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EESD Year in Review

We’re celebrating the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate’s top achievements of the year. From fundamental science breakthroughs to new technology innovations, EESD researchers were once again in the vanguard providing solutions for clean, affordable, and secure energy for a prosperous economy.

National Alliance for Water Innovation

The National Alliance for Water Innovation, or NAWI, was selected in 2019 to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy-Water Desalination Hub, bringing together a world-class team of industry and academic partners to examine the critical technical barriers and research needed to radically lower the cost and energy for desalination.

3D printing shapes building industry, creates rapid construction potential

A residential and commercial tower under development in Brooklyn that is changing the New York City skyline has its roots in research at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The tower’s precast concrete façade rising from the waterfront site of the former Domino Sugar Factory evokes the form of a sugar crystal – a pattern created from 3D printed molds produced at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL.

ORNL teams with Los Alamos, EPB to demonstrate next-generation grid security tech

A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories has partnered with EPB, a Chattanooga utility and telecommunications company, to demonstrate the effectiveness of metro-scale quantum key distribution (QKD) as a means of secure communication for the nation’s electricity suppliers. This initial milestone is part of the team’s three-year project focused on next-generation grid security.

Cold, hard data: ORNL data scientists support historic Arctic expedition

MOSAiC, the largest polar expedition of all time, will produce demanding quantities of data. ORNL staff in the field and the lab collect, store and process it to share with collaborators around the world.

ORNL scientists make fundamental discovery to creating better crops

A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered the specific gene that controls an important symbiotic relationship between plants and soil fungi, and successfully facilitated the symbiosis in a plant that typically resists it.

ORNL research supports an efficient, clean, secure transportation future

As part of DOE’s HPC4Mobility initiative, ORNL researchers developed machine learning algorithms that can control smart traffic lights at intersections to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic and increase fuel efficiency.

Supercomputing, neutrons unite to unravel structures of intrinsically disordered protein

Using the Titan supercomputer and the Spallation Neutron Source at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists have created the most accurate 3D model yet of an intrinsically disordered protein, revealing the ensemble of its atomic-level structures.

ORNL, Lincoln Electric to advance large-scale metal additive manufacturing technology

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lincoln Electric announced their continued collaboration on large-scale, robotic additive manufacturing technology at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing InnovationXLab Summit. The new agreement builds upon ORNL and Lincoln Electric’s previous developments by extending additive technology to new materials, leveraging data analytics and enabling rapid manufacture of metal components in excess of 100 pounds per hour.

ORNL scientists shed light on microbial ‘dark matter’ with new approach

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated a way to isolate and grow targeted bacteria using genomic data, making strides toward resolving the grand challenge of uncultivated microbial “dark matter” in which the vast majority of microorganisms remain unstudied in the laboratory.

Georgia Power Unveils Atlanta's First Smart Neighborhood

The U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory helped unveil a new community of smart homes that will serve as a living laboratory for researchers to evaluate how homeowners are using energy in a real-world, smart home environment.