Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation
|Number 15 October 16, 1997|
A poor man's supercomputer
SEMATECH, Oak Ridge make successful partners
EUO team receives Y-12 Environmental Excellence Award
R&D pride fills a room
ORNL hosts lab webbies near and far
Skies are safe; we can make 'em safer
Incentive for education
CCE home page: Virtual shopping mall for Web-based training
Bacteria may provide alternative alcohol-based fuels
In the System
MK-Ferguson builds future in agreement with LM
Refuse to be a Victim class note
AZTEC unveiled for military medical personnel
ew things look more forlorn than a once-mighty personal computer reduced to a has-been. Cheaper and ever more powerful PCs race to the market while older machines languish in dusty corners and storerooms, beige husks of the champions they were only a few years ago.
It runs! Forrest Hoffman (left) and Bill Hargrove with their homemade parallel processor, the Stone Soupercomputer. Photo by Tom Cerniglio
Except, that is, in the Environmental Sciences Division, where cast-off 486s have been joined into what amounts to a poor man's supercomputer. The homemade parallel processor, which currently has about 32 nodes operating, has successfully run programs that could also run on ORNL's big supercomputer, the Paragon.
They call it "Stone Soupercomputer," from the fable about a soldier who uses a soup-from-stones ruse to cadge a meal from stingy villagers. Assembled by ESD's Forrest Hoffman and Bill Hargrove of the Computational Physics and Engineering Division, their Stone Soupercomputer could represent an emerging populism in supercomputing.
NASA pioneered the concept with an assemblage called Beowulf. These machines operate on a Unix-style system called Linux. Basement parallel machines like them could soon spring up all over, giving researchers ample resources for trying out and tuning up multiple-variable, data-rich computing experiments without having to line up for time on the really advanced massively parallel machines like the Paragon.
It performs, per node, similarly to the Paragon, and they built it on a shoestring. "We had no money," Hoffman said. "We built it anyway, mostly after hours with donated equipment."
Hoffman and Hargrove resorted to a tried and true Oak Ridge resourcethe Swap Shopfor their hardware, along with Procurement and sources at all three Oak Ridge sites. Before long they had concatenated, in a room resembling what Hargrove terms a "chop shop" full of computer guts, a working parallel processor.
Maybe the most amazing thing about Stone Soupercomputer is the idea that tying together a series of CPUs from who-knows-where would actually work. "We did the hardest thing," Hoffman said. "Instead of getting new computers, we've combined dogs and cats. They all have different processor speeds, different motherboards and cardsit's a real mix and match job."
The system so far has proved to be very stable. "It has run for a couple of months," Hoffman said. "The programs sometimes crash, but the system itself has stayed up."
"We're not computer scientists," Hargrove added. "We're not out to set speed records, but we have solved some pretty big problems with applications that couldn't be done on a serial workstation."
Hargrove successfully ran a parallel algorithm on the Stone Souper that he calls an unholy alliance of geographical information systems and statistics on a variety of soil characteristic data. The multicolored map it produced demonstrates that their computer can indeed serve as a tool for data-heavy applications.
Stone Soupercomputer is one of a handful in the nation. Although Hargrove and Hoffman eschew such records, the machine could enjoy a world-record performance-to-price ratio because it's made from surplus equipment and public domain software on a zero budget.
More importantly, workshop parallel computers like it could one day give researchers a valuable toola place to try out and debug parallel computing programs dirt cheap. Those types of applications will undoubtedly grow as technology creates more and more data to analyze and as researchers realize what science can be derived from massively parallel computing.
The ESD researchers would like to expand their project. That means that orphan CPUs could soon find a home. If you have equipment you would like to donate, check their home page, www.esd.ornl.gov/facilities/beowulf/.
As a version of the Stone Soup fable concludes, "And so it goes that the best things come about when everyone contributes what they can."B.C.
Oak Ridge's work with SEMATECH began five years ago with a cooperative R&D agreement. When that CRADA was finished, new agreements were forged to provide direct SEMATECH funding for radiofrequency (RF) plasma work in the RF Technology Center of ORNL's Fusion Energy Division.
RF energized plasmas are used extensively in the production of semiconductors both to remove and deposit materials.
