LANL fetes R&D award winners -- Video added

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Science: Honors recognize the top 100 technological advances of the year

Los Alamos National Laboratory recognized four of its teams that won R&D awards Wednesday night at the Hilltop House Hotel.

Lab Director Charlie McMillan handed out the awards to the winners. Other teams that were up for awards also were honored.

These awards honor the top 100 proven technological advances of the year, as selected by a group of R&D Magazine’s chosen judges.

“Congratulations to this year’s R&D 100 award winners,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.” The research and development at the Department of Energy’s laboratories continues to help the nation meet our energy challenges, strengthen our national security and improve our economic competitiveness.”

“These awards demonstrate the continued success of Los Alamos researchers and partners in defining the frontiers of innovation across a wide range of national security science,” said LANL Director Charlie McMillan. “This innovation and creativity will drive the solutions to tomorrow’s problems.”

Here is a brief look at each of the award winners:

• David Holtkamp of the Physics Division was a contributor to the multi-laboratory entry “Multiplexed Photonic Doppler Velocimeter (MPDV),” a portable optical velocimetry system that simultaneously measures up to 32 discrete surface velocities onto a single digitizer by multiplexing signals in frequency and time.

A National Security Technologies (NSTec) team led by scientist Ed Daykin, in collaboration with researcher Ted Strand from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and David Holtkamp from Los Alamos developed the device which uses Doppler light reflections to measure shock physics properties. This technique can be used to conduct everything from modeling weapons characteristics to the vibrational analysis of auto and aircraft systems.

• Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have developed a method that produces two new uranium iodide reagents. The cost-effective, environmentally green, and safe method will not only provide a nondestructive path forward for more than 5,300 metric tons of stockpiled nuclear waste but also stands to revolutionize the use of depleted uranium in chemistry, catalysis, materials science, and energy. Jaqueline L. Kiplinger, Marisa J. Monreal, Robert K. Thomson, Thibault Cantat, and Nicholas E. Travia won this award.

• Valveless Laser Processing technology, known as VLP, eliminates the use of valves in hermetically sealed containers by using a laser to repeatedly access and reseal the containers. Applications of VLP range from advancing the safety of sampling high-hazard waste containers, to improving leak testing of pacemakers before use.

A significant advance in VLP is the unique laser-alloying technique that prevents cracks on materials that are typically prone to cracking. With this alloying technique, researchers can reseal containers by welding them with the alloy material and then certify these seals to the highest standards, thus allowing nondestructive certification and reuse of sampled containers.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex jointly won the award. See a video at LAMonitor.com.

• Sequedex is a revolutionary software package that can chew through one human genome’s worth of DNA analysis in 30 minutes on a single core of a laptop computer.

Sequedex makes it possible for a scientist to explore a community of microorganisms by analyzing the DNA from a spoonful of dirt, during the course of an afternoon, using equipment that could be carried on the back of a mule. Sequedex gets its performance boost by combining keyword recognition technology from web search engines with evolutionary theory, placing short “reads” of DNA from any organism on the Tree of Life.

Joel Berendzen, Nicolas Hengartner, Judith Cohn and Benjamin McMahon won the award.

Since 1978, Los Alamos has won 125 of the R&D100 awards that celebrate the top 100 proven technological advances of the year as judged by R&D Magazine. These technologies include innovative new materials, chemistry breakthroughs, biomedical products, consumer items, testing equipment and high-energy physics.

Since 1995, winning innovations have returned more than $45 million in funding to Los Alamos in the form of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, Work for Others, User Facility Agreements and licenses. More than 80 patent awards have been associated with winners with many more patents pending. More than 25 percent of LANL’s commercial licenses and 35 percent of noncommercial licenses can be attributed to R&D 100 winners.

See photos of the ceremony at LAMonitor.com.


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