Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

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


Three ORNL technologies honored by Southeast tech transfer group

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 26, 2006 — Three technologies developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have earned Excellence in Technology Awards from the Southeast Region of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer during its annual meeting in Nashville.

The three technologies include alerting patients and medical personnel of an epileptic seizure, a light system that uses natural sunlight and a computer designed methodology to produce steel alloys.

The consortium's South region includes federal laboratories in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

SeizAlert is a personal device for alerting patients and medical personnel of impending epileptic seizures. Event anticipation is provided via advanced analysis of brain waves that can be transmitted wirelessly from scalp electrodes.

A warning from SeizAlert enables a patient to take preventive actions, such as stopping hazardous activity, taking medication, lying down in a quiet place or contacting a physician. The technology earned a 2005 R&D 100 Award from R&D magazine.

A palmtop implementation of SeizAlert has been developed by Lee Hively, Kristopher Daley, Kara Kruse, Nancy Munro and Vladimir Protopopescu. Brett Bosley is ORNL's commercialization manager for SeizAlert. The SeizAlert technology is licensed to Hercules Development Corp, whose chief executive officer is Tracey Dodenhoff. Hercules is planning to sponsor a future clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. SeizAlert technology and development was supported by DOE's Basic Energy Sciences.

The ORNL-developed hybrid solar lighting system uses a roof-mounted solar collector and small fiber optics to transfer sunlight to hybrid fixtures with electric lamps. A control system enables sunlight to power the light and illuminate about 1,000 square feet during sunny daylight hours while clouds and darkness allow the system to revert to providing regular electrical light.

The hybrid lighting technology reduces energy usage not only for lighting, but also for cooling due to the system's ability to block ultraviolet and infrared heat. The technology, which recently earned a 2006 R&D 100 Award, could be particularly valuable in areas where there is an abundance of sunshine.

The hybrid lighting team is composed of David Beshears, Melissa Lapsa, Art Clemons, Dennis Earl, John Jordan, Randall Lind, Curt Maxey, Jeff Muhs, Christina Ward and Wes Wysor. The late Larry Dickens was ORNL's commercialization manager on the project. John Morris of Sunlight Direct is also a member of the team. The technology's development was funded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Solar Technologies Program.

TMA 6301 and TMA 4701 are two heat-resistant cast austenitic stainless steels with improved durability and lifespan at higher maximum operating temperatures that have been developed using a computer-aided micro structural design methodology. This reduces the time required for the development of new alloys to about three years, which compares from the six to 10 years typically needed with traditional trial-and-error methods.

These new alloys will be used in various industrial materials processing equipment applications in the heat treatment, steel processing, chemical and petroleum industries. Upgrading with these new alloys will provide energy savings, as they can be used at higher temperatures for longer time periods.

The TMA team is composed of Govindarajan Muralidharan, Neal Evans, Ken Liu, Philip Maziasz, Michael Santella, Vinod Sikka and Christopher Stevens, Ashok Choudhury is the ORNL commercialization manager. Other team members are Roman Pankiw of Duraloy Technology and Scott Sexton of Nucor Steel and the Indiana Sheet Metal Group. The work is supported by DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies, Industries of the Future program.

Earning honorable mention were the LandScan™ 2004 global population dataset and the MEMS-based uncooled infrared imaging.

LandScan is a high resolution population distribution model for the world. At a 1-square kilometer resolution, LandScan provides the most accurate global population data available with several orders of magnitude higher resolution 25 times higher resolution than the previous standard for global population database.

The system has become the community standard for estimating population at risk and is useful for coordinating disaster response, humanitarian relief, sustainable development and environmental protection.

The LandScan team is ccmposed of Budhendra Bhaduri, Edward Bright, Phillip Coleman, Amy King and Eddie Tinnel. Choudhury and Mark Reeves are the commercialization managers.

MEMS-based uncooled infrared imaging is a sensitive infrared camera that operates at room temperature using a two-dimensional cantilever array to produce a thermal image that has applications for night vision, process monitoring, medical imaging, fire fighting and night driving.

ORNL team members are Thomas Thundat, Joe Cunningham, Panos Datskos, Irene Datskou, Boyd Evans, Slobodan Rajic, Eric Wachter and Bruce Warmack. Russ Miller is ORNL's commercialization manager for the project. Matt Miller and Scott Hunter of Multispectral Imaging are also members of the team. LandScan is supported by funding from the Department of Defense.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.