The success of Oak Ridge's RF plasma work for SEMATECH has led to further partnerships in other areas of work. Now, half a decade after their first work together, 10 joint Oak RidgeSEMATECH projects are under way.
These projects include development of diagnostics for plasma processing; integrated RF systems design; wireless wafer sensors; copper coating research; environment, safety and health work; a defect resolution system; an advanced defect detection system; and advanced copper plating systems for semiconductors, lithography, and modeling of plasma processing.
There are also currently two Oak Ridge staff members working on assignments at SEMATECH in Austin, Texas. These people, paid for by SEMATECH, have facilitated critical connections between SEMATECH and the talents and facilities available at Oak Ridge.
|This is a classic outreach partnership. SEMATECH recognized that their needs and our facilities and skills were a good match.|
"This is a classic outreach partnership. Many ORNL divisions are involved, including Engineering Technology, Metals and Ceramics, Fusion Energy, Instrumentation and Controls and Solid State, as well as people from Y-12's Development Division and the Y-12 shops. It involves people and skills from all three sites," said Dan Hoffman, manager of the RF Technology Center.
"We have worked very aggressively to get these projects and meet their needs. At the same time, they recognized that their needs and our facilities and skills were a good match," Hoffman said.
The partnership has worked so well, in fact, that the president and chief operating officer of SEMATECH recently sent a letter to Energy Secretary Federico Peña expressing his "appreciation for the beneficial interactions between SEMATECH and Oak Ridge."
In that letter, Mark Melliar-Smith writes that "SEMATECH's goal is to create competitive advantage for its member companies by working together to achieve and strengthen manufacturing technology leadership in the semiconductor industry. The semiconductor industry is the foundation for the world's largest industry: electronics. In the U.S. the electronics industry accounts for 2,600,000 jobs and 6.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
"To accomplish our mission, we have established programs that give us access to the unique capabilities and expertise of the scientists and engineers working at several federal laboratories, including ORNL. We began working with ORNL about five years ago and hope to continue to expand this relationship.
"The enthusiasm, talent and commitment of the ORNL staff have had a positive effect on our industry and we anticipate additional benefits from our continued interaction. It is heartening to see our nation's investment in energy R&D yield direct spin-off applications that are relevant to key industries and that help create high paying, high technology jobs in the U.S.," the letter states.Bill Wilburn
-12's Enriched Uranium Operations team has received the 1997 Y-12 Environmental Excellence Award, marking the third time the team has won the five-year-old award.
The team members were recognized for "going above and beyond in total commitment to reduce environmental impacts involving Y-12 Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) cleanup activities," said Todd Butz, Y-12 Plant manager.
Butz said that as a result of the team's work, EUO operated 13 RCRA-permitted areas, four 90-day accumulation areas and one RCRA satellite area without obtaining any regulatory noncompliances or Y-12 Plant standard deviation citations. Several Toxic Substances Control Act areas also were operated with no noncompliances.
The Lockheed Martin Camera Club's annual show opens November 1 with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The free show, which runs all month at the Oak Ridge Community Art Center, 201 Badger Road, includes color and black and white images by camera club members.
Don't forget to fill out and send in your ethics surveys. They were distributed through division offices and are due October 31. As ethics officers Steve Stow and Charlene Edwards said in the last issue, the more people who respond, the better idea we'll have about what our ethics issues really are at ORNL and Energy Systems.
Speaking of surveys, ORNL employees received a survey on the potential use of a child development center and satellite health facility. While giving no assurances that these facilities ever will be a reality, the Lab is exploring the issue. Steve DeGangi, 574-9191, is collecting the surveys, which are due October 29.
The Building 9206 closure and the Rad Wood removal
project are the two
accomplishments that stood out to team
management. "The 9206 closure was an outstanding effort that
took seven months to complete," said
Nick Jessen, organization manager for EUO. "It required constant coordination with the state to ensure compliance in the waste removal."
RCRA decontamination of organic waste had never been performed by EUO personnel. Among the obstacles faced was the wet decontamination pad in Building 9767-2, which was used to clean items removed from Building 9206.
Charles Fritts, EUO team leader, said the Rad Wood project also was another good example of a job well done. The project involved the removal and disposal of about 300,000 pounds of radioactively contaminated wooden pallets. Currently, radioactively contaminated wood is burned at a cost of $1.70 per pound. However, 90 percent of the wood was not contaminated and could be recycled as mulch. Net savings of the recycling project is nearly $500,000 per year.
