Secretary Moniz Visits Lab; Tours New Facilities, Addresses Lab Community
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz visited Jefferson Lab on Jan. 31. While Secretary Moniz has been to the lab before and has served as a member of the Jefferson Science Associates’ (JSA) board of directors, this was his first visit to the lab since being sworn in as the nation’s 13th Secretary of Energy in May 2013.
Upon his arrival, he was greeted by lab, JSA and DOE Thomas Jefferson Site Office leadership and Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, U.S. representative for Virginia’s 3rd District. Secretary Moniz met with senior lab management and received a briefing on lab projects. He shared a few moments with Dirk Walecka, who was the Secretary’s Ph.D. thesis advisor when Moniz attended Stanford University. Walecka is a member of the lab’s Theory and Computational Physics division and JSA Scientist Emeritus. He is also an emeritus Governor’s Distinguished CEBAF Professor of Physics at The College of William and MaryMoniz then toured a portion of the refurbished Test Lab and its new addition and Hall D........... more
Fifteen minutes seems like a lifetime to Paul Brindza. It's the average lifetime of a neutron, one of the many subatomic particles that scientists study at Jefferson Lab...... more
The new Technology and Engineering Development Facility (TEDF) provides an infrastructure that positions Jefferson Lab to maintain and expand its world-leadership role in accelerator technologies...... more
Members of the Jefferson Lab community – especially those that make purchases or use materials – are asked look over their purchases..... more
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz visited Jefferson Lab on Jan. 31. While Secretary Moniz has been to the lab before and has served as a member of the Jefferson Science Associates’ (JSA) board of directors, this was his first visit to the lab since being sworn in as the nation’s 13th Secretary of Energy in May 2013.
Upon his arrival, he was greeted by lab, JSA and DOE Thomas Jefferson Site Office leadership and Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, U.S. representative for Virginia’s 3rd District. Secretary Moniz met with senior lab management and received a briefing on lab projects. He shared a few moments with Dirk Walecka, who was the Secretary’s Ph.D. thesis advisor when Moniz attended Stanford University. Walecka is a member of the lab’s Theory and Computational Physics division and JSA Scientist Emeritus. He is also an emeritus Governor’s Distinguished CEBAF Professor of Physics at The College of William and Mary
Moniz then toured a portion of the refurbished Test Lab and its new addition and Hall D. The Test Lab renovation and new construction was part of a Department of Energy Science Laboratories Infrastructure project. Hall D is a new experimental hall and a cornerstone of the lab’s 12 GeV Upgrade Project, funded by the DOE Office of Science and with support from the Commonwealth of Virginia.On his return to CEBAF Center he briefly spoke with a high school intern and four teachers who are involved in lab-sponsored, science-enrichment programs. One of the teachers, who is also a Middle School Science Bowl coach, presented the Secretary with a Virginia Science Bowl T-shirt.
The Secretary spent about an hour in the CEBAF Center auditorium – first addressing the lab community and then taking questions from the audience. He introduced himself in the context of his relationships with many members of the lab community and spoke of his long-standing relationship with Jefferson Lab. He emphasized one of his passions – the importance of preparing students with the skills necessary to succeed in science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – careers and how this keeps the nation at the leading edge of scientific advancements as well as the economic benefits. He discussed national priorities – such as energy security and climate-related policy – that were signature topics in the President’s State of the Union Address. He spoke about programmatic efforts being developed by DOE – across the national lab system – designed to enhance strategic communications between DOE and the labs, to improve technology transfer to the private and commercial sectors, and to help make the nation more aware of the research and advancements being led by and funded through the DOE Office of Science.After departing the lab, Secretary Moniz and Rep. Scott visited Hampton University, where the Secretary addressed students and staff.
Fifteen minutes seems like a lifetime to Paul Brindza. It's the average lifetime of a neutron, one of the many subatomic particles that scientists study at Jefferson Lab. While that may seem like a fleeting existence to us, the Hall C engineer says that it's more than enough time for the subatomic particles to do some real damage as they travel inside the hall.
A Plethora of Particles
In Hall C, the High Momentum Spectrometer is positioned to capture some of these particles for study. A series of magnets focuses the shower of particles into a tight bundle and directs the bundle into the HMS shield house. The HMS contains several instruments that measure different characteristics of the particles, including detectors that start data collection, two chambers for measuring the positions of the particles as they travel, and counters for identifying the types of particles.
In a perfect world, all the particles would be captured and sampled in these detector systems. But in reality, many of the particles are so energetic, that they keep right on going into the next section of the HMS shield house, which is where much of the equipment and electronics that control the HMS collect and transmit the data from the detectors. Over time, the radiation generated in these experiments can damage this equipment.
