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November 07, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Three individuals, two teams win Director’s Awards during UT-Battelle event on Saturday night

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Director Thomas Zacharia presented five Director’s Awards during Saturday night’s annual Awards Night event hosted by UT-Battelle, which manages the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Michelle Kidder (pictured here in ORNL provided photo) received the “Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology” for her decades-long work mentoring students, teachers and early-career staff. A clean energy technologies researcher in ORNL’s Manufacturing Science Division, she also was recognized earlier in the event with the “Mentor of Researchers Award” for her work in establishing the “ORNL Mentorship” program in 2008. Kidder has mentored nearly two dozen students, teachers and early-career researchers over the years.

A “Director’s Award in Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Mission Support” went to Scalable High Performance Computing Systems Group Leader Don Maxwell (pictured here in another ORNL photo). A 35-year veteran of ORNL, he was recognized for 20 years of leadership in planning, deploying and operating ORNL’s world-class supercomputers, including Frontier.

Eva Zarkadoula (pictured here in this ORNL photo) of the Materials Science and Technology Division also received a “Director’s Award in Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Mission Support,” after being selected for the “One ORNL Award” for her work as President of the Women’s Alliance Council Employee Resource Group and other service to ORNL.

The remaining two Director’s Awards recognized team accomplishments.

  • A 10-member team from the National Center for Computational Sciences took the “Director’s Award for Outstanding Team Accomplishment” for its efforts supporting the launch of Frontier, the first supercomputer to break the exascale barrier by reaching speeds of more than a quintillion (or billion billion) calculations per second. Members of the team – recognized in the “Distinguished Innovation” category earlier in the evening – were Scott Atchley, Philip Roth, Christopher Zimmer, Matthew Ezell, Austin Ellis, Wayne Joubert, Feiyi Wang, Michael Matheson, Hao Lu and Vlad Oles.
  • The other “Director’s Award for Outstanding Team Accomplishment” went to the team responsible for ORNL’s first-of-its-kind Cyber Science Research Facility. Led by Juan Lopez of the Cyber Resilience and Intelligence Division, the effort focused on cybersecurity and resilience research in critical infrastructure and was honored earlier in the evening with the “Operational Accomplishment” award. Other team members are Michael Iannacone, Miranda Baker, Lance Wetzel, Brandy Milun, Ryan Styles, Joel Dawson, Stacy Prowell, Joel Asiamah and Tricia Schulz.

“Awards Night provides an opportunity to look back on the year’s most significant accomplishments across ORNL in science, operations and community engagement,” Zacharia said. “Because of our staff – and their commitment and creativity – ORNL is successful in guiding numerous missions for the nation each day.”


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