The mulch has been used around the Y-12 Plant, and outside contractors are going to start buying mulch from Y-12, which makes the process even more attractive. "This job is ongoing," Fritts said. "We'll continue with the project this fall when the weather cools."
EUO team members receiving plaques in the July 29 ceremony were Ken Carter, Ken Chittum, Bobby Claiborne, Glen Culver, Ruth Drewery, Lamar Duncan, Tony Dutton, Tommy Edmonds, Charles H. Fritts, Monty Fritts, Wayne Gibson, Abie Golshani, Jackie Harris, Virgil Hart, Ernie Heyward, J.R. Johnson, Dan Lawson, Gordon Lefevers, Bob McIntyre, David Miller, Randy Peterson, Jerry Polson, Doug Ritter, Beth Sliski, Steve Smith, Gary Spradlen, Bill Tindal, Jimmy Villarreal, Frank Waller, Bruce Walton, Charlie Whited, Tully Widner, Ron Williams and Tim Woods.Steve Brewer
ORNL's nine R&D 100 awards this yeara record year for the Lab and the most any federal facility has ever receivedis as good a good reason as any for a party, and so they had one on September 22. This year's ORNL and Energy Systems winners (Lab technologies figured into all nine) exhibited their technologies to an invited gathering that included past winners, civic leaders and special guests, including DOE Energy Research Director Martha Krebs and 3rd District Rep. Zach Wamp.
Krebs touted partnerships to "bridge the increasingly unimportant gap between basic and applied research.
"R&D 100 awards speak to policymakers about the importance of research," Krebs said. "With your nine awards, you are the standard bearer."
Wamp made a similar call for commercialization and investment of the technologies but stirred the crowd the most by recalling Oak Ridge's humble origins. "We had a reputation of being barefoot and illiterate," he said, alluding to the pre-war East Tennessee region. "Nine R&D 100s came out of this valley this year alone. It's an extraordinary storylemons into lemonade."
Krebs, Wamp and ORNL Director Al Trivelpiece had to dash off to make a plane to Washington, but the festivities continued. One local inventor was impressed by the collection of young and more-senior researchers and said the gathering appeared to be a valuable opportunity for networking and mentoring.
It was a room full of pride. Said one guest, "The exhibitors were glowing."
ORNL's Computing, Information and Networking Division served as host to Interlab '97, a meeting of those who deal with technical and management issues of the Internet at the DOE national laboratories. The previous three conferences were in Colorado. According to ORNL's newly appointed Corporate Information Officer Becky Verastegui, all of the DOE labs save one sent representatives to the Smoky Mountain version in Gatlinburg.
The attendees, and those far away who had Internet video hookups, heard from Alex Zoghlin, who heads a burgeoning Chicago-based Internet applications firm called Neoglyphics, recently named one of Fortune magazine's 25 "cool" companies. Zoghlin, attired in a business suit and matching sandals (his shoes were misplaced by a Malaysian hotel, he explained), gave a rundown of Web-based solutions and systems his company has offered to a long list major firms.
Closer to home, Verastegui gave an upbeat briefing on ORNL and Energy Systems' outlook on the SAP business system. The October 1998 implementation date will bring reengineered business systems, she said, with big changes in acquisitions, project management, finance and employee self-service. Staff will be able to manage and refer to a realm of real-time information ranging from Web-based vendor catalogs to the status of their benefits.
Other topics centered on Web security, quality assurance and a variety of new bells and whistles for the World-Wide Web. The Internet, like rock'n'-roll, appears to be here to stay. ORNL and the other DOE labs appear ready to make the most of it.
McGhee Tyson Airport's relationship to ORNL has been mainly as a place for Lab travelers to either get out of or back into town. Now the airport is about to become a research partner, thanks to a new program called the National Safe Skies Alliance, in which ORNL will join the airport, the University of Tennessee and a number of other firms and agencies in the development of new air traffic safety and security technology.
"We have the best, safest air traffic system in the world," said 2nd District Rep. Jimmy Duncan in an October 4 ceremony at the airport. Duncan, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Aviation, identified the airport, UT and ORNL as a natural combination to develop and evaluate new technologies. "With the rapid growth of traffic, we can't rest; we must improve," he said.