"In modern electronics, the structures in the memory chips are very, very tiny. And they are sensitive to single-event damage. Which means a single particle can change a one to a zero. And that's what happens," Brindza says.
Eventually, these changes add up, and the software ceases to function. Then, the only way to fix the problem is to attempt a reboot so that the software can be reloaded. If that doesn't work, then memory cards must be replaced at a cost of around $100 each.
While that's an inexpensive fix, getting to that point is costly. Rebooting systems in Hall C takes about an hour on average, and an hour of CEBAF running costs more than $50,000. What's more, that time is subtracted from the running time of an experiment, which the experimenters usually cannot get back.
"We built the HMS in Hall C 20 years ago, and we didn't have a lot of time to really optimize everything. We did the best we could and then learned from the problems we experienced in 20 years of running. We learned what worked, what did not work and most important, what we could improve," Brindza says.
The opportunity to improve on the design and function of the HMS arose as part of Jefferson Lab's 12 GeV Upgrade project. The $338 million project is doubling the energy of Jefferson Lab's primary accelerator and building a new experimental hall, along with other updates. More importantly for Brindza, the equipment in the three existing experimental halls is also being upgraded to capitalize on the accelerator's increased energy. Part of this work includes building a completely new apparatus, the Super High Momentum Spectrometer to complement the existing HMS.
Brindza is Hall C's lead engineer and is also the lead engineer for SHMS construction. He saw his chance to use the knowledge he'd gained from the HMS to better shield the equipment that will be installed in the SHMS from radiation.
"Getting rid of all the rest of the radiation is easy, but the neutrons are very difficult, and they prove to be the thing that is dangerous not only to the electronics, but also to the software that runs the electronics," says Brindza. "Those neutrons are very high energy that penetrate, that can go through concrete and walls and people."
Neutrons are a common byproduct of nuclear power generation, as well as the operation of particle accelerators, like the CEBAF accelerator. While materials exist for shielding against these particles, it can be bulky, expensive and difficult to manufacture. What's more, none of the current technologies met the requirements for the SHMS.
"Unlike the old spectrometer, the new one has a lot fewer wheels holding everything up, so we started running into size and weight limits. We needed to come up with a set of products that would lower the weight, but increase the shielding, less and more in the same package," he says.
So, Brindza and Metzger developed a system of products to better protect the equipment from radiation.
The first part is concrete. Ordinary concrete can slow down, or thermalize, neutrons, but it would require a very thick layer of the stuff to work in Hall C. In concrete, the neutrons are thermalized when they strike hydrogen atoms in the water molecules that are trapped during the concrete mixing process. Brindza wanted to increase the concrete's ability to thermalize neutrons by adding hydrogen, while also decreasing its weight.
"What you want to do is add something to the concrete that adds hydrogen. And you want it to be permanent. So, we used a recycled product – shredded plastic waste from molding products. Plastic is mostly hydrogen and carbon and a little bit of chlorine," Brindza explains.
To make the concrete even lighter, he and his colleagues then removed all of the grit and rocks that are normally used in concrete and added in a lightweight shale product. The result is a concrete that will provide the majority of the structure for the SHMS shield house. The product looks and pours like ordinary concrete but has four times the capability to thermalize neutrons, and it is two thirds the weight of ordinary concrete with the same strength.
Once you've thermalized the neutrons, you're only halfway toward the goal of eliminating them. While a neutron is bound up inside a nucleus with protons, it can remain there indefinitely. Should a neutron be freed of the nucleus by the CEBAF accelerator's electron beam, as often happens in experiments at Jefferson Lab, then that neutron can drift around for another 15 minutes before falling apart into less-harmful particles.
"They become like the gas in the room. They go with the air conditioning. If you open the door, they come out. They'll go under the door. They'll come through a pipe. They go further, because they're not charged," Brindza says.
And everywhere they go, they can wreak havoc on experimental equipment and electronics. So, the next step after you thermalize the neutrons is to stop them in their tracks.
For that, Brindza developed the second part of the system, which is concrete that is heavily loaded with boron to absorb the neutrons. Boron has long been used in nuclear power plants and in particle accelerators to absorb neutrons that have been thermalized.
But boron is tricky to work with. Some neutron shielding systems use metal boxes packed with boron in its dry, powdered form, but boron resists dense packing due to electrostatic forces, filling only about 50 percent of a box per unit of volume. Those boxes would have taken up valuable space in the SHMS shield house.
Another way to use boron is to just add it to standard concrete. However, using this type of boron-enriched concrete would have required pouring a foot-thick layer of the stuff. This solution, too, would have added to the weight and cost of the shielding, while reducing the amount of space available in the shield house.
