A math project at the school included cake baking. The approach to education is interdisciplinary, pulling subjects like algebra, physics, and language arts into a single, hands-on assignment.

Technology Leadership High School, a public charter located close to Sandia National Laboratories and technology-based businesses, opened in August with 90 students in grade 9. The school will add a grade level each year until it reaches 12th grade.

Sandia donated refurbished laptop computers and other equipment, and its scientists are working with the school's teachers on curriculum.

“Our focus is to engage students who have been disengaged, students who might fall through the cracks at traditional schools,” said Velina Chavez, director of community engagement. “We know students can succeed, and it’s great to see that happen.”

Read more about the school.

Dec 30, 2015 at 10:00 am

Los Alamos National Laboratory recently received a second presidential award as a climate champion. From left are: Mathew Moury, Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security; Michael Sweitzer, NNSA; Josh Silverman, Director, DOE Office of Sustainability Support; Christy Goldfuss, Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Denny Hjeresen, LANL Waste Management Division; Leslie Hansen, LANL Environmental Protection Division; Jessica Arcidiacono and NNSA Sustainability Program Eric Bradley, DOE Office of Sustainability Support.

In recognition of their proactive commitment to protecting the environment of Northern New Mexico from the potential impacts of a changing climate, a consortium of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s federal and contractor staff received the GreenGov Presidential Award.

“We recognized the need for a different approach after a devastating wildfire and a series of impactful environmental events,” said Michael Brandt, associate director for the Laboratory’s Environment, Safety and Health directorate. “As a laboratory, we seek to be good stewards of the environment by implementing scientific, engineering and operational measures that mitigate the impacts of climate change and by managing our natural and cultural resources.”

Read more about the award.

Dec 30, 2015 at 1:00 am


Some 23,000 tons of asphalt removed during this summer’s UPF site work have been put to use throughout the site. Potholes and gravel roads are now “paved” with the recycled asphalt that has been ground into a material called base course. Unlike gravel, the material tends to rebind into a solid form as it is packed down, thus sending it back to its former life as asphalt.

Read more about it.


Dec 29, 2015 at 1:00 am

Sandia National Laboratories technologist Catherine Sobczak prepares a silicon wafer to load into a machine. She has been honored with the inaugural Thin Film Distinguished Technologist Award from the American Vacuum Society.

The American Vacuum Society has honored Sandia National Laboratories technologist Catherine Sobczak with its inaugural Thin Film Division Distinguished Technologist Award for providing exceptional technical support of thin film research and development.

Sobczak will be formally recognized next fall by the society’s Thin Film Division at the society’s 63rd International Symposium & Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee.

“It’s an honor to receive this award. The people who nominated me are high-level folks in the vacuum technology field. It’s nice to be recognized for all your years of service doing this,” Sobczak said.

Read more about it.

Dec 28, 2015 at 1:00 am

SRS contractor employees compete in the fifth annual “Dash for Bikes, Walk for Trikes” relay race, which has raised $25,000 for the Savannah River Site’s Toys for Tots campaign.

Dozens of contractor employees at the Savannah River Site (SRS) recently combined zany fun with athletic competition to create a race like no other, all for a good cause. Each year, the “Dash for Bikes, Walk for Trikes” relay race raises thousands of dollars to purchase bicycles and tricycles for the SRS Toys for Tots campaign.

According to event founder, environmental geologist Jeff Ross, this was the fifth Dash for Bikes, Walk for Trikes race held at the SRS training track. “Most teams wear some sort of costumes, each team with their own theme,” said Ross. “At this point, I feel like we’ve pretty much seen it all, from Christmas elves and super heroes to a bridal party; last year the fire department even ran in full gear wearing air tanks. I’m always impressed with the creativity and enthusiasm displayed by our contestants.”

Read more about it.

Dec 23, 2015 at 1:00 am


On Thursday morning, Dec. 17, NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs’ Office of Secure Transportation (OST) celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the transportation safeguards mission with a ceremony at the Mountain View Club on Kirtland Air Force Base. 

Deputy Secretary of Energy Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall congratulated OST on 40 years of success.

“During these past forty years, OST Agents have literally driven the distance from the Earth to Mars with no fatal accidents and no release of radioactive material,” Dr. Sherwood-Randall said. “Few other agencies can match this outstanding performance record.”NNSA Blog

OST alumni and senior leadership from Albuquerque’s DOE and NNSA community were present for the ceremony, to include the NNSA Office of Defense Programs Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator Mr. Phil Calbos.

In a commemorative address, Mr. Calbos also congratulated the most recent group of Federal Agent Nuclear Material Courier training graduates. The 22 OST graduates represent the less than two percent of all applicants who were chosen for and completed the 21 weeks of training to earn the title of Federal Agent, Nuclear Materials Courier. He mentioned the impressive prior service records of the candidates as well.

“In my book, you represent the best of the Nation and we’re pleased that you’re part of OST. OST is your next step in serving the nation. And it’s a big step with tremendous implications,” Mr. Calbos said. “Yours is a mission that we simply cannot afford to get wrong. We haven’t for the past forty years, thanks to many of the folks in this audience, and we won’t for the next forty years thanks to you and your successors.”