The well-attended ceremony, held in the airport's main lobby as passengers headed toward their gates, also included Federal Aviation Administration Director Jane Garvey, Al Trivelpiece, National Center for Transportation Research Director Bob Honea and several Lab researchers. The Computer Science and Mathematics Division's Dick Carter successfully demonstrated one explosives detection device by passing a TNT-laced lipstick container over a sensor.
Similar technologies will be brought to the regional airport for real-world testing; passengers will have the opportunity to try them out on a voluntary basis. "Air traffic security is complicated and difficult. No one sector can solve the problems alone" the FAA's Garvey stated. "These partnerships are fundamentally important."
Touring this fall . . .
The Rolling Stones aren't the only performers hitting the road this
fall. ORNL's Mala Pasupathi left October 10 on a 10-day, four-country
European circuit to perform the traditional Bharathanatyam style of dance.
Mala Pasupathi's tour takes her to four European countries. Pasupathi has scheduled performances of south India's
traditional dance in Geneva, Vienna, Paris and London. She
has previously toured the United States twice as well
as the Middle East, Singapore and even India
itself. More recently, she performed in Knoxville
with live traditional music.
That a cultural performer from the United
States, and Tennessee in particular, can tour locations
in Europe with significant Indian populations and culture
says much about Pasupathi's prowess with her art.
Audiences usually number several hundred, and she's
been praised for her imaginative interpretations and pure dancing ability. "I
send out resumes to cultural groups in those cities, but much of the
interest I've drawn comes by word of mouth," she says.
Pasupathi will hang onto her day job as finance officer for the
Computer Science and Mathematics Division. "This trip will take what's left of
my vacation for the year," she admits. Command performances will have
to wait until CY 1998.
Mala Pasupathi's tour takes her to four European countries.
Pasupathi has scheduled performances of south India's traditional dance in Geneva, Vienna, Paris and London. She has previously toured the United States twice as well as the Middle East, Singapore and even India itself. More recently, she performed in Knoxville with live traditional music.
That a cultural performer from the United States, and Tennessee in particular, can tour locations in Europe with significant Indian populations and culture says much about Pasupathi's prowess with her art. Audiences usually number several hundred, and she's been praised for her imaginative interpretations and pure dancing ability. "I send out resumes to cultural groups in those cities, but much of the interest I've drawn comes by word of mouth," she says.
Pasupathi will hang onto her day job as finance officer for the Computer Science and Mathematics Division. "This trip will take what's left of my vacation for the year," she admits. Command performances will have to wait until CY 1998.
hen Wayne Gibson started his new job as a chemical operator in the Enriched Uranium Organization, he knew he was in for a challenge. But he was in no way prepared for the tests he found out he would have to take three weeks into his new job.
|SEP gets results
Since SEP began in 1994, more than 1,500 employees have gone through the program. A recent survey showed that, on average, participation in a 60-hour basic skills development program raised participant test scores and grade equivalents significantly. Grade equivalents were raised by three levels from eighth to 11th grade. Supervisors reported that job performance and decision-making skills also were improved following the program.
Gibson had a great incentive for passing the required tests: He would get to keep the job. But with no instruction in math and science since graduating from high school more than 15 years ago, Gibson needed help to pass the tests.
"They were testing us on things like neutrons and atoms, nuclear criticality, and chemicals. After working in food service for 15 years, I had no idea about the stuff."
Fortunately for Gibson and others who had to pass tests to remain employed as chemical operators in EUO, the Skills Enhancement Program, or SEP, was available to help.
"SEP is a way for employees to come in and not be afraid of how much or how little they know. We start teaching at a level where the employees are comfortable and let them keep progressing until they feel very confident," said Debbie Hensley, Y-12 SEP coordinator.
SEP provides individualized, one-on-one educational training to improve employees' basic skills, increase their job performance and meet regulatory requirements. While it helps people like Wayne Gibson get through mandatory testing, the SEP also offers many courses employees can take voluntarily.
The program is available to full-time Energy Systems and ORNL employees and offers instruction to all employeesfrom those needing basic skills development to Ph.D.-level employees seeking to enhance particular skills. Classes are taught on site and require just two hours of personal time and two hours of company time each week. Hours are flexible to accommodate day and evening shifts. Course work is tailored to the individual employee, and the program is confidential.