So, Brindza and Metzger formulated a new recipe for concrete that is heavily loaded with boron.
"It's a concrete mix without any stone in it. It has a variety of other things. And what we worked out is that you can make concrete out of boron and chemicals and leave out everything else. So, it's basically only boron material, Portland cement and water, plus it is also as strong as ordinary concrete," he says.
Boron-rich concrete has the same consistency as ordinary concrete. It will be used as a second, six-inch-thick protective layer behind the lightweight structural concrete in the SHMS shield house, enclosing the room in which the electronics are encased. Thin lead plates will be applied behind this concrete to stop any other radiation that may result from the neutron-boron collisions (typically, 1 MeV X-rays). This lead layer will be covered with an aluminum panel to prevent human contact with the lead and to allow easy attachment of room fixtures, such as lights and electrical outlets. In other applications, the thin lead plates may be replaced with thicker ones made from iron, which can accomplish the same task as lead, but require a thicker design.
"We didn't try to make the boron-rich concrete light, we tried to deliberately make it have as much boron in it as possible. We used boron carbide because it has more boron – it's carbon with four borons. So, you start with something that's already got 76 percent boron, and then you pack it in better than anybody, and now you've got the best thermal neutron shielding material in the world," he adds.
The estimates for the improved shielding performance and design were obtained from Monte Carlo simulations with GEANT (a physics simulation package). The calculations were performed by Tanja Horn, an assistant professor of physics at The Catholic University of America; Stephen Wood, Jefferson Lab's Hall C group leader; and Associate Director of Nuclear Physics, Rolf Ent, formerly the 12 GeV Upgrade science lead. The calculation was benchmarked against experience with the existing HMS and included experience from G-Zero experiment operations.
Brindza and Metzger hope to fully quantify the performance of the new concrete materials once the first experiments begin running in Hall C after the completion of the 12 GeV Upgrade Project in 2017. The real proof will be improved experiment up time performance which means more data for every experiment.
He and Metzger also applied parts of the materials-replacement idea they used in the boron-rich concrete to making a thin panel of boron-impregnated shielding for areas in which a dense concrete block wasn't needed. For this product, they turned to the process for making molded countertops. They replaced materials used in countertops with boron, resulting in a panel less than an inch thick and consisting of boron embedded in an epoxy resin. The panels are manufactured by Vintage Stone at a shop that is located nearby in Oyster Point.
"We pre-made the panels. And we had another contractor take a panel of boron, a skin of lead and an aluminum cover and put it together into something that can be installed and handled, so it is environmentally friendly," Brindza says.
Whipping Up Concrete
However, had he chosen to go with the traditional recipe of simply adding boron to ordinary concrete, the cost would have been double that, and the SHMS would have needed to have been designed with a larger footprint, higher weight and at additional structural cost.
In addition, Brindza opted to have the boron concrete mixed onsite in a concrete mixer now located in the hall, saving nearly $100,000 compared to the cost of having the material made at a concrete ready mix plant and then trucked in.
"So, an ordinary concrete truck is about a nine-yard truck. When you get done pouring, there's still a yard left in there. And this stuff costs $30,000 a yard. So, cleaning the truck out costs you $30,000. Using half a dozen trucks, a lot of money gets dumped on the ground in an ugly slump," he explains. "So, we're using a small batch plant in the hall. We mix it, dump it, mix it, dump it, and keep going. And then once a day, we clean it. So, we lose very little."
A local company, Branscome, makes up all the concrete according to the special recipes. The lightweight concrete is made at a ready mix plant, and the boron concrete is mixed on site. Another contractor, Hylton Builders, Inc., fabricates all the forms and then pours the concrete. The construction of the SHMS Shield House is nearing completion. The SHMS Spectrometer has a scheduled completion date of February 2016.
Brindza says the benefit of having taken cost into consideration in the development of recipes for the system of shielding materials are products that are highly versatile and easy to manufacture.
"We needed to not just optimize the shielding, but to optimize the process of making it and installing it. The stuff we made, any concrete company can pour it. We did a lot of work and engineering to make a product that anybody could dump into place and form up," he says.
Brindza says he hopes that his and Metzger's builder-friendly recipes will soon benefit others. The system may have applications in such wide-ranging fields as the storage of nuclear waste, shielding of radiation sources used in medical applications and in compact nuclear reactors.
The boron-rich concrete technology, "Thermal neutron shield and method of manufacture," has been granted patent #8,450,707 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The two other technologies, "Lightweight Concrete with Enhanced Neutron Shielding" and "Cost Effective Boron Shielding Panels," are patent pending. All three technologies are currently available for licensing by interested companies.
