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Dr. Robert O’Brien is an internationally recognized Principal Nuclear Scientist/Engineer who has focused his career on the development of advanced materials and energy systems in addition to the manufacturing processes to produce materials for harsh environments Dr. O’Brien received a PhD in the nuclear engineering and physics of radioisotope and nuclear power / propulsion systems for space exploration from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Under his PhD research project, Dr. O’Brien proposed the use of americium-based radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and developed Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) Electric Field Assisted Sintering Techniques (EFAST) for the encapsulation of nuclear materials for both RTGs and nuclear reactor fuels. Dr. O’Brien also received a Masters degree in Physics with Space Science and technology from the University of Leicester. Dr. O’Brien’s research and programmatic management experience in advanced manufacturing of harsh environment materials, space systems and instrumentation design/development, defense systems, nuclear fuel performance, nuclear instrumentation, nuclear safety, irradiation testing, radioisotope source design, and nuclear power system design and development.
Dr. O’Brien currently serves as the Director of Advanced Manufacturing for the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Under this role, Dr O’Brien’s leadership extends across all of the Directorates of the laboratory; Energy & Environment Science & Technology, Nuclear Science & Technology, National & Homeland Security, Materials & Fuels Complex, Advanced Test Reactor, and Industry Engagement.
Dr. Sujit Bidhar graduated with his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo in 2012 specializing in fatigue, fracture mechanics, and finite element modelling in aluminium die cast. He is currently working at Fermilab where he is involved in new target material research and development, developing material models for future high energy beam target materials subjected to thermal shock, and nuclear irradiation damage to predict target lifetime. Dr. Bidhar has set up a lab-scale electrospinning unit and successfully fabricated different ceramic, metallic, and polymeric nanofibers; he is currently designing micromechanical experiments to evaluate single nanofiber mechanical properties using SEM, FIB, and AFM techniques. In the past, he has worked at the University of Tokyo as a researcher in the field of impact analysis on jet engine turbine blade made up of FRP composites, large scale finite element simulation on super computers using LS-DYNA. He has research interest and experience in computational mechanics, solid mechanics, structural analysis, fatigue and fracture, stress analysis, very large scale finite element simulations, image Based Finite Element Method using ANSYS,VOXELCON,LS-DYNA,ABAQUS, FrontISTR,HYPERMESH, MATLAB, Fatigue testing, X-ray CT. He also has experience in conducting experiments at high temperature and pressure environment, various metallurgical laboratory works, SEM micrographs, EDX, RAMAN spectroscopy, Slow strain rate tests.
Thomas Schenkel is a physicist and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is the interim Director of the Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division (http://atap.lbl.gov/). Thomas received his Ph.D. in physics from the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Following time as a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he joined Berkeley Lab. His research interests include novel accelerator concepts, materials far from equilibrium, exploration of fusion processes, and spin qubit architectures. Thomas also teaches a graduate course on particle accelerators at UC Berkeley.
Thomas worked on variations of time-of-flight mass spectrometry to characterize the environment of bio-molecules as a postdoc. This theme has now come up in the current Covid-19 crisis with new ideas for mass spectrometry and imaging of viruses in droplets.
COVID-19-related research: "Laser, Biosciences Researchers Combine Efforts to Study Viruses in Droplets"
Title: HPC Application Architect
- Molecular dynamics
- Density Functional Theory Code Development
- Parallel programming (GNU parallel, MPI, OpenMP, PGAS models, etc.)
Hubertus (Huub) van Dam is a computational chemist with expertise in docking and molecular dynamics simulations. In prior work he has collaborated on improving the accuracy of docking calculations by using ab-initio molecular potentials for the electrostatic part of docking scores (DOI: 10.1063/1.2793399). He is currently supporting the National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory (NVBL) effort to find COVID-19 drug candidates using Autodock 4.2, Dock 6 and DeepDriveMD. He also has extensive expertise in writing and supporting large parallel quantum chemistry packages. Currently, he serves as Testing and Assessment Task Lead on the Exascale Computing Project’s NWChemEx effort. NWChemEx is providing a community infrastructure for computational chemistry that takes full advantage of exascale computing technologies.
Rick Stevens is Argonne’s Associate Laboratory Director for Computing, Environment and Life Sciences.
Stevens has been at Argonne since 1982, and has served as director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division and also as Acting Associate Laboratory Director for Physical, Biological and Computing Sciences. He is currently leader of Argonne’s Exascale Computing Initiative, and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago Physical Sciences Collegiate Division. From 2000-2004, Stevens served as Director of the National Science Foundation’s TeraGrid Project and from 1997-2001 as Chief Architect for the National Computational Science Alliance.
Stevens is interested in the development of innovative tools and techniques that enable computational scientists to solve important large-scale problems effectively on advanced scientific computers. Specifically, his research focuses on three principal areas: advanced collaboration and visualization environments, high-performance computer architectures (including Grids) and computational problems in the life sciences. In addition to his research work, Stevens teaches courses on computer architecture, collaboration technology, virtual reality, parallel computing and computational science.
Jeff Elam leads Argonne National Laboratory’s Functional Coatings Group in the Applied Materials division. The group develops coating technologies for a diverse range of applications including energy storage, photodetectors, and water purification. He has won five R&D 100 Awards and holds numerous patents.