Rob Schriver of the Human Resources Division enrolled in the Graduate Record Exam preparation course to get ready for the test, which he had to pass to be admitted into a Ph.D. program.
"A friend told me that the SEP helped with GRE preparation. I needed coaching in algebra and geometry because I hadn't used my math studies much in recent years," Schriver said.
Schriver studied on-site with an SEP instructor in the mornings before work in addition to preparing outside of work. "The SEP instructor gave me valuable advice on taking the exam, and they helped me concentrate on areas where I needed the most help."
"SEP is not a literacy program," says Carolyn Cuddy, manager of the Institute for Performance Improvement. "We want to help employees improve their skills so they can prepare for the jobs of the future. Employees with upgraded abilities will have the flexibility to move into other jobs as the company undergoes changes."
SEP is administered by Sylvan At Work, the adult education unit of Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. Course offerings include basic reading, writing, math, basic chemistry, physics, calculus and trigonometry as well as classes in business communication, technical writing, English as a second language, computing and many more.
For more information, call Cheryl Sanz, SEP program manager, at 576-7795.
These sound like words from a five-year plan or a proposal going to Washington. They are, in fact, programs already in place on the ORNL and Energy Systems internal Web server and are available for all company employees.
"The courses are designed for self-study with quick links to study guides or the tests when the student is ready," says Susan Alexander, the Center for Continuing Education director. "Students have control of the training and they can use the Web-based products anywhere there is an ethernet connection."
To find the courses, go to the CCE home page, www-internal.ornl.gov/es_training/CCE2/ and follow the prompts. There also is a CCE helpline at 241-4CCE (241-4223).
Steve Giles, the CCE institute leader responsible for implementing these advances, calls the CCE home page "a virtual shopping mall for training products and services." In addition to training and testing, employees can access their training records and requirements, educational assistance forms and guidelines, the entire CCE course catalog and schedule, as well as many other products and services.
With the Web offerings, employees don't have to go to a learning center or a centrally located work station. They can complete a training module or test from their desktop.
In addition to the information that goes into the Training Management System (TMS), the records stored include the questions the participants received from the test bank, the participants' responses to those questions and the correct answers to the questions. The questions are randomly generated to ensure participants do not get the same tests.
A new feature allows selected division training officers to serve as proctors for individuals who do not have user IDs for the company system.
"I like it," said Sylvia Porter of the proctored Web-based training. "It is definitely more cost efficient for people who are not going to get a user ID." Porter, who works in the Environmental Sciences Division at ORNL, also likes the fact that she does not have to send people away to another location to get training as she did in the past. Employees now come to her office to go through the training they need. It has helped her with summer students and visitors, as well as visiting scientists and guests, and bargaining unit employees who do not have user IDs.
New courses and testouts are being added all the time. This year they've included General Employee Training, General Awareness Training for No-Rad Added Program, Hearing Conservation, Hazardous Waste Characterization, Satellite Accumulation Area and 90-Day Accumulation Area.
Often the student can demonstrate mastery of the course material by using the testout feature also offered and accessed from the CCE home page.
For more information on the Web-based training programs offered by CCE, contact Susan Alexander at 574-4022, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Steve Giles at 576-7810, e-mail email@example.com.Rob Schriver
Cornstalks, so pretty in the fall, might also be an important fuel source, thanks to specialized bacteria.
Foreign-produced oil is currently in abundant supply, but it probably won't always be. Nevertheless, U.S. demand for imported oil continues to grow. That demand could be displaced by domestically produced alcohol-based fuels, products of specialized bacteria that can convert gases containing carbon into ethanol.
Eric Kaufman and a team of colleagues, part of the Chemical Technology Division's Bioprocessing R&D Center, are working with industry partners to assess technologies that could someday use bacteria to turn synthesis gas derived from coal or waste feedstocksessentially anything containing carboninto ethanol.
Other processes can convert stalks, leaves or other crop wastes to sugar, which then is converted to ethanol, but they require heat, acid treating and enzymes. At most, only 60 percent of the biomass can be converted to sugar, largely because lignins, the woody material that binds the plant material, can't be digested. In other words, the process is fairly inefficient.
"Or, you can take coal or waste biomassanything with carbonand gasify it," Kaufman said.
