Staff Accomplishments Archive
The staff accomplishments archive contains accomplishments prior to 12/18/2011. They are presented with the most recent accomplishments listed first. To search for a specific accomplishment, please use the links below.
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ETD Team Recognized for Outstanding Work on Waste Disposition
ETD's Randy Scheele, Susan Jones, Paul Scott, Matt Edwards and Anne Kozelisky received commendation for their outstanding work on Hanford's Plutonium Finishing Plant glovebox waste disposition. They determined the thermal stability of potential waste streams arising from PFP's planned plutonium glovebox decontamination effort. The information they provided should help PFP management select decontamination process materials and establish the environmental conditions at which wastes can be safely stored.
In a complimentary letter, Fluor Hanford's Mike Minette stated, "Thank you all for the outstanding effort and professionalism you have shown in analyzing the risks for the disposal of decontamination materials to be used at PFP."
Congratulations, team, on a job well done!
Date Entered: 10/28/2005
Ron Thom Meets with National Research Council to Protect Eroding Shorelines
ETD's Ron Thom, working at PNNL's Sequim Marine Research Operations, met with the National Research Council panel, organized by the National Academy of Science, to discuss shore erosion along sheltered coasts. The panel examined the efficiency and environmental effects of erosion mitigation techniques in a two-day workshop. Ron discussed protecting beach shorelines and ways to use vegetation to protect shorelines.
NRC Program Assistant Sarah Capote stated, "We selected Ron as a panel member because of his expertise in mitigating shoreline erosion." For nearly three decades, Ron has studied and resolved complex marine and coastal issues, specializing in nearshore habitat ecology and restoration.
Date Entered: 10/28/2005
Craig MacDonald to Serve as River Corridor Contract Relationship Manager
Welcome to River Corridor Contract Relationship Manager Craig MacDonald. Craig was hired to oversee day-to-day 300 Area transition activities and resolve any problems that may arise from Washington Closure Hanford LLC's work to deactivate and demolish 300 Area buildings.
Craig's challenge is to ensure the safety of PNNL staff working in the 300 Area and maintaining continuity of operations while WCH tears down certain surrounding buildings. Craig will strive to minimize impacts to research for things as simple as power outages and as complex as coordinating emergency response processes.
Previously, Craig was the vice president for Strategic Alliances at Battelle Columbus. He has worked at Battelle for 27 years.
Date Entered: 10/20/2005
Sowing the seeds for cancer treatment
Over 90 men with prostate cancer have received an innovative radioisotope treatment thanks to collaborative research between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and IsoRay Medical Inc. The two organizations developed a brachytherapy seed using cesium-131. The first cesium-131 seed implant was performed in October 2004 at the University of Washington Medical Center.
"PNNL is very excited to be part of this effort. It is extremely satisfying to staff to realize that their work may provide a life-saving cancer treatment to patients with prostate cancer," said PNNL Project Manager Lawrence Greenwood.
Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men. Around 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year in the United States, and nearly 30,000 die of the disease annually.
IsoRay received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to market cesium-131 for treatment of prostate cancer and other malignancies in March 2003.
"Prostate cancer is usually a slow growing cancer," said Greenwood. "Doctors have time to inject the seeds and then closely monitor the patient."
Although IsoRay is marketing the cesium-filled seeds for prostate cancer therapy, the FDA has approved cesium-131 for the treatment of other forms of cancer, including breast, brain, liver, head and neck cancers, and other malignant disease.
PNNL began working with IsoRay in 2000. IsoRay had a process that efficiently produced ultra pure cesium-131. PNNL and IsoRay developed and refined the manufacturing process which deposits the cesium-131 onto a ceramic core, inserts the core into titanium capsules, and seals the capsule with laser welding.
"IsoRay selected PNNL because of our experience and expertise in working with radioisotopes," said Process and Measurement Technology Product Line Manager Wally Weimer.
Brachytherapy seeds kill cancerous tumors without causing serious side-effects
The brachytherapy procedure involves the use of special needles to implant seeds, which are smaller than a grain of rice, using ultrasound guidance. The seeds are implanted near or in the cancerous tumor. Using the cesium-131 seeds, approximately 30 kiloelectronvolt (keV) x-rays are emitted by each capsule. The x-rays damage the genetic material of the cancer cells, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide.
Doctors typically deposit 75 to 100 seeds into each tumor. Computer models are used to measure the size of the tumor and determine the number and placement of seeds necessary to destroy the cancer.
"Cesium-131 has a faster delivery of the total radiation dose than the other types of seeds currently on the market," said Greenwood. "It has a significantly higher dose rate than iodine-125, allowing for the delivery of more radiation in a shorter period of time."
Cesium-131 seeds decay with a 10 day half-life, which means the seeds implanted in the prostate stop emitting radiation in about 100 days. The commonly used iodine-125 has a half-life of 60 days and emits radiation for 600 days.
Due to the shorter duration of treatment with cesium-131, side effects such as incontinence, urinary urgency and pain are usually minimal compared to side effects from alternative treatments.