Awards, Honors, and Memberships
- R&D 100 Award, GreenTech Gold Award, and Editor’s Choice Award (2017) “Oleo Sponge”
- R&D 100 Award (2014) “SIS Lithography”
- R&D 100 Award (2013) “Charge Drain Coatings”
- R&D 100 Award (2012) “Large Area Microchannel Plates”
- R&D 100 Award (2008) “UNCD Mechanical Seals”
- ALD Innovation Award, 2017
- AVS Fellow, 2018
- Argonne Center for Electrical Energy Storage (CEES); Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems (AMEWS) Center; Northwestern Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering (NAISE)
Kris Pupek is the Group Leader for Process R&D and Scale Up in the Applied Materials Division of Argonne National Laboratory.
The group of over 20 scientists, engineers and supporting stuff evaluates emerging synthesis techniques and develops scalable processes for manufacturing of advanced materials including organic, inorganic, polymers, nano and bio-based materials to support basic research, prototyping and industrial evaluation. The group focuses on materials for energy storage and conversion, water purification and catalysis.
Kris earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry and Technology in 1993 from Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences. He gained his experience working for nearly 20 years for various contract research and manufacturing organizations leading efforts for developing new chemistry routes and feasible processes for manufacturing pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and specialty chemicals. In 2010 Kris joined Argonne National Laboratory as Principal Process R&D Chemist in Material Engineering Research Facility. He has co-authored over 20 publications, 15 issued patents, numerous invention disclosures, technical reports and presentations.
Yuepeng Zhang is a materials scientist at the Applied Materials Division of Argonne National Laboratory. She has expertise in thin film deposition, nanomaterials synthesis, and hybrid small-scale devices development. Her research interests include nanofibers and nanocomposites used for solid state batteries, high temperature fuel cells, bio and chemical sensors, and RF devices. Yuepeng leads the effort on electrospinning and printed electronic devices.
Dr. Guarnieri is a research scientist with experience in biochemistry and molecular genetics, biophysics, and structural biology. Dr. Guarnieri's prior research included examining viral secretions and virus-host interactions.
At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Dr. Guarnieri uses a systems biology approach—utilizing functional genomic, molecular, and biophysical techniques to identify, analyze, and engineer pathways involved in algal, bacterial, and fungal hydrocarbon and biochemical production. His current research interests include:
- Biocatalysis of methane to liquid fuels and chemicals,
- Biological upgrading of sugars to value-added chemicals in yeast and bacterial systems,
- Algal omics, protein engineering, and signal transduction,
- Biological deconstruction and upgrading of lignin, and
- Metabolic and protein engineering for enhanced hydrocarbon production.
For more information about Dr. Guarnieri's research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, please see his summary here.
Amy Sims, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Scientist in the Chemical and Biological Signatures Division of the National Security Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA. She earned her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and worked with Professor Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) during her postdoctoral studies. Dr. Sims spent an additional 15 years at UNC as faculty in a continued collaboration with Dr. Baric to understand the pathogenesis of highly pathogenic human coronaviruses and to identify novel vaccination strategies and therapeutic targets. Dr. Sims has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications on antivirals that are efficacious against human coronaviruses, using reverse genetic platforms to characterize coronavirus protein functions, and how coronaviruses prevent transcription factor nuclear translocation to regulate host gene expression, and recently joined PNNL to continue a decade long collaboration on the use of computational modeling and bioinformatics approaches in analyses of kinetic ‘omics data from studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2003 (SARS-CoV 2003) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infected samples. The overall goal of her research is to understand the detailed molecular mechanisms by which CoVs manipulate host pathways and processes to evade the innate immune response and to enhance viral replication and spread.
Title: Assistant Computational Scientist
- Scientific literature processing to rapidly find protein-protein interaction candidates
- AI-based platform to accelerate discovery of novel drug compounds
- Querying and filtering interface for users to efficiently scan tens of thousands of sources
Since joining Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2018, Carlos X. Soto has been an active member of the Machine Learning Group, where he has contributed extensively toward large-scale scientific data extraction from published literature using natural language processing (NLP) techniques applied to areas such as functional genomics, drug discovery, and government reports. His contributions to machine learning for the integration of biological genomics data helped prompt an ongoing partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to use NLP techniques to accelerate COVID-19 drug discovery. In 2019, Soto was part of the Brookhaven team awarded one of only two Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) Nuclear Security Index Challenge grants. The work, Towards a Predictive Nuclear Security Threat Model, aims to create a predictive model by integrating NTI Index data into machine learning and sentiment analysis. Presently, his work on COVID-related projects focuses on providing domain scientists with powerful new computational tools to identify patterns and insights in large volumes of documents, in particular relating to potential drug compound candidates.
Seth B. Darling is the Director of the Center for Molecular Engineering and a Senior Scientist in the Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He also serves as the Director of the Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems (AMEWS) Energy Frontier Research Center. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. His group’s research centers around molecular engineering with a current emphasis on advanced materials for cleaning water, having made previous contributions in fields ranging from self-assembly to advanced lithography to solar energy. He has published over 125 scientific articles, holds a dozen patents, is a co-author of popular books on water and on debunking climate skeptic myths, and lectures widely on topics related to energy, water, and climate.
With colleagues at Argonne, Seth invented a new materials synthesis technique called sequential infiltration synthesis, which has found applications in areas ranging from nanolithography to optical coatings to advanced sorbents and membranes. He led the team that received the Project Excellence Award from Argonne’s Energy & Global Sciences Directorate for its work on the Oleo Sponge, which has garnered extensive media and industry attention and won multiple R&D100 Awards.