By Kandice Carter
Editor's note: The Jefferson Lab news release about this advancement is online at: https://www.jlab.org/news/releases/newly-invented-shielding-stopping-neutrons-cold
The new Technology and Engineering Development Facility (TEDF) provides an infrastructure that positions Jefferson Lab to maintain and expand its world-leadership role in accelerator technologies. However, recently the project has been making its mark in the architectural and construction world by winning awards.
According to Wikipedia, "Engineering News-Record – widely known as ENR – is a weekly magazine that provides news, analysis, data and opinion for the construction industry worldwide. It is owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies." ENR's jury recognized 26 winners in 17 categories. The awards program recognizes outstanding design and construction projects in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
In mid-October, the American Institute of Architects – Philadelphia Chapter's design awards jury recognized the TEDF with one of its annual design excellence awards – a Merit Award in the Built category.
Representatives from EwingCole, the architecture, engineering and interior design firm that designed the TEDF attended the awards events and accepted the honors.
Federal Project Director Rick Korynta, with the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson Site Office, commented, "EwingCole did an outstanding job on this project."
Korynta was particularly impressed with the conceptual design that the company proposed for the project. "They recommended a re-design that was more forward looking and long term in its concept," he noted. "Their design called for redirecting traffic flow to the back (east side) of the campus and establishing a central pedestrian corridor – providing an environment that encourages creative interaction, which can be very beneficial for this type of laboratory."
Representatives from EwingCole, based in Philadelphia, Pa., visited the lab several times during the development stage of the project, and met with lab representatives for each of the work groups that would be using and working in the new and upgraded areas. The company collected information about the lab's needs, requirements and work flow and then provided an integrated, code-compliant, energy efficient, sustainable and flexible design. "They worked hard to understand the processes, equipment and materials used here, and to understand the workers' needs," said Rusty Sprouse, TEDF project director.
"This project was very complex," Sprouse added, "possibly the most complicated of the U.S. Department of Energy's Science Laboratory Infrastructure (SLI) projects. We weren't just building a new facility, we were also renovating an existing facility (the Test Lab), and building an addition to it, all while continuing to use portions of the existing facility for time-critical, mission-essential 12 GeV Upgrade project work."
"This was a great project. It has really transformed the face of the lab; and positioned the lab for future work and research opportunities. The effort has greatly enhanced and modernized a number of critical work areas," Sprouse continued. "It has provided the lab with much-needed, quality space; we literally moved people out of trailers and service buildings. The end product is facilities that provide a flexible work space for enhanced operations and improved work flow."
"The project was not only complex in scope, but involved complex ES&H hazards – civil construction and demolition hazards, silica, asbestos, buried electrical utilities, working at heights, working in temperature extremes, etc.," said Mary Logue, ESH&Q Division associate director. "Mortenson did a great job managing the hazards and safely completing the new construction and especially the renovation work in the Test Lab where Jefferson Lab operations continued."
The TEDF complex provides Jefferson Lab staff, users and students with state-of-the-art facilities for research in nuclear physics, accelerator science, applied nuclear science and technology and advanced instrumentation.
The $73.2 million Technology and Engineering Development Facility, or TEDF, includes the 74,600-square-foot Technology and Engineering Development (TED) building, modernized and refurbished 96,000-square-foot Test Lab and the 46,550-square-foot Test Lab Addition. Mortenson Construction, based in Minneapolis, Minn., was the construction manager and general contractor for the project. The TED building is currently featured on the EwingCole webpage.
Members of the Jefferson Lab community – especially those that make purchases or use materials – are asked to look over their purchases and materials to determine if there are changes that could be made that would meet the requirements of the Department of Energy's GreenBuy Program for Sustainable Acquisitions.
For example, is there a bio-based product that could be used instead of a petroleum-based product currently being used? Small changes like this one can make a big difference, points out Dena Polyhronakis, Jefferson Lab's Sustainable Acquisitions coordinator.
The lab earned a Silver Award for fiscal year 2012, up from a Bronze Award in the previous fiscal year cycle. The lab received the FY12 Silver Award for achieving goal metrics for eight priority products in four different categories: office products, including furniture, copier paper and toner cartridges; shop supplies - sorbents; janitorial supplies, including toilet paper, trash bags and cleaning products; and cafeteria take out containers, according to Polyhronakis.
In a 2013 letter accompanying the FY12 award certificate, Shab Fardanesh, Sustainable Acquisition coordinator for the DOE Office of Sustainability Support, wrote, "TJNAF is being recognized with the Silver Award, exceeding its achievements from the prior year's Bronze Award. … Your participation in this program leverages the Federal government's purchasing dollars to achieve mission goals while improving the marketplace for greener products and reduces the overall environmental impacts of the Department's operations. Congratulations on this achievement. We… encourage you to pursue the next level [Gold] of GreenBuy recognition."
