DOE National Laboratory Research Projects Win 31 R&D 100 Awards for 2007

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach today lauded researchers from ten of the Department of Energy’s world-class national laboratories that last night were awarded 31 of the world’s top 100 scientific and technological innovations in 2007, as judged by R&D Magazine. The awards are presented annually in recognition of the most outstanding technology developments with commercial potential. 18 of the awards won by DOE lab researchers were shared with researchers from universities and businesses. R&D Magazine presented the awards last night at its 45th Annual R&D Awards Ceremony in Chicago.

“I congratulate our leading researchers who are honored with this prestigious award,” Dr. Orbach said. “These awards are a testament to the Department of Energy's continued scientific contributions to advance our nation's energy, economic and national security.”

Since the R&D Magazine annual competition began in 1962, DOE-funded researchers have won 770 R&D 100 Awards. These awards recognize the most promising new products, materials or software developed throughout the world and introduced into the market the previous year. Awards are based on each achievement’s technical significance, uniqueness and usefulness compared to competing projects and technologies. The award-winning technologies and products were selected by the editors of R&D Magazine and a panel of outside experts. Widely recognized in the industry, government and academia as a mark of excellence for the most innovative ideas of the year, the R&D 100 Awards are the only industry-wide competition rewarding practical applications of science. The complete list of 2007 R&D 100 Awards appears in the September 2007 issue of R&D Magazine.

A list of the winning technologies and the DOE national laboratories associated with each award follows. Links to the laboratories’ news releases about their 2006 R&D 100 Awards are provided.

Department of Energy-Funded 2007 R&D Award Winners

Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne, IL)

  • Access Grid 3 software enables groups of people to collaborate using open-source standards and Internet technology. The Access Grid enables participants to share and interact with files and applications.
  • The Passive Millimeter-Wave Spectrometer for Remote Chemical Detection is a passive spectrometer in the millimeter-wave region of the electromagnetic spectrum that can detect chemical signatures from several kilometers away.
  • The Ultra-High Resolution Mammography System (UHRMS) equips doctors with a low-cost, high-quality alternative to digital radiography. UHRMS enables doctors to use a glass-ceramic imaging plate, which can be fed into a computer and digitized.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA)

  • The Laser Detected MRI uses laser-based detection to achieve high-resolution images without the need for high magnetic fields like those used in conventional MRI machines.
  • Low-Swirl Combustion for Fuel Flexible, Near-Zero Emissions Gas Turbines is a technology that significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from gas turbines used to produce electricity, or from any stationary combustion system in which it is incorporated. (Jointly with Solar Turbines, Inc.)
  • The Berkeley Unexploded Ordnance Discriminator (BUD) is an electromagnetic system that can determine the location, size, and shape of unexploded buried weapons or explosives.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA)

  • Aperture Continuous Phase Plate Optics, manufactured using magnetorheological finishing, combines interferometry, precision equipment and computer control to produce a highly versatile and precise process for polishing surface topography into optical surfaces. (Jointly with The Zygo Corp. and QED Technologies
  • Hypre, which stands for “high performance preconditioners,” is a software library unique in its ability to provide solution algorithms that are effective on a wide variety of problems, easily accessible using multiple user interfaces, and can effectively exploit the full computational power of today’s high performance computers.
  • Large Area Imager for Standoff Detection is a search instrument capable of finding radiation sources within a 100-meter swath while traveling at 25 mph. It reduces the search time for radiation sources by a factor of 25 and has unprecedented sensitivity to weak sources. (Jointly with DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California-Berkeley)
  • Micro Electro Mechanical System-based Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope measures and automatically corrects aberrations in the eye in real time. (Jointly with University of Southern California Doheny Eye Institute; University of California, Berkeley; University of Rochester; Indiana University; Bloomington and Boston Micromachines Corporation)
  • Noninvasive Pneumothorax Detector is a handheld medical diagnostic device based on ultra wideband technology for the real-time detection of pneumothorax, a medical condition caused by trapped air in the space between the wall of the chest cavity and the lung. (Jointly with BIOMEC, Inc.)

Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM)

  • Camera on a Chip makes radiographic movies of ultra-fast phenomena, using protons in place of x-rays as the illumination source. This camera can be used for measurements of laser beam profiles, fuel injection research, vehicle impact testing and locating fast-moving targets. (Jointly with Teledyne Imaging Sensors)
  • The Portable Acoustic Cytometer is a miniature flow cytometer that uses acoustic waves instead of a complex fluid-handling system to focus cells into a tight concentrated stream for analysis. (Jointly with Acoustic Cytometry Systems.)

