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Natalie Pekney, a Caucasian woman with green eyes and long, curly brown hair.
NETL’s Natalie Pekney led a career development panel featuring women from across the U.S. Department of Energy during a virtual segment of the 2022 GirlCon, held Friday, June 17. Pekney joined Kate Klise and Christine Downs from Sandia National Laboratory, Charu Varadharajan from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chris Morency from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as they discussed their day-to-day routines and offered words of wisdom for working for the federal government. “This was a valuable, candid discussion where each of us was able to share our unique perspectives working at the different national labs,” Pekney said. “We hope we opened up the lines of communication and provided some inspiration for the next generation of scientists and engineers to consider government service.”
June Edition of the SSAE Newsletter Released
The June 2022 edition of the SSAE Newsletter provides updates about recent research initiatives undertaken within NETL’s Strategic Systems Analysis and Engineering (SSAE) directorate. Click here to access this latest edition and learn about activities that SSAE is leading to gain insights into new energy concepts, support the analysis of energy system interactions and advance its capabilities. Highlights in this edition include:
Tech Connect Logo
NETL researchers made important industry connections during the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo held in Washington, D.C, June 13-15, sharing the Lab’s innovative research into computer modeling, rare earth elements, sensors and other energy research, while other NETL innovators pitched their technologies to investors during the concurrently held TechConnect Innovation Challenge. On the first day of the program, NETL’s Jessica Mullen, technology manager for Rare Earths and Critical Elements, provided an overview of the Lab’s Critical Materials Sustainability Program, which is working to rebuild the U.S. leadership role in extraction and processing technologies to support an economically and environmentally benign, geopolitically sustainable U.S. domestic supply chain for production of rare earth elements (REEs) and critical minerals for clean energy and national defense.
A collage of all five women mentioned in the news article.
NETL researcher Ranjani Siriwardane is a trailblazer within her areas of expertise and in the advancement of diversity and inclusion to drive innovations for clean energy technologies. Besides finding solutions to complex technical issues, Siriwardane, as well as other women at NETL, are Ranjani Siriwardane taking steps to close the gender gap that exists in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
A portrait photograph of Krista Hill, a Caucasian woman with shoulder length dark blonde hair, blue eyes, a hot pink blouse and a black blazer.
As a federal project manager, NETL’s Krista Hill is especially adept at handling multiple assignments as she focuses on the development of innovative decarbonization projects to address climate change. She refined and polished those multitasking skills early in her career. While completing graduate-level research in chemistry at the University of Oregon, Hill launched a tutoring business to help students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, co-managed a construction company and even helped a friend start two food cart ventures. “I was always juggling several projects, which was great experience for project management,” Hill explained. Growing up in West Virginia, Hill was impressed by the natural beauty of the state and enjoyed its outdoor recreation opportunities, which piqued an early interest in the environment. She was also exposed to strong role models, sparking a desire to excel in the classroom.
The RWFI E-Note Monthly is now available.
The May 2022 edition of the RWFI E-Note Monthly, the newsletter of NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI), is now available and includes details on a range of grant funding and training opportunities. Highlights include:
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Through a collaboration with one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) hardware manufacturers, NETL is developing a cutting-edge computer modeling capability using next-generation computer architecture that is much smaller, more energy-efficient, and hundreds of times faster than current supercomputers. Cerebras Systems Inc. designed its revolutionary wafer-scale engine (WSE) to tackle tough AI problems, but NETL’s Dirk Van Essendelft, Ph.D., and his team realized that this new type of computer chip could be used to solve real-world engineering problems.
Logo Image of the Water Energy Nexus News
The latest edition of Water-Energy Nexus News is packed with research efforts undertaken by NETL and its partners to deliver world-class technology solutions that enhance the nation’s energy foundation while helping to protect water resources for future generations. This quarter’s newsletter welcomes Vanessa Núñez-López, the new director at the Office of Resource Sustainability. Núñez-López is focused on restructuring the division’s research and development portfolio to showcase the best advanced technologies and processes that minimize the environmental impacts associated with the extraction of oil and gas resources. Other updates in this edition of the newsletter include: ·       NETL’s Nicholas Siefert is leading a project on the co-treatment of flue gas desulfurization effluent from Longview Power Plant in Maidsville, West Virginia, and produced water from oil and gas wells near Morgantown, West Virginia.
Image of the NETL Joule Supercomputer
NETL’s world-class artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities are being leveraged to design the cleaner, more efficient power generation systems necessary for near-term decarbonization of the nation’s power sector and economy. AI refers to machines that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, learn, predict, and make decisions, only much faster and more efficiently than humans. Most AI applications use ML to find patterns in massive amounts of data. The patterns are then used for making predictions that have numerous applications across the energy landscape.
RWFI E-Note Monthly Logo Image
The April 2022 edition of the RWFI E-Note Monthly, the newsletter of NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI), highlights funding opportunities for advancing undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This month’s edition focuses on the NSF’s Future of Manufacturing program to support fundamental research and education of a future workforce to overcome scientific, technological, educational, economic and social barriers, and  catalyze new production capabilities.