A laboratory can earn the Bronze and Silver awards once each. Jefferson Lab is now striving to earn the Gold award.
"Continuous improvement is a goal and ongoing effort within the lab's Sustainability program," says Bill Rainey, the lab's Environmental, Health and Safety manager. "Members of the lab community worked diligently to make headway on GreenBuy purchases. With continued support from the lab community I feel certain that we can identify additional areas where we can align our product needs with the goals of the GreenBuy Program."
Sites can qualify for GreenBuy Awards at three levels – Gold, Silver, or Bronze – based on meeting the goals of select products and categories:
- To achieve Gold, sites must demonstrate meeting the goals of a minimum of nine products in at least five categories. And of the nine, three must be Federal Energy Management Program Designated/Energy Star products.
- To achieve Silver, sites must meet the goals of a minimum of six products in at least three categories. And of the six, two must be FEMP Designated/Energy Star products.
- To achieve Bronze, sites must meet the goals of a minimum of three products in at least two categories. And of the three, one must be FEMP Designated/Energy Star products.
For the young Paul Brindza, now Hall C's lead engineer, the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?'' was an easy one to answer. By the time he was a sophomore in high school in Milwaukee, Wis., he told anyone who asked, quite simply and concisely: "I'm going to be a physicist and work at a national laboratory."
His dad was a chemist and he grew up surrounded by science and books about it. In Brindza's words, an "excellent, exciting" high school physics instructor piqued his already-growing interest, and field trips to Argonne National Lab just about sealed the deal. At one point, he got a book on particle accelerators and had an amateur run at making one in the basement.
Looking back over a career that spans nearly 40 years – and includes three decades at Jefferson Lab – Brindza can't quite recall exactly where all that youthful clarity came from, but said recently that there was never any doubt in his mind where the future would take him. And he was right.
He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in physics from Marquette University and a Master of Science from Michigan State. He began his professional career at Fermilab in 1975 as an engineering physicist in the Energy Doubler Saver group, where he performed R&D work on superconducting magnets and cryogenic systems for what would become the Tevatron. While at Fermilab, he ran the first string tests of superconducting magnets for the Tevatron culminating in a test of an entire sector of the new magnets. "Pretty exciting times for a young 20 something," he recalled.
Brindza later returned to MSU to work at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Lab, where he was part of the team responsible for the procurement of the superconductor for the K1200 SC cyclotron, development of cryopumps for the K500 cyclotron and a major expansion of the NSCL's cryogenic plant.
From there it was on to the MIT Plasma Fusion Center as project engineer for the Tara Tandem Mirror Fusion Experiment. Tara was supposed to be the "be all and end all of Magnetic Mirror Confinement," he said. "It turned out we were right. Tara was the very last large U.S. mirror project. We were tasked by the DOE Fusion Division to try a whole new concept of all axisymmetric plasma confinement in a magnetic mirror and we threw every additional confinement trick in the book at it. We ended up proving that it didn't work, couldn't work and would probably never work! The project was a success in that we saved the country a lot of time, effort and money."
In 1985, he was hired on by the then brand new Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility or CEBAF. He'd been lured to Newport News by Tony Chargin, [then] an engineering manager at LLNL and the project manager for the TMX Fusion experiment. "He told me that there was going to be a new accelerator lab in the ‘swamps' of Virginia," Brindza recalled. "It sounded pretty interesting."
He showed up at CEBAF in August 1985 in his very best interview suit and was put to work immediately discussing the possibility of a Superconducting Linac at CEBAF with George Biallas and George Neil. "I never really had an interview, but was simply asked to come to work at the end of the day," Brindza recalled.
He officially started work on Oct. 1 at what was then a very small campus as one of an equally small number of people who were looking forward to creating a future laboratory for groundbreaking nuclear science.
"In those days, we all worked in the VARC [Bldg. 28]," he reminisced with a laugh. "Our Christmas parties were held in the lobby, and we all fit in just fine including Hermann [Grunder] who always carved the meat himself."
Early in the project, the engineering manager, Tony Chargin tasked Brindza with hiring the new staff. So he set about finding, and eventually hiring more than 50 engineers, designers and technicians – people who would help make CEBAF a reality. "It took a lot of coercing and cajoling at first since CEBAF was new and unknown. The first people we got were risk takers and that was just about right. Most of the time, it was necessary for all of us to wear a lot of hats," he said. "We all had to be able to do a good job at lots of things – not just the engineering and the machines, but understanding the physics, too. I tried to hire people with similar backgrounds and innate knowledge of what needed to be done. We all had to be unafraid to go outside our comfort zones. We couldn't have built Jefferson Lab if everyone was specialized.
