Newswise — Mark Noakes, a senior researcher in advanced manufacturing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been recognized by the American Nuclear Society’s Robotics and Remote Systems Division with the 2021 Ray Goertz Award for his outstanding contributions to the field of remote technology in hazardous environments.

Noakes, who joined ORNL in 1983, has 38 years of experience in robotics and remote systems. He was part of the research team that developed and demonstrated a full-scale damped oscillation crane control that has been widely used by industry. Noakes was also a major contributor to the migration from teleoperation to telerobotics and smart tooling for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. He is a leader in large-scale additive manufacturing and has conducted research and development, testing, and deployment for including electromechanical and electrohydraulic systems.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by ANS for contributions to the robotics, remote systems, and telerobotic field,” Noakes said. “Additive manufacturing has placed further emphasis on robotics, so my research with ORNL for the past several years has been focused on advancing these technologies from research prototypes to commercially available systems in collaboration with industry partners.”

At ORNL, Noakes has been instrumental in developing large-scale metal additive applications, including wire-arc systems, at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. His research contributed to the scale-up of metal additive processes and the necessary design rules to fabricate large metal components, stamping dies for sheet metal components, and molds for composite manufacturing.

“Mark is a significant reason our manufacturing research has grown in the area of automation and controls,” said ORNL’s Lonnie Love, section head for precision manufacturing and machining. “His expertise and insight into knowing how to operate complex additive manufacturing systems in harsh, extreme environments is beyond compare.”

Noakes earned his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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