Y-12 Blog

Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 11:02am

Jane Nations accepts one of her two NNSA Excellence Awards from James McConnell associate administrator for Safety, Infrastructure and Operations.Jane Nations accepts one of her two NNSA Excellence Awards from James McConnell associate administrator for Safety, Infrastructure and Operations.

During his visit to Y‑12 on June 7, McConnell presented Excellence Awards to Dwain Coppenger, Melanie Dillon and Jane Nations for their work on the NNSA BUILDER implementation initiative. Nations was given an Excellence Award for her work on the CRISP Deferred Maintenance Team.

BUILDER is NNSA’s new infrastructure management software tool. The CRISP Deferred Maintenance Team provided valuable guidance on how NNSA could improve what is reported as deferred maintenance for more than 6,000 assets across eight sites.

Melanie Dillon accepts the NNSA Excellence Award from James McConnell.Melanie Dillon accepts the NNSA Excellence Award from James McConnell.

Dwain Coppenger (right) accepts the NNSA Excellence Award from James McConnell.Dwain Coppenger (right) accepts the NNSA Excellence Award from James McConnell.

Tags:
Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016 - 10:57am

Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal (second left) and Karen Lacy (right), CNS wellness coordinator and Active for Life program co-director, congratulate members of CNS’s winning Active for Life challenge team.Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal (second left) and Karen Lacy (right), CNS wellness coordinator and Active for Life program co-director, congratulate members of CNS’s winning Active for Life challenge team.

This spring, more than 750 Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC employees participated in the Active for Life℠ challenge, an 8‑week program, sponsored by the American Cancer Society®, that encouraged employees to be more mindful of healthy behaviors on a daily basis. Participants formed 57 teams, each led by a team captain who helped provide motivation and reminders to log points on the program’s website.

This year marked the third time Y-12 participated in the Active for Life challenge and the second time Pantex participated. It was the first time for the sites to compete as OneTeam against six other U.S. Department of Energy sites. Linda Bauer, vice president for Mission Assurance, which includes Environment, Safety and Health, participated on the CNS Executive Leadership Team led by Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal.

“Active for Life encourages healthy habits and fitness through friendly competition among colleagues across DOE facilities, while enhancing teambuilding and collaboration,” Bauer said. “I’m a firm believer that the healthier we are, the happier we are on—and off—the job.”

Participants received one point for each minute they were active each day, as well as points for servings of fruits and vegetables and glasses of water. Points were logged on the Active for Life website, which allowed users to track nutrition intake and weight maintenance goals. LiveWise added weekly bonus challenges for the CNS teams to provide ways to earn extra points, as well as fun opportunities to build team spirit and engagement. These challenges included on-site pushup and plank competitions, weekly water and vegetable intake goals, and participation in community fitness events. More than 80 Y-12 employees participated in this year’s Secret City 5K for Haiti, which rewarded registrants with 25 bonus points.

The top team, Team OSHA, was led by captain Jan Wuest of Training and Development, who logged the most individual activity points throughout the program. An avid hiker, Wuest, along with teammates Becky Ownby and Lee Lutner, averaged almost 800 minutes of physical activity per week during the 8-week campaign. Wuest credits the success to “working together as a team and a support system.”
“There was no ‘captain.’ In this team, we were equal partners, and we encouraged each other to do the best we can,” Wuest said.

In addition to the CNS team, other competitors were: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Nevada National Security Site, Ames Laboratory, National Renewable Energy and Sandia National Laboratories (New Mexico and California).

“Communication between the sites helps foster a wellness coalition in the DOE complex, where we can learn from each other’s best practices to improve employees’ health,” said Karen Lacey, CNS wellness coordinator and Active for Life program co‑director.

CNS came in sixth place; while a rank decrease from last year’s standings, the overall activity scores were higher. CNS participants averaged 47 minutes of activity daily, far outpacing statistics that state 60 percent of American adults fall short of meeting physical activity recommendations of 30 minutes most days.

Sherry Philyaw, Pantex Safety Culture advocate and CNS Active for Life program co-director said a few weather challenges did not dissuade participants. “Active for Life is a fantastic way to establish healthy habits and get out and enjoy the community, your family and friends, and the weather.”

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016 - 10:53am

CNS Vice President and Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal speaks to a group of sixth graders at Pellissippi State Community College’s Manufacturing and Coding Academy, sponsored in part by CNS. CNS Vice President and Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal speaks to a group of sixth graders at Pellissippi State Community College’s Manufacturing and Coding Academy, sponsored in part by CNS.

This summer may mark a turning point in the lives of 60 middle schoolers who are taking part in Pellissippi State Community College’s Manufacturing and Coding Academy.

The rising sixth graders from Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier and Union counties are learning about the world of advanced manufacturing, robotics and cyber security.

The four-week program provided the young participants with ideas about careers that are in high demand and provide good wages. The academy was held at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus and was sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC through a grant from the CNS Y-12 Community Investment Fund.

Bill Tindal, Y-12 site manager, was on hand recently to watch the students in action and said he could not be more pleased with the program and what it offers these children.