The procedure is completed in 45 to 60 minutes. This is typically a day-surgery procedure, as no incision or suturing is required. Most patients are back to their normal daily activities within two to three days. Patients that have been treated with cesium-131 start to feel symptoms of the radiation two to three weeks after the implant, but most report a resolution of these symptoms seven to nine weeks after the implant.
Future research of IsoRay and PNNL
IsoRay is now investigating new isotope delivery systems that could be used in addition to the titanium capsule. IsoRay signed a contract with PNNL in February 2005 to develop and test methods for producing high-purity yttrium-90, which already has FDA approval to market for treatment of bone and other cancers.
Date Entered: 10/17/2005
Garill Coles and Others Recognized for Authoring Risk Assessment Report
ETD's Garill Coles (left), FSD's Cliff Glantz (right), ESTD's Jeff Dagle, NSD's Steve Dische and others were recognized for authoring Risk-Assessment Methodologies for Use in the Electric Utility Industry. Risk Assessment Working Group Chair Ted Heller stated, "This document would not have been possible without the tireless effort of the coordinating author, Garill Coles, and the assistance of the contributing authors." Garill notes that the contributions made by Cliff Glantz were critical to the success of the document.
The report describes approaches to risk assessments and guidance on risk assessment methods applicable to the electricity sector. It was written for the Risk Assessment Working Group of the North American Electric Reliability Council's Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee.
Date Entered: 10/12/2005
PNNL Team Wins Patent for Ultrasonic Fill Device and Method
Congratulations to ETD's Walter Weimer and James Buelt, NSD's Richard Pappas and Kayte Denslow and CISD's Don Daly and Scott Cooley for their recent U.S. patent award (#6,925,870). This invention is a method and apparatus using ultrasound transducers and a processing device to monitor liquid levels of storage containers. Unlike many ultrasonic level monitors, this invention is a reliable, accurate and non-invasive sensor that is easily installed on the exterior of storage tanks. The invention is intended to be inexpensive and easily maintained and operated.
Once again, team, congratulations!
Date Entered: 10/12/2005
Team Wins ChemLuminary Awards for Reaching Out to the Next Generation of Scientists
ETD's Sam Bryan, Janet Bryant and Tim Hubler were part of a team of chemists and educators that received two ChemLuminary awards for opening young minds to science through volunteer efforts with the Richland Section of the American Chemical Society.
They received the Outstanding Performance by Local Section Medium Size Category Award for organizing and staffing the Native American Umatilla Reservation Math/Science Fair, Girls in Science Day, Project SEED, and Careers in Chemistry for middle school minority students.
They received the Outstanding Outreach to Girls or Young Women Award for coordinating Girls in Science, a daylong event for middle school girls in Oregon. The event hosted 100 students, though over 300 applied to attend.
Thank you for sharing the excitement of science with others!
Date Entered: 10/12/2005
Wang and Hu Invent Alcohol Steam Reforming Method and Catalyst
Congratulations to ETD's Yong Wang and Jianli Hu and Velocys' Lee Tonkovich for their U.S. patent award (#6,936,237). The patent is for methods of preparing a catalyst and using it in steam reformation of alcohols. The process converts methanol to hydrogen for use in hydrogen-powered vehicles. These vehicles would not need to carry hydrogen tanks because the alcohol would pass through a fuel processor converting alcohol to hydrogen gas. This could reduce carbon dioxide, sulfur oxide, and nitric oxide emissions.
Congratulations again, team!
Date Entered: 10/12/2005
Rod K. Quinn Joins Oregon Innovation Council
Congratulations to ETD's Rod K. Quinn on joining the Oregon Innovation Council. As a council member, Rod will team with industry, education and government leaders to provide advice to Governor Ted Kulongoski and the legislature. Rod was selected because of his team building and collaborative experience, dedication to commercializing breakthroughs and his previous work with Oregon.
"The creation of the Oregon Innovation Council is the result of collaboration from both the private and public sectors to reach a common goal - enhance Oregon's global competitiveness in research, commercialization development and our traded sector industries," said Kulongoski.
Date Entered: 10/6/2005
Hungry Staff Raise $780 for Hurricane Katrina Survivors
Held in the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, a September 7 hot dog feed raised $320 for the Red Cross, and a September 26 hamburger lunch and the Sweet for Relief Bake Sale raised $460 for the Salvation Army's Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.
ETD's Chrissy Charron, Jolene Hammond, and Suze Heinisch collected money. Jolene Hammond, Suze Heinisch, Andrea Kwiecinski, Danny Sanders, and Gert Patello created delectable treats for the bake sale. Teresa Schlotman contributed extra fixings for the hamburgers.
ESHQ's Jack Horne and Ira Perkins organized the hot dog and hamburger lunches. "They were pure poetry in motion," said Suze Heinisch.
A ravenous crowd of generous folks showed up to enjoy the events.
Thank you, everyone, for donating your time to help those that have lost everything.
Date Entered: 10/3/2005