"Twenty years ago we built the High Momentum Spectrometer (HMS) in Hall C and designed it by the seat of our pants," he continued. "Well not really, we all knew some of what had to be done but the HMS team was new and the HMS itself was new, as the first focusing superconducting spectrometer so we did have to stretch a bit. If you don't like working outside your comfort zone or thinking outside the box you will be really uncomfortable at Jefferson Lab. For me it was all fun!"
Brindza noted that there have been vast changes over the years, not just in the work but in how it's accomplished.
"Twenty or 25 years ago, a smart guy could pick up a book and design something he had never heard of before that would meet or exceed the needs," he commented. "Now, we require a higher level of professionalism, and have subject matter experts in particular fields and specific areas. The coming decade, he believes, will see even more requirements for specialization at the lab. "There's going to be an even bigger push for people with certification as Professional Engineers – that's where we're headed."
That's not necessarily a bad thing, just different and evolving. Jefferson Lab still has a lot of opportunities for free thinkers."
That kind of free thinking has earned Brindza and colleague Bert Metzger, a design engineer, recent accolades for their development of three innovative products that could soon find their way into nuclear power plants, particle accelerators and other radiation-generating devices around the world.
"We knew what we had to do," Brindza said. "We needed to figure out a cheap, effective way to shield sensitive electronic equipment from the effect of damaging neutrons. An explanation of their work is in an article titled "New Shielding is Designed to Put the Block on Neutrons."
Brindza is a member of the Cryogenic Society of America and has served as the Hampton Roads Chapter chairman. He's authored or co-authored more than 50 publications in applied superconductivity and cryogenics, and is a frequent contributor to various international conferences and has served on numerous conference program committees.
As Brindza looks ahead, he sees his work in Hall C for the 12 GeV Upgrade project as being the final feather in his cap. His priority has been the new Super High Momentum Spectrometer (SHMS), which will work in tandem with the superconducting High Momentum Spectrometer that he designed and built during the original CEBAF construction.
That retirement will include lots of time spent on his new 44-foot Gulfstar sailboat, somewhere in the Bahamas where he plans to continue his passion for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Brindza serves as president of his synagogue at Temple Sinai in Newport News. His wife, Wendy, is a physician assistant at a private practice in Gloucester. His daughter is a student in the Rothberg International Scholar program at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has just been approved for dual citizenship in Israel.
By Judi Tull
Despite budget-imposed travel limitations, uncertainties created by sequestration and the temporary U.S. government shutdown, nearly 900 researchers gathered in Newport News, from Oct. 23-26 for the American Physical Society’s 2013 fall meeting of the Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP).
Topical workshops attended by more than 160 were held the morning of Oct. 23 – before the plenary session. The DNP Business Meeting was held on Oct, 25 and included a summary of recent DNP actions, a preview of the April 2014 APS spring meeting in Savannah, Ga., and the presentation of awards. The DNP Distinguished Service Award was presented to Susan J. Seestrom, Los Alamos National Lab; the DNP Mentoring Award was presented to Benjamin Zeidman, Argonne National Lab; and Katherine Myers, George Washington University, earned the Nuclear Physics Dissertation Award.
Glenn Oder, a graduate of Virginia Tech and lifelong resident of Virginia, was keynote speaker at the banquet held that evening. Oder served for 10 years in the Virginia General Assembly where he served on severak highly visible committees. In 2011, he was named executive director of the Fort Monroe Authority – the legal entity charged by the Virginia legislature to oversee the transition of the fort, located in Hampton, from federal to state ownership. During the banquet, he discussed the history of the fort and its future.
A Town Hall meeting followed, with reports from the funding agencies and from the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC); the group that provides advice to the Department of Energy regarding the nation’s basic nuclear science research program.
The turnout included a large number of young researchers – 232 graduate students and 162 undergraduate students – including one high school student. Continuing a tradition begun at the 1998 DNP fall meeting, a Conference Experience for Undergraduates was organized by Warren Rogers, Westmont College. The 162 undergraduate researchers participated in a poster session held on Oct. 24 that was designed to provide them with an opportunity to present their research to the larger professional community and to one another. A primary goal of the CEU program is to provide an educational conference experience for undergraduate students who have conducted research in nuclear physics.
According to the APS website, the Division of Nuclear Physics is comprised of scientists and educators who study fundamental problems related to the nature of matter. Nuclear scientists probe the properties of nuclei and nuclear matter and the interactions of their ultimate constituents – quarks and gluons. They also address interdisciplinary questions: the basis of fundamental symmetries in nature, the first moments of the universe, the origin of the elements, education, and the application of nuclei and nuclear techniques to meet societal needs including medical diagnoses and treatment, energy, advanced materials, and homeland security. DNP interests overlap with other APS divisions, topical groups and forums.
