David Kirkpatrick

April 6, 2009

April 2009 media tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The latest story ideas coming out of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The release:

April 2009 Story Tips

Story ideas from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Sensors—Math to the rescue . . .

Making sense of the enormous amounts of information delivered by all types of sensors is an incredible challenge, but it’s being met head on with knowledge discovery techniques developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Some of the strategies and approaches are outlined in a recently published book, “Knowledge Discovery from Sensor Data,” (http://books.google.com/books?id=dq7uAA3ssPcC) edited by a team led by Auroop Ganguly of ORNL’s Computational Sciences and Engineering Division. The book is specifically aimed at analyzing dynamic data streams from sensors that are geographically distributed. “We are especially interested in looking for changes – even ones that are very gradual — and anomalies,” Ganguly said. This work helps to validate and assign uncertainties to models developed to understand issues related to climate, transportation and biomass. Co-authors include Olufemi Omitaomu and Ranga Raju Vatsavai of ORNL. This research was originally funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. 

Cyber Security—Meeting of minds . . .

Dozens of the nation’s authorities on cyber security will be participating in the Fifth Cyber Security and Information Intelligence Research Workshop April 13-15 (http://www.ioc.ornl.gov/csiirw). The focus of this event, which is open to the public, is to discuss novel theoretical and empirical research to advance the field. “We aim to challenge, establish and debate a far-reaching agenda that broadly and comprehensively outlines a strategy for cyber security and information intelligence that is founded on sound principles and technologies,” said Frederick Sheldon, general chair and a member of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, a sponsor of the workshop. Other sponsors are the University of Tennessee and the Federal Business Council. The workshop, hosted by ORNL, is being held in cooperation with the Association for Computing Machinery. 

Material—Graphene cleanup . . .

Graphene, a single-layer sheet of graphite, has potential as a remarkable material, particularly for electronics and composite applications. However, working with the material leaves molecular-scale rough edges, which can spoil its properties. Researchers at MIT and the Laboratory for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research (LINAN) and Advanced Materials Department in San Luis Potosi, Mexico have been working with graphitic nanoribbons. Separate research performed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed theory-based computer simulations with quantum mechanical calculations that explain how a process called Joule heating cleans up graphene as the rough carbon edges vaporize and then reconstruct at higher, voltage-induced temperatures. The collaborative project was recently described in Science magazine. 

Energy—Tighten up . . .

An effort to gather environmental data related to the energy efficiency of buildings through weatherization technologies will be conducted in a joint project that includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Building Technologies, Research and Integration Center. ORNL engineer Andre Desjarlais says his group’s research will focus on the study of a building’s air tightness by monitoring unintended air movement – air leakage – between outdoors and indoors. In heating climates, up to 30 percent of the energy used in a building can be attributed to air leakage. The tests will be conducted at Syracuse University, which is also a partner. Other partners are the Air Barrier Association of America and it members, along with the New York State Energy Office. The DOE funding source is the Office of Building Technologies.

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