Y-12 celebrates innovative technological achievements

Michael Lovelady received the Technology Transfer Support Award for his contributions to technology promotion and licensing.
Josh Harris, left to right, Sara Webb and Casey Guinan have been copyrighted for the Information Release Office system, which ensures that information is properly reviewed before it is released to the public.  This photo was taken before the pandemic.

The inventors of the Y-12 National Security Complex were honored for their innovative technological achievements at Consolidated Nuclear Security’s annual technology transfer award ceremony. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the ceremony was delayed and held virtually for the first time.

The site has a long history of producing technology that is transferred to the private sector, according to a Y-12 press release.

Five patents were granted in fiscal 2019 in areas ranging from nanomaterials to several unique material processes. Patent beneficiaries included Roland Seals (retired), Nathaniel Henry, Jeffrey Preston, Edward Ripley and Ashley Stowe.

A copyright has been assigned to Casey Guinan, Joshua Harris and Sara Webb for the Information Release Office System.

Twenty-four inventors were recognized for having proposed new ideas, filed for patents and deployed innovative solutions. These employees have been recognized for both their creativity and their innovative ideas in support of the mission of technology development and transfer. The new inventions developed by the winners will be used to further the work of the Y-12 mission and will be made available under license to benefit the public through the Y-12 technology transfer program.

At the virtual ceremony, Michael Lovelady received the Technology Transfer Support Award, which recognizes employees whose efforts go beyond the call of duty by contributing to the promotion of technology and licensing. Since 2010, he has been listed as lead inventor or co-inventor on nine invention disclosures and two patents.

The Electronic Grenade Simulator team received a Government Use Award, which recognizes employees whose invention or copyrighted work is of significant value to the US Department of Energy or other government agencies. The team, consisting of Joe Rainwater, Joey Parrott and Scott Ball, created a device designed to resemble a traditional grenade and simulate the deployment of a grenade using visual and audio cues, dramatically improving the effective training without causing increased safety concerns. The device has generated great interest from other DOE and Department of Defense agencies.

Conrad Vandergriff also received a Government Use Award for his role in the development of the Vandy Stick, a device designed to hold a heavy and bulky round hollow object so that it can be containerized or not canned during operations. The invention has been formally verified and approved for use in Y-12 operations. The device not only added efficiency to the canning and canning process, but also led to increased worker safety for Y-12 chemical operators.

The latest government use award went to Andrew Sharp and John Fellers for creating the balanced magnetic stand for performance testing. Balanced magnetic sensors require testing using a portable test device and scales. To eliminate the dangers, a uniquely designed tool was designed and manufactured using additive manufacturing to allow the testing device to be used in various orientations and attached to a painter’s pole. This device not only improved the efficiency of the testing process, but also led to an increase in worker safety, while being applicable throughout the DOE nuclear complex.

Consolidated Nuclear Security manages and operates the Pantex plant in Amarillo, Texas, and Y-12. A central technology transfer office manages the marketing and partnership efforts for the two sites.

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