At the close, attendees and DNP representatives thanked the local organizing committee for its efforts in planning, coordinating and conducting a “highly successful” meeting. Organizing Committee Chair, Latifa Elouadrhiri, Jefferson Lab, commended the committee for its efforts in hosting the meeting and its associated events. The local committee included Elouadrhiri; David Armstrong, College of William and Mary; M. Eric Christy, Hampton University; Mark Jones, Jefferson Lab; Douglas Higinbotham, Jefferson Lab; J. Wallace Van Orden, Old Dominion University; and Christian Weiss, Jefferson Lab. Overall, the meeting went well, according to Elouadrhiri. Due to the temporary shutdown of the federal government, there were a few things that had to be rearranged in the days leading up to the meeting; and the highly anticipated tour of Jefferson Lab facilities had to be cancelled, she noted.
The worst winter storm to hit eastern Virginia in years didn't diminish the excitement or intensity of the Virginia Regional High School Science Bowl held at Jefferson Lab on Feb. 1. Twenty-two teams arrived bright and early and ready to compete.Jefferson Lab Director Hugh Montgomery welcomed the students, their family members and team coaches gathered in the CEBAF Center auditorium. He introduced the event by telling the audience of the previous day's (Jan. 31) visit by the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and explaining how important the educational element of the laboratory is to the Secretary. Montgomery described how Secretary Moniz had engaged first hand with a student intern and four teachers involved in lab-sponsored, science-enrichment programs, and had received a 2014 Virginia Science Bowl T-shirt from one of the teachers – a volunteer for the High School Science Bow, who is also a Middle School Science Bowl coach.Montgomery said that this passion is also ingrained at the lab where staff feels that the next generation is the future. "We aim to do as much as we can to ensure students' participation and eventual integration," he said. "This competition is an example of our commitment, and all should feel welcome."
The teams spent the morning in a grueling series of round robin matches. The top two teams from each division moved on to the double-elimination finals. The final match of the day pitted Warwick High School, Newport News, against Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, the long-standing Virginia Science Bowl champs. The TJHS team was undefeated for the day. Warwick had lost a couple of its round-robin matches and the first of its double-elimination matches before rebounding and winning the rest of its semi-final matches.
When the final match of the day ended – around 4:30 p.m. – the TJHS team had kept its winning streak intact. Through a combination of skill, strategy and knowledge, the TJHS team handily won the tournament 114 - 0. Questions covered detailed topics ranging from energy use and chemistry to geology, plant biology and cellular physiology.
The TJHS team took home a $750 check for its school, a team trophy, individual medals and the regional banner that the team will carry to nationals. The team, coached by Mary Ann Donohue, will also receive an expenses-paid trip to participate in the Department of Energy Science Bowl National Finals – in Washington, D.C., April 24-28.
In a statement from DOE Headquarters, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said, "The National Science Bowl challenges students to excel and heightens their interest in fields vital to America's continued scientific advancement. Congratulations to these students for advancing to the National Finals. I wish them the best of luck in the competition."
For finishing in second, Warwick's best finish to date, the team took home a $500 check for its school and a team trophy. The team was coached by Justin Giroux.
Langley High School, McLean, finished in third place after falling to Warwick, 48-40 in Round 5 of the one-loss bracket. The team, coached by Leah Puhlick, took home a $300 check for its school and a team trophy. Langley had finished in second place last year.
Fourth place went to Princess Anne High School, Virginia Beach. The team, coached by John Harrison, took home a team trophy.
Several teams, eliminated from competition after the morning rounds, stayed for the afternoon to participate in an event dubbed the Stay All Day Contest. Teams took part in three activities, each one presenting a different type of design or engineering challenge. The team with the best combined score won a $300 check for its school. Winning this year was the team from Charlottesville High School, Charlottesville, and coached by Matt Shields.
Individual prizes were presented to the overall winners as well as to the team members earning the highest scores in each activity.
At the awards presentations Jan Tyler, Jefferson Lab's Science Education manager and Science Bowl coordinator, congratulated the teams – the 100-plus students and 30-plus coaches. She acknowledged and applauded their hard work and tenacity in preparing for the Science Bowl. In addition, she thanked lab management for their support in hosting the event, and the 50 volunteers – lab staff, their family members, and friends of the Science Bowl program – who helped conduct the matches and run the event.
The Department of Energy created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. The National Science Bowl program is the nation's largest science competition. DOE's Office of Science manages the program and sponsors the NSB finals.
