunities for you to share suggestions and ideas in the weeks to come.
Your leaders are focusing their efforts on making the nuclear security enterprise a great place to work, which is an absolutely paramount part of achieving our enduring national security mission and taking care of our people.
“Mission First, People Always”
Y‑12 has been recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for its outstanding work in support of science, technology, engineering, and math education. The FLC Southeast Region selected Y‑12 for the 2014 Outstanding Accomplishment in STEM Education Support award for its partnership with the Young Innovators’ Society STEM league.
Y‑12 assembled a project team of scientists and experts from Y‑12, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Conservation Fisheries to work with middle school students from northern Ohio, who call themselves The Awesome Eyeballs, on their untested but innovative technology to reduce mercury levels in fish.
If successful, the students’ method of reducing mercury levels in fish would directly benefit Y‑12’s efforts to improve the environmental quality of the East Fork Poplar Creek, where mercury contamination in sediments from historical manufacturing processes is an ongoing issue.
When Robin Stubenhofer, vice president of engineering at the National Security Campus, heard that women account for only ten percent of the engineering workforce in America, she made a personal commitment to inspire young women to pursue technical careers. Throughout her 30-year career, she has devoted time to mentoring and developing talent for leadership and technical advancements to integrate evolving technologies into the business.
Kansas City’s Central Exchange recently honored Stubenhofer’s significant contributions to the STEM community by awarding the “Groundbreaker Award” at the inaugural Stemmy Gala and Awards celebration. The event puts a well-deserved spotlight on the accomplishments of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math careers across the greater Kansas City area. Formed in 1979, Central Exchange fosters community service and business leadership in women.
At the National Security Campus, Stubenhofer leads an organization with nearly 1,000 engineers and technical employees charged with delivering mission-critical mechanical, electrical and engineered material components and integrating evolving technologies, such as 3D printing, to improve the safety and security of our nation’s defense programs.
Stubenhofer was recently awarded the 2014 Women Who Mean Business Award in Kansas City and is a strong community supporter of FIRST Robotics, Science Pioneers and KC STEM Alliance. She works with a collaborative network of educators, business affiliates and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust force of related professionals for our community.
We’re off to a great start! The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) kicked off last Tuesday with the theme, “Universal Giving.”
Every day, men and women in the DC area and from throughout the nation are in need of charitable assistance to help meet basic needs. The CFC is a unique opportunity for all employees across the enterprise to help better the lives of those in need.
Last year, more than $204,661.31 was raised by NNSA employees in voluntary contributions. This year, with 24 pledges to date, NNSA’s goal is to exceed the target of $174,078.61 before the end of the campaign. With more than 4,400 charities to choose from, each of you can find and support causes that matters the most to you. Thus, everyone is encouraged to “Be a Superhero,” by donating and actively participating in the various fundraising events that will be held throughout the course of the campaign period. In doing so, you help in meeting DOE’s target goal of $1.1 million.
About the photo:
Gen. Frank Klotz, DOE Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator, and Mark Roman, NNSA CFC coordinator, talk about NNSA’s goal for this year’s campaign.
Craig Wiener, principal consultant for Strategic Planning and Analysis at NNSA, has received the 2014 Sidney Drell Academic Award given by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
He is recognized for his “significant contributions to the Intelligence Community as a scholar and practitioner that have helped strengthen the IC workforce while demonstrating a great breadth of technical and scholastic acumen.”
Wiener is a doctoral candidate in Biodefense & International Security at George Mason University's Graduate School of Policy, Government and International Affairs. He also serves as a graduate teaching assistant for security and intelligence.
Laboratory directors from Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories recently visited the Y-12 National Security Complex. The group toured facilities at the site, including production buildings and Y-12’s Nuclear Detection and Sensor Testing Center. Pictured here are (from left) Assembly/Disassembly Operations Manager Reed Mullins, Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal, LLNL Director William Goldstein, LANL Director Charles McMillan, Sanda Director Paul Hommert and NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart.