“OST has been at the forefront of this essential national security mission from the beginning,” Dr. Sherwood-Randall said. “I want to thank everyone at OST for your dedication to the safety and security of our country. You have our sincere appreciation for your four decades of organizational excellence.”

Dr. Sherwood-Randall and Mr. Calbos thanked the OST staff and new graduates’ family members, whose support, they said, contributes to success in one of the most essential national security missions undertaken by the U.S. government.

Dec 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and collaborators have found that most climate models overestimate the increase in global precipitation due to climate change.

Specifically, the team looked at 25 models and found they underestimate the increase in absorption of sunlight by water vapor as the atmosphere becomes moister, and therefore overestimate increases in global precipitation.

The team found global precipitation increase per degree of global warming at the end of the 21st century may be about 40 percent smaller than what the models, on average, currently predict.

The research appears in the Dec. 10 edition of the journal Nature.

Learn more about the research.

Dec 21, 2015 at 1:00 am


Earlier this month, Washington State University mechanical engineering students delivered two prototypes developed as part of their senior design projects to their Pacific Northwest National Laboratory mentors. The design projects were supported by the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative Human Capital Development (NGSI HCD) program, which works to recruit, train and retain qualified personnel to meet future international safeguards challenges. To advance the NGSI HCD mission, PNNL identified highly qualified WSU engineering students to work with PNNL experts on projects that support nonproliferation and nuclear safeguards. These student teams worked with PNNL mentors to create two prototypes:

  • A large doughnut-shaped fixture designed to hold gamma ray detectors and surround a 12-foot-long nuclear fuel assembly. In a working model, gamma ray measurements would detect whether any spent fuel is missing.
  • An alignment and orientation fixture and target turntable to hold a system that creates and compares 3D images of a nuclear material container to detect tampering.

The devices will be used in training, workshops and exercises to support nuclear safeguards, security and nonproliferation training in various domestic settings.

PNNL develops innovative technologies and conducts system studies to maintain and enhance international safeguards and the nonproliferation regime. Working with regional universities, such as WSU, PNNL creates opportunities for university students in appropriate program areas to apply their education to real projects that are addressing national security challenges.

WSU conducts an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.-approved industrial design clinic in which industry partners sponsor students and faculty to design and develop prototypes that meet specific industry needs. The industrial design clinic provides excellent learning opportunities for the engineering students while delivering a high-value product to industry at minimal cost to the industry partner.

PNNL's NGSI/HCD execution program has worked with the WSU Mechanical Design Program (Industrial Design Clinic) since 2009, with each semester resulting in the design, fabrication and delivery of one or more pieces of national security-applicable equipment that can be used in training, research and other applications.


Dec 18, 2015 at 1:00 am

Lawrence Livermore Laboratory engineer Bryan Moran won an award last month for his 3D printing innovation. It could revolutionize additive manufacturing.

Lawrence Livermore Lab engineer Bryan Moran wasn’t necessarily looking to improve on 3D printing technology when he moved over to Additive Manufacturing three years ago, but he may have done just that.

Moran’s creation, a new take on a process called projection micro-stereolithography, which uses UV light to create 3D objects, won him a coveted R&D 100 award in Las Vegas last month.

“It’s a leap forward because it’s combining two existing techniques in a unique way,” Moran said. “It’s enabling things that you just wouldn’t have thought of because it wasn’t practical before.”

Simply put, Moran’s printer, called the Large Area Projection Micro-Stereolithography (LAPuSL), projects an image onto a liquid resin that hardens when hit by light, to create 3D objects. Because his machine combines the extraordinary detail (resolution on the order of micrometers) inherent to direct light processors with high speed and a larger scan area, it gives operators the ability to make larger and more complex objects at higher speed. This enables the production of large components with fine features such as micro-architected materials with overall sizes around 10 centimeters, containing individual features in the micrometer range.

Read more about it.


Dec 17, 2015 at 1:00 am
Pantexans Caleb Rejino, left, and Danny Caverly, right, and Colin Caverly, Caverly’s son deliver meals to the Eveline Rivers Sunshine Cottages in Amarillo.
A team of Pantex volunteers provided support to families in the Eveline Rivers’ Sunshine Cottages to put healthy meals on the table while the single parents prepared for finals. The cottages are housing for low‑income or homeless single parents who want to finish their education, work and raise their children in a safe environment.

“Finals week can be a difficult time for anyone,” said Pantexan Caleb Rejino. “Eveline asked us to help the Sunshine Cottages by providing pre‑cooked or easy to prepare healthy meals. It is one less thing the parents have to worry about while studying for finals.”

Eveline Rivers, an Amarillo philanthropist, opened the Sunshine Cottages in 2001, with one home that was renovated into apartments. She now has six facilities with the goal to move “the whole family off the government system,” according to Eveline’s Sunshine Cottage website.

Residents of the Sunshine Cottages are required to take at least 12 hours of college classes each semester, work and ensure their children attend school. “These parents are working hard to finish their education and making sure their children learn by example,” Rejino said.

Read more at this link.

Dec 11, 2015 at 5:00 pm