“You could see the excitement in their eyes as they worked the computer or a robot they’d programmed,” Tindal said. “The academy provided these children with a learning experience they won’t soon forget, and I’m happy that CNS and Y-12 could be part of that.”

Tindal also gave the sixth graders some advice. “Work hard and learn as much as you can,” he said. “And if it starts to get difficult, embrace it, because that’s where you learn the most.”
Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise said the academy has exceeded everyone’s expectations. “We are grateful for everyone’s support in this endeavor,” he said. “Together, we are helping young students to set goals for college attainment.”

The partners included the East Tennessee Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley, the Emerald Youth Foundation, the Great Schools Partnership and Project Grad

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016 - 10:40am

Brig. Gen. Mike Lutton (center) tours Y 12’s Beta-2E with (from left) Abe Mathews, former NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator for Military Applications Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Davis, Rick Collier of the NNSA Production Office and CNS Deputy Enterprise Manager Michelle Reichert. Brig. Gen. Mike Lutton (center) tours Y 12’s Beta-2E with (from left) Abe Mathews, former NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator for Military Applications Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Davis, Rick Collier of the NNSA Production Office and CNS Deputy Enterprise Manager Michelle Reichert.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton formally took position as the National Nuclear Security Administration’s new Principal Deputy Administrator for Military Applications July 5.

Before he assumed his new post, he toured Pantex and Y‑12 on back-to-back days to familiarize himself with work being performed at both sites.

Lutton is no stranger to the nuclear deterrent mission. He previously served as the commander of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, one of the Air Force’s three intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) wings that maintain a portion of the nation’s Minuteman III ICBMs and launch control centers.

Before his assignment at Minot, Lutton served as the deputy director of Mission Assessment and Analysis at U.S. Strategic Command from 2012 to 2014.

Lutton replaced Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Davis who accompanied him on the tours.

Tags:
Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016 - 10:34am

Kia Moua (left) and Lee Bzorgi prepare for a video teleconference with aspiring roboticists at Northern Kentucky University.Kia Moua (left) and Lee Bzorgi prepare for a video teleconference with aspiring roboticists at Northern Kentucky University.

Y-12 is talking robotics with college students a state away.

Through video teleconferencing, Y‑12 is using its people and technological capabilities to reach out and (almost) touch aspiring roboticists at Northern Kentucky University, located just south of Cincinnati.

Because of his career-long experience as an inventor, Lee Bzorgi of Mission Engineering conducted a WebEx™ meeting with a business informatics class that’s fashioning an arm to enhance a robot that’ll assist the Newport, Kentucky, police SWAT team. This topic is right down Bzorgi’s alley. He’s been problem solving and inventing security gadgets at Y‑12 since 2001. Robots were his first love, though, building his first at age 10 and then publishing the design soon after.

“During my first four years out of college, I worked in robotics at Bechtel, and over the following 26 years, I’ve consistently applied that background knowledge to project after project,” said Bzorgi, whose initial professional trial was to construct a robot for radioactive contamination cleanup following the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown. “It was my first engineering job. All the Bechtel executives were 50+, so I grew a moustache to look older!” That job set the course for Bzorgi’s career.

NKU instructor Steve Hinkel is a tinkerer with a computer science and business background, so robotics is a natural fit for his varied interests. “Business informatics focuses on ways to integrate technology into business operations, and Lee was absolutely brilliant with my students, offering a presentation, explaining some of his inventions and showing real-world examples of technologies being applied,” Hinkel said. “He also sparked an excellent post-presentation discussion; the students were extremely engaged. Lee is truly remarkable, and we were fortunate to have him as a guest speaker—the best we’ve ever had.”

“This kind of collaboration shows Consolidated Nuclear Security’s depth and breadth of capability and willing service to the nation—from the college campus to our industry partners,” Tom Berg of Program Integration said. “Our partnerships often are the pipeline for students who find a specific area of interest, like robotics, and then join the workforce down the road.”

Because Y‑12 is usually all about keeping information inside the fence and security (physical to cyber) is exceptionally tight, setting up a video teleconference didn’t happen in a snap. Program Integration’s Kia Moua worked internally with Information Solutions & Services to pave the way for this and future collaborations with external partners. “Having the capability to handle live streaming outside the Y‑12 firewall, using commercial software such as Skype™ or WebEx, to communicate with external industry partners provides significant cost savings. Imagine not having to travel and being able to sit in your office while receiving live feedback from your audience,” said Moua.

“From investments in high-end Cisco™ Telepresence to desktop conferencing with Microsoft® Lync™ between Pantex and Y-12 to slowly opening secure collaboration capabilities to external partners, Consolidated Nuclear Security continues to find ways to collaborate that are appropriate for our national security environment and that enable significant efficiencies in operations with our partners,” said Travis Howerton, senior director for Enterprise Architecture and Strategy.

Using today’s technology, CNS continues to build partnerships, share its unique expertise, save money and work more efficiently.

To learn more about Bzorgi’s inventions, visit the National Security Technology Center website.

Tags:

Pages