"Municipal waste, industrial waste and even farm waste can be converted into synthesis gas, which can then be converted into ethanol using bacteria. Sources could be as inexpensive and abundant as coal or as practically free as straw, mill waste and poultry litter."
Synthesis gas is mainly hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide derived from heating a feedstock under pressure. Conventional methods for the next stepconverting the gas to fuelinvolve expensive catalysts and high temperatures and pressures. Bacteria could do the same job better and much more cleanly.
"Crop waste is usually burned anyway," Kaufman said. "Alternatively, you could gasify it, turn it into tranportation fuel, and then burn it. You would still release carbon dixode, but you're not burning any oil, so there's a net decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.
"The processes could be applied to an almost unlimited variety of feedstockseven industrial waste gasesbecause once you get it into the form of a synthesis gas, the bacteria don't care where it came from. They are not picky eaters."
As a case in point, Kaufman's team is working on one such technology with an Arkansas company, Bioengineering Resources, that uses a bacteria capable of turning synthesis gas into acetic acid and ethanoltwo useful chemicals. The bacteria were isolated from chicken dung by University of Arkansas researchers.
ORNL researchers are working with the Arkansas firm and others to find ways to optimize the technology. "The goal is to convert 100 percent of the hydrogen and carbon monoxide to ethanol, quickly," Kaufman said. ORNL's experience with bioreactors could be the key to solving these problems.
One hurdle is that carbon monoxide and hydrogen, two components of the synthesis gas, are not very soluble in water. Punjai Selvaraj, working in Kauf- man's group, has devised a way around insolubility by loading small beads with bacteria. The beads are used in a "trickle bed" reactor that provides a better environment for the bacteria to work and dispenses with filter systems that tend to clog.
Marshall Bredwell, a student at Michigan State University, is investigating a system that bubbles the synthesis gas into a surfactant solution that creates tiny bubbles, giving the bacteria more surface area for reactions. In another approach to the solubility problem, University of Tennessee student Miguel Rodriguez is also investigating whether solvents can be used to help the bacteria react better with the carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
Kaufman is also checking into using switchgrass, a preferred biofeedstock, with Environmental Sciences Division researchers. "We can biologically produce ethanol cheaper by gasifying the switchgrass than by breaking it into sugars using enzymes, acids and high temperatures. And by gasifying, you recover all of the carbon."
Although many of these technologies are being explored in the private sector, Kaufman says that ORNL, with its background in multiple areas of energy sciences, particularly fossil fuels and bioreactors, can coordinate such research. Kaufman produced a report on the subject that has been well received, "especially by the corn- to-ethanol people at DOE," he said.
"It's exciting because it involves all kinds of
different feedstocks, from coal to waste streams. As we learn more
about the bacteria and possibly genetically alter or even discover new ones, these techniques might even be
useful for producing a host of products from fuels to
Month observed at ORNL, Energy Systems
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year one of the external programs Energy Systems and ORNL have participated in, the Abilities Expo, is honoring the late Tom and Mona Rollins by sponsoring a scholarship program in their names.
Mr. and Mrs. Rollins worked for many years to promote the employment of people with disabilities both locally and state-wide. More information about the scholarship program will appear in Inside Energy Systems and ORNL Today.
The Disability Program Office has a new home page (www-internal.ornl.gov/ES-HR/wfd/disable.htm) and fact sheets about employing people with disabilities. For more information, contact Norma G. Allred, 574-7989.
The site-wide agreement, referred to as the Construction Labor Agreement (CLA) replaces the Project Labor Agreement that had been in effect since Oct. 1, 1990. The new contract, which became effective Oct. 1, will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2006.
The CLA exceeds the previous contract in its flexibility. It is designed to be flexible enough so that Energy Systems, ORNL or any other prime contractor or subcontractor, such as the new M&I contractor due to arrive at ETTP in April, may use the agreement to perform construction work.
Bob Van Hook, president of Energy Systems, commended the negotiators for providing an agreement that promotes labor stability while incorporating several mutually beneficial productivity and efficiency improvements.
The contract is progressive because it calls for a labor-management committee to address issues that arise to keep the agreement workable and flexible. "Normally, once a contract is signed, you're locked into it as-is for the duration," said Warren Anderson, industrial relations director for MK-Ferguson. "This agreement is designed so both labor and management can address unforeseen circumstances that may develop, which should save money in the long run for contractors and provide more work opportunities for area construction personnel."