Knowing how to enter a burning building filled with smoke while battling a blaze requires continuous training to keep people safe. Pantex Fire Department’s recent training helped personnel stay familiar with their equipment and prepared for emergency situations they may not often see.
Bill Ho-Gland, Pantex Assistant Fire Chief, says the training helps support the site and the surrounding communities that may need Pantex assistance during an emergency. Pantex maintains Memorandums of Understanding with the counties surrounding the Pantex site and renders aid when requested.
Members of the Pantex Fire Department maintain certifications so they are ready to respond to any emergency that arises. This year’s training scenario involved an interior structure fire. The team had to bring the fire under control using effective water application practices, firefighting posture and attack techniques.
The Pantex Fire Department is certified through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) and regularly trains to ensure it meets or exceeds TCFP continuing education requirements. During recent emergency training, members of the department refreshed their training in the use of self-contained breathing apparatus and other personal protective equipment.
Nicole Nelson-Jean has been named as manager of NNSA’s Livermore Field Office, where she is responsible for providing oversight of the national security missions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Nelson-Jean has more than 23 years of relevant experience in the areas of environmental management, infrastructure, nuclear safety, nuclear security, nuclear energy, nonproliferation, business and contract management. She has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Los Alamos Field Office, and the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at NNSA Headquarters, and has served in several positions abroad, including Vienna and Tokyo.
Nelson-Jean has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in strategic security studies, and has completed the Leadership for a Democratic Society Program at the Federal Executive Institute.
LLNL employs 6,300 people and has an annual budget of approximately $1.6 billion and government-owned assets of more than $10 billion.
Thirteen teams at Y-12 received NNSA Defense Programs Awards of Excellence at an annual ceremony held recently at the New Hope Center. A total of 209 recipients were recognized, with several participating on more than one team. In total, 235 awards were presented for significant achievements in 2013.
NNSA’s newly appointed Uranium Program Manager Tim Driscoll gave the keynote address. “I’m here today as a patriot, a citizen, a father, a friend to some of you, and as a customer,” Driscoll said. ”These awards are a testament to the good work that goes on here every day at every level. They’re a testament to the loyalty and dedication of all those involved.”
Mark Padilla, NNSA Production Office’s assistant manager for programs and projects, and Jim Haynes, CNS president and chief executive officer, joined Driscoll in presenting the awards. ”The hard work that happens here is what makes the Nuclear Security Enterprise what it is,” Padilla told the crowd.
Haynes said that often Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes garner praise but that Y-12 workers are just as deserving of being in the spotlight. “You are the real heroes. You are creators of solutions. You do the yeoman’s work for our nuclear security,” he said. “How refreshing it is for you to be recognized instead of those who walk the red carpet. You do the critical front-line work for our nation.”
Established by NNSA in 1982, the Defense Programs Awards of Excellence recognize significant individual and team accomplishments across the nuclear weapons complex in support of NNSA’s nuclear weapons program. The awards are given annually to recognize significant achievements in quality, productivity, cost savings, safety or creativity in support of NNSA’s nuclear weapons program.
Defense Programs 2013 Award of Excellence recipient Penny Cunningham receives congratulations from Jim Haynes (far left), CNS president and chief executive officer, Tim Driscoll, NNSA uranium program manager, and Mark Padilla, NNSA Production Office’s assistant manager for programs and projects. Thirteen teams at Y-12 received DP Awards of Excellence for 2013 at an annual ceremony held recently at the New Hope Center.
Defense Programs 2013 Award of Excellence recipient Justin King receives congratulations from Tim Driscoll, NNSA uranium program manager (far left), CNS president and chief executive officer Jim Haynes, and Mark Padilla, NNSA Production Office’s assistant manager for programs and projects. Thirteen teams at Y-12 received DP Awards of Excellence for 2013 at an annual ceremony held recently at the New Hope Center.