Wendy Dafoe serves as the Clean Cities task leader at NREL, working closely with staff at the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to advance the Clean Cities sustainable transportation mission. This June, the Energy Department recognized Dafoe with an award for her long-lasting commitment to advancing the Clean Cities mission.Transportation leader roots career in true grit

In 1994, Wendy Dafoe clocked in as a temp at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and began work on what would become the Energy Department’s Clean Cities Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC). Twenty years later, Dafoe is still here, but in a full-time capacity as senior project leader helping steer the program. Some would call it commitment, some would point to a planetary alignment—but others might suspect it has something to do with the true grit Dafoe developed in her time with the mining industry.

Dafoe interprets it as kismet, saying: “Somehow, I lucked into connecting with Clean Cities, and the program has become an incredible success story for EERE. Since its inception, the leadership at Clean Cities has steered the program to build an impressive network of coalitions who establish public-private partnerships, leading to exponential growth.”

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Cyber Defenders interns attend a network security class, where each week they learn about a different tool and use it to complete an exercise.A dynamic introduction to cybersecurity (internal and external)

Celeste Matarazzo was attending a cybersecurity conference when she was struck with a realization: the field of cybersecurity had a diversity problem.

Matarazzo noted: “It’s about more than racial or gender diversity—it’s about diversity of thought. Both cybercrime and cybersecurity are only limited by imagination, and we as a nation can’t be secure without a diverse set of problem solvers to counter the cyber threat.”

No stranger to educational outreach, she speculated that a fun yet practical introduction to cybersecurity might encourage more students to pursue careers in the discipline. In 2009, with support from DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, she established a Cyber Defenders summer internship program to provide hands-on training to potential future cyber security experts; she now shares program leadership duties with Evi Dube, of LLNL's Computing Applications and Research department.

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See also…

DOE Pulse
  • Number 420  |
  • August 18, 2014
  • Junior researchers showing world the way to advanced nuclear fuel design

    Dr. Melissa Teague, an INL materials engineer, pioneered advanced microscopy on irradiated nuclear fuel. Two early-career researchers at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory are earning international attention for their groundbreaking work. They're getting a long-sought look into the 3-D microstructure of irradiated nuclear fuel, and then feeding that data into cutting-edge fuel behavior models. Their work will make the design and testing of even safer nuclear fuels more informed and efficient.

    The distinctive collaboration stemmed from a fertile environment at the Department of Energy's lead laboratory for nuclear energy research and development. That environment enabled an engineer and a computational scientist to easily work hand-in-hand toward a common goal. Their collaboration is noteworthy "because computer people and experimental scientists don't tend to interact much," said Michael Tonks.

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  • Scientists uncover combustion mechanism to better predict warming by wildfires

    Wildfire fuel being burned in the fire laboratory as the aerosols from the top are being sucked into inlets and sampled at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana by Los Alamos and Carnegie Mellon University scientists. Scientists have uncovered key attributes of so-called “brown carbon” from wildfires, airborne atmospheric particles that may have influenced current climate models that failed to take the material’s warming effects into account. The work was described by a collaborative team of researchers from DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Montana in the journal Nature Geosciences.

    “Biomass burning and wildfires emit fine particulates that are toxic to humans and can warm or cool climate. While their toxicity is certain, their specific climatic effects remain unclear and are a hot research topic,” said Manvendra Dubey, a senior Los Alamos climate scientist. “Smoke from wildfires accounts for one-third of the Earth’s ‘black’ carbon — the familiar charred particles that are associated with fires with large flames. While black carbon is relatively simple — solely consisting of carbon — brown carbon contains a complex soup of organic material, making it difficult to identify, characterize and model.”

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  • Researchers use waste slag to create energy and cut emissions

    Researchers use waste slag to create energy and cut emissions . Slag is a molten mixture of process waste ashes from the power and metallurgical industries. In gasification, slag is made from mineral impurities that remain after a carbon feedstock such as coal has been gasified. In metal refining, slag contains impurities removed from a metal while it is refined. Slag is basically waste that is landfilled in many countries, including the U.S. Two researchers at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory have found a way to make slag more valuable. They determined that by mixing two particular types of slag at a unique ratio they can generate energy and fuels.

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  • Cherry picking molecules based on their pi electrons

    To eliminate the extreme cooling and high pressures used to separate ethylene and ethane, an international team of scientists, including researchers at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, designed a sorbent that greatly prefers ethylene. Specialized windshield glass, everyday plastic water bottles, and countless other products are based on ethylene, a simple two-carbon molecule, which requires an energy-intense separation process to pluck the desired chemical away from nearly identical ethane. To eliminate the extreme cooling required in the separation, an international team including researchers at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory designed a material with a porous framework that greatly prefers ethylene. What makes this material particularly potent is that the highly selective sorbent is stable in air and water. In addition, the framework offers a high surface area that speeds the sorting. The material contains silver that binds with the electrons around ethylene's double-bonded carbon atoms. These electrons are known as π electrons or the π cloud.

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