The language of the contract allows for employers who are not signatory to the agreement to provide input through the labor-management committee to resolve issues. For example, the agreement is a contract between MK-F and KBTC, but Energy Systems will be represented on the labor-management committee to provide input and assistance to help resolve any unforeseen issues that may arise.
The agreement also includes several efficiency improvements, such as the ability to request workers who meet training requirements for certain jobs. The union will coordinate training for members, and contractors will be able to specify requirements for the job up front so workers can be referred from the appropriate pool of pre-trained individuals.
The new contract encourages unions and employers to develop programs such as incentive pay to promote efficiency, and the agreement encourages programs that involve craft workers in the process of improving safety, costs, scheduling and quality.
"There is a real flavor in this agreement of working together in partnership. The new contract differs from the old, more traditional project agreement by being as innovative as possible in its flexibility," said Anderson. "It's not easy to create an agreement that will work well for existing employers and that will also work well for future contractors who we don't even know yet, but that's what we hope to have achieved."
The contract also provides flexibility in the use of craft workers performing certain environmental remediation (ER) or decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) activities. Craft workers will be able to "cross-over" to perform tasks in more than just one area, whereas the previous contract would not have allowed workers this flexibility.
"We've tried to predict the future to form an agreement, acceptable to other prime contractors and subcontractors who may later become involved with the Oak Reservation, that provides traditional construction work through a nontraditional approach to contracts," said George Jones, the secretary/treasurer for KBTC and business manager for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union No. 102.
The nine-year agreement is a benefit to management because it will help DOE and its contractors better project costs; will ensure a reasonable cost for construction that can be guaranteed when pitching for new projects to be located on the Oak Ridge Reservation; and will provide an uninterrupted supply of construction labor until 2006.
Kelley's class on personal protection and awareness also has caught on with more than employees. Retirees who read the article have contacted her and asked for information on the program; one caller hailed as far away as New Mexico. Kelley says she is glad to provide information to anyone who requests it.
Since March, more than 500 female employees have attended Kelley's Refuse To Be A Victim program from DOE and Lockheed Martin in Oak Ridge. Now, the Portsmouth Plant also has asked Kelley to present the course in Piketon, Ohio.
The success has been so great that the course's sponsor, the National Rifle Association, will feature her in the Women's Voice section of the September issue of the association's magazine. Kelley also was interviewed by Chaney Smith from WIVK in September concerning the program and will appear in the near future on the Arts and Entertainment channel as part of the October 30 Refuse to Be a Victim seminar.
With all this public attention, Kelley has made the course available to area residents, and many have found the course useful for a number of reasons. "I've set up numerous dates for area clubs, churches and businesses," said Kelley. "The course is a good start at getting ourselves into the right frame of mind for holiday shopping and traveling."
"Together we can create a safer environment for ourselves as well as for our family and friends," said Kelley. "I hope the program will continue to grow and help decrease the statistics that say three out of four women are expected to be victims of an attack sometime in their lives. At this rate, we will surely decrease those numbers."
Kelley will be teaching classes for the Oak Ridge YWCA beginning October 20 and quarterly thereafter and for Roane State Community College starting in January. She also will continue to have classes within Lockheed Martin and for any other interested parties.
Kelley credits the Protective Services Organization for giving her support for the program.
For more information concerning the Refuse to Be a Victim course, contact Kelley at 574-5663 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conner promoted to EMEF VP|
Harold Conner Jr. has been appointed vice president of the
Environmental Management and Enrichment Facilities (EMEF) Business
Unit. EMEF activities are conducted at the East Tennessee
Technology Park (ETTP), the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant,
ORNL and the Paducah, Ky.,
and Portsmouth, Ohio, gaseous diffusion plants.
The position was previously held by Lew Felton, who was recently reassigned to the Y-12 Plant
to lead the Enriched Uranium Operations restart. Conner formerly was deputy manager of
EMEF. Dave Mason now is deputy manager of the EMEF Business Unit.
"We are seizing upon Harold Conner's broad experience at East Tennessee Technology Park
to see us through the reindustrialization and all of
the accompanying changes expected there,"
said Lockheed Martin Energy Systems President Bob Van Hook.
