Photo of SRNL Researchers
Participants of the SRNL Research SLAM. From left to right: Nathaniel Losey, Steven Demers, Sean Noble, Holly Flynn, Brad Means, Kori Mcdonald, Alex Robb, Alex Bretaña, Vincent Dinova.

AIKEN, S.C. – The Savannah River National Laboratory’s (SRNL) Research SLAM was held on Aug. 28 at the Aiken Community Theater where early career researchers from SRNL provided a short summary of their scientific work and were judged by a panel.

The National Lab Research SLAM is a collaborative effort among the 17 national laboratories to highlight the Department of Energy’s (DOE) research programs, help educate policymakers and their staff about the key role that the national labs play in the nation’s innovation ecosystem, and their impact on the nation. The House of Representatives National Labs Caucus and the Senate National Labs Caucus are sponsoring the inaugural National Lab Research SLAM.

The panel of judges included Mike Budney, DOE Savannah River Site manager; Allison Hamilton, executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology and Awareness; Matthew Christian, a reporter for the Aiken Standard; David Jameson from the Aiken Chamber of Commerce; and Chris Verenes, CEO of Security Federal Bank. Brad Means, anchor and reporter for WJBF in Augusta, was the emcee for the event.

Three winners were announced at the competition. First-place winner Sean Noble, an SRNL researcher, will go on to represent SRNL at the inaugural National Lab Research SLAM in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15.

Noble said he appreciated the opportunity to share his research that he has worked so hard on with the public.

“This was an amazing experience,” said Noble. “It was great to have the chance to have some healthy competition with my fellow scientists.”

Second-place winner Steven Demers, an SRNL researcher, said he likewise appreciated the opportunity to promote his research.

“I got a lot of positive feedback of continuing the work in the future so that should motivate me a lot moving forward,” he said.

The other five SRNL scientists that participated in the Research SLAM included:

  • Vincent DiNova
  • Holly Flynn
  • Nathaniel Losey
  • Kori McDonald
  • Alex Robb

SLAM’s main focus is to highlight the importance of effective science communication, especially while communicating with the general public. The event is also a great career development opportunity for participants and provides visibility into scientific disciplines and research. Participating in the SLAM promotes cross-discipline collaboration and promotes networking opportunities with other offices and labs.

-Contributor: Scott Shaw