Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL researchers receive awards at White House

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 27, 1997 — Four members of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have received awards for technical accomplishment and team involvement in the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). The awards were presented by Vice President Albert Gore at the White House.

PNGV - a government-industry partnership - was created to develop less-polluting family vehicles that can be driven 80 miles per gallon of fuel.

The awards were presented to a team of scientists and engineers from five DOE laboratories and the three domestic automakers - Chrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp.

The award recipients from ORNL include Norberto Domingo, Ralph McGill and John Storey of the Engineering Technology Division and Karren More of the Metals and Ceramics Division.

The researchers received recognition for significant scientific progress in reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions - a significant source of pollution - in both diesel and gasoline lean burn engines. These engines have a higher ratio of air to gasoline than conventional engines, resulting in greater fuel efficiency. However, higher NOx emissions have constituted the downside of lean burn engines - until now.

The winning team's goal involved researching and experimenting with different materials to formulate new methods for construction of catalytic converters that would lessen NOx emissions. The materials include hydrous metal oxides, zeolites and aerogels.

Each of the materials has shown promise in initial testing, and further testing is under way at Y-12's testing facility, which simulates actual driving conditions. The technology could be included in prototype vehicles in 2000.

In order to meet PNGV requirements, new converters must have the ability to reduce NOx emissions by at least 50 percent.

"The achievements gained in this project represent a significant step toward our goal of demonstrating an 80 mpg family sedan by the year 2004," said Dr. Pandit Patil, director of DOE's Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies.

The ORNL team is part of a larger group of scientists and engineers from seven federal agencies, 20 government laboratories and more than 300 automotive suppliers and universities working on different aspects of PNGV projects.

The award-winning team was selected by an independent panel of the Society of Automotive Engineers based on nominations from the PNGV technical and management teams. The award will be given annually to a government-industry team that best exemplifies the ability to work together as partners in achieving major technical progress toward the PNGV goals.

PNGV was established as a matching funds program, with the federal government and U.S. automakers each contributing approximately $300 million each annually.

Domingo came to ORNL in 1977 after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering.

He began his career by serving more than 10 years as a research engineer in the Engineering Technology Division and Energy Division. Domingo joined the Fuels, Combustion and Engine Technology Group in 1988 at ORNL as a development staff member responsible for research and development activities and project management in automotive propulsion technology. Domingo is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. He was a recipient of the Customer Service, Action, Teaming and Support Award from the Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology for work with the U.S. auto industry.

He now makes his home in Knoxville with his wife, Clara, and son, Paul.

McGill joined ORNL in 1978 in the Engineering Technology Division. He later moved to the Energy Division for five years, starting in 1982. McGill has served during the past 10 years as program manager in the Engineering Technology Division. His professional affiliations include the American Association of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

McGill has written more than 60 reports and publications and made more than 40 technical presentations since coming to ORNL. He was the keynote speaker at the Second International Workshop on Motor Vehicles and the Global Environment Problem in 1991 in Tokyo.

He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering, all from North Carolina State University. McGill serves as president of the Sugarwood Homeowners Association in Farragut, Tenn. He and his wife, Marianne, live in Farragut. They have two children, Norm and Kim.

Storey has been with the Engineering Technology Division at ORNL since 1995. He performed post-doctoral studies at ORNL for two years before accepting his permanent position.

He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Harvard University, a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University and a doctorate in environmental science and engineering from the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology. Storey is a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society. He serves on the board of directors for the Children's Museum. He and his wife, Susan Coffey, reside in Oak Ridge with their two children, Jedediah and Hannah.

More is a research staff member in ORNL's Metals and Ceramics Division. She joined ORNL in 1988 and presently works in the High Temperature Materials Laboratory, where she conducts materials research using electron microscopy. She earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in materials science and engineering from North Carolina State University. More and her husband, William Dickson, live in West Knoxville with their two children, Katie and Kyle.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.