Over the next few months, more than 9,500 high school students and 4,500 middle school students will compete in 70 high school and 50 middle school regional Science Bowl tournaments. Students, in teams of four or five, compete in the fast-paced question-and answer-style format where they solve technical problems and answer questions in all branches of science and math. Most teams are coached by teachers from the students' schools and spend several months preparing for the regional competitions. Many states have one regional or statewide Science Bowl competition, while larger states, such as California and Texas, hold several regional competitions. The regional tournaments, which host 15-50 teams, are sponsored by federal agencies, national laboratories, institutions of education, and non-profit organizations.
Jefferson Lab's Science Education team is seeking nearly 50 volunteers to help with the Virginia Regional Middle School Science Bowl set to take place at the lab on March 1.
The National Science Bowl competition is a series of highly visible academic tournaments among teams of students held across the nation. The program has been sponsored annually since 1991 by the U.S. Department of Energy. One series of tournaments is for high school teams and a separate series of events is for middle school teams; the lab hosted the Virginia Regional High School Science Bowl on Feb. 1.
"These events champion an interest in science, math and technology," says Jan Tyler, Science Education manager. "They are a great way to promote academic excellence and to raise awareness about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers."
Volunteer support is essential to the success of both events, according to Tyler. "We had a great turnout for the high school tournament, and we hope to have enough volunteers for the middle school competition. We couldn't put these events on without our volunteers."
Nearly 50 volunteers will be needed to run the March 1 bowl. Most of the volunteers perform as competition moderators, rules judges, timekeepers and scorekeepers during the morning, round-robin sessions, according to Tyler. A smaller number of volunteers are needed to run the afternoon double-elimination matches, be the on-site scientific judge who is called when a student challenges a question or answer during the competition and a few individuals to help with administrative tasks and the afternoon Stay All Day Contest held in the Support Service Center (Building 28) classrooms.
"We need new and experienced volunteers. If you have volunteered for previous Science Bowls, or if you've never been to a Science Bowl, but want to be part of the excitement, we want you," she says.
"These events are great fun. We provide all volunteers with training and a practice session, a Science Bowl T-shirt, and lunch if you work morning and afternoon,” she adds. “We need you, your co-workers, spouse and children (over age 13) to assist with the many activities required to conduct these academic competitions."
Most of the public areas and conference rooms of CEBAF Center are taken over on competition day. Twenty schools are expected to participate in the middle school tournament. The top three teams from will earn cash prizes for their respective schools. The top team will also win an expenses-paid trips to the DOE Science Bowl Nationals planned for April 24-28 in Washington, D.C. Each team is made up of four or five students, and a teacher who serves as coach.
The Science Bowl is an academic competition among teams of students who compete in a verbal forum to solve technical problems and answer questions in all branches of science and math. The regional and national events encourage student involvement and interest in math and science activities, improve awareness of career options in science and technology, and provide an avenue of enrichment and reward for academic science achievement, according to Tyler.
Teams that don't advance to the afternoon rounds are invited to stay and compete in a series of design and engineering challenges dubbed the Stay All Day Contest. Teams are presented with activities or challenges where they have to analyze problems, develop working prototypes with specific materials and make projections based on a model's performance. The team with the best combined results for the activities wins.
Helping with the Science Bowl is strictly a volunteer activity, Tyler reminds aspiring helpers. Anyone interested in more information or in volunteering, may contact her by email at: email@example.com. Volunteers may sign up for morning shift, which runs from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., or for the entire day (8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) She encourages new volunteers to consider helping with the Middle School Science Bowl before tackling the high school event.
Anyone interested in seeing how the volunteers conduct a match in invited to check out the volunteers’ Science Bowl practice session starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, in CEBAF Center Room F113.
Check out the information and video clips on the following links for more information about the science bowl competition, how a match runs, and the duties of volunteers:
These Milestone entries, listed alphabetically, are full-time, term, casual and student actions posted by Human Resources for November and December 2013.
Bernard M.K. Nefkens, Professor Emeritus at UCLA, peacefully passed away at his home in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, on the morning of Jan. 10, after suffering the last couple of years from and finally succumbing to Alzheimer's disease.
UCLA has posted an obituary recounting the life and achievements of Nefkens, an internationally distinguished scientist.
He and his research associates and graduate students were involved in various experimental efforts at Jefferson Lab.
A memorial is being planned to take place in March at UCLA.
The On Target newsletter is published monthly by the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), a nuclear physics research laboratory in Newport News, Virginia, operated by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. Possible news items and ideas for future stories may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent to the Jefferson Lab Public Affairs Office, Suite 15, 12000 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23606