The position was previously held by Lew Felton, who was recently reassigned to the Y-12 Plant to lead the Enriched Uranium Operations restart. Conner formerly was deputy manager of EMEF. Dave Mason now is deputy manager of the EMEF Business Unit.
"We are seizing upon Harold Conner's broad experience at East Tennessee Technology Park to see us through the reindustrialization and all of the accompanying changes expected there," said Lockheed Martin Energy Systems President Bob Van Hook.
Want a special Thanksgiving?
Go to Myrtle Beach for four days, November 27-30, for $299 per person. A $25 deposit is required for a reservation. For years a trip has been sponsored in November that included Thanksgiving and it was popular because most families are traveling at Christmas.
This year's Thanksgiving trip includes three Christmas shows (shades of Branson!), a seafood dinner, breakfast each morning, shopping and a beautiful beach. If you have any questions, call the Retirees' Association office, 576-1786, or U.S. Travels in Knoxville at 982-8532.
Tai chi, the great exercise
Participation in our retiree-sponsored Oak Ridge tai chi exercise classes is increasing almost every week, which keeps our three instructors busy. Even though our regular schedule is Monday and Wednesday, 10 to 11 a.m., at the Senior Center, additional instruction for beginners is being offered each Friday at the Outer Drive studio from 10 to 11 a.m. Many of our regular members join this group because they want the additional exercise.
Two of the Oak Ridge instructors are now teaching tai chi twice a week for a Knoxville retirement community. A location and trained instructors are being sought to provide tai chi exercise classes in Knoxville for our retirees who have asked for them.
Are you ready to volunteer to work at the Methodist Medical Center? We are proud to have a large number of men and women retirees volunteering at the hospital. We would like to hear from more of you who are willing to work a few hours a week or every two weeks (gift shop workers are scheduled every two weeks, and most other assignments are scheduled for a few hours a week). If you have any questions, call 576-1786.
Also, it will not be long before charity organizations will begin Christmas programs that look to our retirees to assist.
Y-12 Maintenance Division breakfast
Retirees of the Y-12 Maintenance Division will meet for breakfast Monday, October 27, at 8:30 a.m. at Shoney's on Oak Ridge Highway. Come and bring a friend. Call J. D. Franklin, 483-8824, or C. T. Haun, 947-7144, with any questions.
Virginia needn't have worried. October 7 was a beautiful day for a picnic. Photo by Tommy Maxwell.
When the facsimile of this issue was sent to the editors, it was only four days until the day of the picnic and reunion. While they were reading it, panic was setting in with awful feelings of "what if"; what if it rains, we forget something, we didn't buy enough cups, the supply truck is late, masking tape runs out, etc. In the next issue of Ridgelines, dated November 6, we'll be recovered and well again until we start to plan the candy wrapping and Christmas party. Phew!
Marines from the Combat Development Command at Quantico, Va., and Alpha Company, 4th Medical Batallion, 4th Force Service Support Group at Knoxville, spent two days in the plant deploying and taking down the self-contained surgical suite.
The prototype was finished and turned over to the Marines on schedule. During the demonstration, the ASSTC unit went from its approximately 5 feet by 5 feet by 10 feet container box to a fully deployed unit covering 30 feet by 30 feet by 10 feet and ready for use in 20 minutes. The goal had been for the unit to be deployable in less than 30 minutes.
ASSTC is a joint U.S. Army and Marine Corps project developed through the Army's Medical Research and Materiel Command's Combat Casuality Care Research program and the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. The University of Tennessee Medical Center and Hancock County Department of Emergency Medical Services are also partners in the program.
ASSTC is a small, lightweight, self-contained, mobile forward area resuscitative surgery unit that can be tailored for various missions. Building the prototype, the Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology called up expertise in materials science, concurrent engineering, ergonomic design and testing, composite materials and partnering with private industry.
A formal unveiling of the finished prototype will be held October 22 at the Tennessee Air National Guard Base at McGhee Tyson Airport.Bill Wilburn
|Readers . . .|
|Jack and Jane Thompson of Knoxville enjoy lunch at the October 7 retirees' picnic at Clark Center Park. Jack, a K-25 retiree, started work there soon after serving in World War II. Jane worked at X-10 until she left in 1952 to have a baby.Photo by Tommy Maxwell|