National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, WV)

  • Armstrong Process CP Ti and Ti Alloy Powder and Products is a process to produce titanium and titanium alloy powders at a substantially reduced cost by replacing the high-temperature batch process currently used with a low temperature, low pressure continuous process. (Jointly with DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory; International Titanium Powder; BAE Systems; AMETEK; DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory; and Red Devil Brakes)
  • SEQURE Well Finding Technologies use magnetic and methane sensors deployed on helicopters to locate abandoned and leaking wells. (Jointly with Apogee Scientific, Inc. and LaSen, Inc.)
  • MFIX version 2006-4 software promises to advance coal-utilization technologies by reducing the cost of developing and commercializing advanced coal technologies. Developing the technologies needed to use coal cleanly, efficiently and with less carbon emissions entails repeatedly building and testing designs at several different scales. (Jointly with Aeolus Research, Inc.; Parsons, Inc.; and DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

National Nuclear Security Administration Y-12 Complex (Oak Ridge, TN)

  • The Personal Annunciation Device is a self-alarming, wireless emergency alert system intended to replace conventional emergency paging devices.
  • The Rapid Deployment Shelter System converts into a fully equipped two-table trauma center. Though designed for military use, it can also be used in other situations such as emergency housing in disaster situations.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO)

  • The High-Efficiency Metamorphic Multijunction Concentrator Solar Cell (HEMM) represents a powerful new technology for designing super-efficient multi-junction solar cells. The HEMM approach gives designers more materials to choose from to create even higher-efficiency solar cells. (Jointly with Spectrolab, Inc.)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN)

  • The Pharos Neutron Detector System is a small, low-power neutron detection system that can be used to identify nuclear materials at airports and harbors.
  • The Piranha knowledge discovery engine uses intelligent agent technology and a very large cluster computer to analyze large volumes of text data with unprecedented speed and accuracy.
  • Cast Nickel Aluminide for Improved Productivity of Steel Heat-Treating Furnaces has a unique combination of high-temperature strength and oxidation resistance, which is critical for continuous operation of steel plate heat-treating furnaces. (Jointly with Duraloy Technologies; Mittal Steel USA; and consultant Anthony Martocci)
  • High-Performance LMO-enabled, High Temperature Superconducting Wire is a high-current, second-generation superconducting wire with the unique combination of strength, flexibility, fabricability, throughput and low cost needed for power-grid applications, including coils and motors. (Jointly with SuperPower Inc.)
  • Large Area Imager for Standoff Detection (a joint award with LLNL - see description under LLNL)
  • Armstrong Process CP Ti and Ti Alloy Powder and Products (a joint award with NETL - see description under NETL)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland,WA)

  • The Functional Nanoporous Thin Film technology significantly expands and enhances sampling and testing capabilities to test water for virtually every heavy metal.
  • The Microchannel Gas-Liquid Processing Device advances fuel cell technologies by heating, cooling, removing and recovering water and distilling poisonous sulfur from diesel fuel for conversion to hydrogen.
  • Universal Parsing Agent is a document management system that helps U.S. Intelligence offices comprehend documents quickly and make them available for query in a database.

Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM and Livermore, CA)

  • ArcSafe is a patented electrical wiring diagnostic effective in detecting and locating wiring insulation defects in commercial aircraft. (Jointly with Astronics-Advanced Electronic Systems)
  • ElectroNeedle Biomedical Sensor Array is a device that, when pressed against the skin, can make rapid diagnostic measurements in a point-of-care setting.
    The Mode-Filtered Fiber Amplifier enables fabrication of practical, high-power, high-beam-quality laser sources that are compact, rugged, and extremely efficient. (Jointly with Naval Research Laboratories; Nufern Corporation; and Liekki Corporation)
  • The Novint Falcon and Novint/Sandia 3D-Touch Software is the first controller that makes high-fidelity interactive three-dimensional touch possible and practical for consumer computing applications. (Jointly with Novint Technologies, Lunar Design and Force Dimension)
  • The Self-Assembling Process for Fabricating Tailored Thin Films is a simple, economical nanotechnology coating process that enables development of nanoparticle thin films with architectures and properties unattainable by any other processing method. (Jointly with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics)

Learn more about previous awards to DOE’s world-class national laboratories.

Media contact(s):
Jonathan Shradar, (202) 586-4940