Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Scientist who developed quantum computing code wins ORNL’s top science award

20-Nov-2020 10:05 AM EST, by Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Newswise — Paul Kent, a computational nanoscience researcher in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Computing and Computational Science Directorate, received the ORNL Director's Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology. The award recognizes Kent’s leadership in quantum computing development and application on high-performance computing platforms to help solve major scientific problems.

The Director’s Awards were presented during a livestreamed ceremony by ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia on Friday. The lab’s top awards concluded a two-week period in which category winners were announced daily to laboratory staff. The awards are typically presented at an Awards Night event hosted by UT-Battelle, the management and operating contractor of ORNL for the Department of Energy.

Kent received the lab’s top science and technology award “for exemplary leadership in the development of quantum Monte Carlo methods on high-performance computing platforms and applying them to major problems of high scientific and technologic relevance.” He also won the Research Leadership award (video).

Kent’s research is focused on predicting and explaining the properties of materials using computer simulation. He directs DOE’s Center for Predictive Simulation of Functional Materials and leads the development of the QMCPACK application — high-performance quantum Monte Carlo code for computing the electronic structure of atoms, molecules and solids — as part of DOE’s Exascale Computing Project.

The Director’s Award for Outstanding Team Accomplishment in Science and Technology went to a research group in ORNL’s Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate for “revolutionary advancements in the area of microbial isolation techniques that promise to usher in a new era for microbiome studies, an area of current significant interest in both health and agriculture.” Led by Mircea Podar, the team includes Jerry Parks, Connor Cooper, Manasi Balachandran and Dawn Klingeman. The team also received an Outstanding Scholarly Output award (video).

Dr. Bart Iddins, ORNL Health Services Division director, won the Director's Award for Mission Support “for his outstanding leadership in ensuring the safety of the ORNL staff and enabling the continued performance of the laboratory’s research activities during the COVID-19 pandemic (video).

He advised ORNL leadership in making unprecedented decisions regarding laboratory operations based on both his medical knowledge and career in crisis management. Convinced that testing with rapid turnaround was key, he set up an effective onsite testing program that continues to grow more robust. During the pandemic, the retired Air Force major general has been and continues to be front and center in ORNL’s fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” Additionally, Iddins received the Mission Support Leadership award.

The Director’s Award for a Mission Support team went to a multidisciplinary group led by Merlin Theodore, director of the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in ORNL’s Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD), “for the rapid development and deployment of melt blowing and charging technology to enable domestic production of N95 media. Working with the inventor of N95 filter media, the team developed a novel in-line charging device critical to production of the filter media. A collaboration and technology transfer between ORNL’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility and Cummins Filtration led to the production of millions of respirator masks distributed across the nation to combat COVID-19."

The team includes ESTD’s Jason Newport, Tina Summers, Kim Sitzlar, Peter Lloyd, Jesse Heineman, Emma Betters and Greg Larsen; the Environment, Safety, Health and Quality Directorate’s Tony Reynolds; Physical Sciences Directorate’s Parans Paranthaman; and Peter Tsai, a retired faculty member from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and inventor of the N95 mask filter material. The team also won a Technology Transfer award (video).

Honorees in ORNL’s annual awards program are selected by committees and approved by the laboratory director. Nominations are made by division, program or directorate managers. The Director’s Award winners are selected from honorees by the laboratory director with input from the deputy for science and technology, deputy for projects, and deputy for operations.

View the full video playlist of the 2020 award winners.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 4147
Newswise: COVID-19 Peer Hub combats vaccine avoidance amid pandemic
Released: 27-Nov-2020 8:05 AM EST
COVID-19 Peer Hub combats vaccine avoidance amid pandemic
University of South Australia

UniSA researchers are evaluating a new vaccination education initiative – the COVID-19 Peer Hub – to help immunisation and public health professionals to tackle the emerging dangers of vaccine hesitancy amid the pandemic.

Newswise: Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19: Your Mental Health
Released: 25-Nov-2020 2:15 PM EST
Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19: Your Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped more than half a year of our lives, canceling plans, upending livelihoods and causing feelings of grief, stress and anxiety. And Cedars-Sinai mental health experts say the pandemic could be shaping our mental health well into the future.

Released: 25-Nov-2020 12:45 PM EST
SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not appear to increase transmissibility
University College London

None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, according to a study led by UCL researchers.

Newswise: COVID-19 vaccine candidate tested preclinically at UAB nears first clinical test in people
Released: 25-Nov-2020 11:05 AM EST
COVID-19 vaccine candidate tested preclinically at UAB nears first clinical test in people
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Maryland-based Altimmune Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, has submitted an Investigational New Drug, or IND, application to the United States Food and Drug Administration to commence a Phase 1 clinical study of its single-dose intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AdCOVID.

Released: 25-Nov-2020 11:05 AM EST
BIDMC researchers reveal how genetic variations are linked to COVID-19 disease severity
Beth Israel Lahey Health

New research BIDMC-led sheds light on the genetic risk factors that make individuals more or less susceptible to severe COVID-19.

Newswise: blog-pandemic-scenario-planning-lg-feature2.jpg
Released: 25-Nov-2020 11:05 AM EST
Pandemic Ups Game on Scenario Planning in The Arts
Wallace Foundation

Researcher/Author of new toolkit and report seeks to help arts and culture organizations add scenario planning to their strategic toolbox

Released: 25-Nov-2020 10:30 AM EST
Young people's anxiety levels doubled during first COVID-19 lockdown, says study
University of Bristol

The number of young people with anxiety doubled from 13 per cent to 24 per cent, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown 1, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

Newswise: 249837_web.jpg
Released: 25-Nov-2020 10:20 AM EST
Tracking COVID-19 trends in hard-hit states
Louisiana State University

Currently, there are over 10 million confirmed cases and more than 240,000 casualties attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S.

Released: 25-Nov-2020 9:55 AM EST
More Health Systems Join National #MaskUp Campaign
Cleveland Clinic

Many more health systems are joining the national #MaskUp campaign encouraging Americans to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following safety guidelines. Over just a few days, another 19 health systems with hundreds of hospitals united with 100 health systems nationwide with hospitals numbering in the thousands. The public service campaign is critical to the health and well-being of all Americans. It is a plea from healthcare professionals everywhere: wear a mask and follow other precautions to save lives and help get our country back on its feet.

Newswise: delaterre_jpeg.jpg
Released: 25-Nov-2020 7:35 AM EST
Warwick scientists design model to predict cellular drug targets against Covid-19
University of Warwick

The covid-19 virus, like all viruses relies on their host for reproduction

Showing results

110 of 4147