National Nuclear Security Administration

Los Alamos National Laboratory celebrates innovation

September 14, 2017

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From left, Dr. David Pesiri, division leader of the Feynman Center; Duncan McBranch, chief technology officer at Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dr. Ray Newell, recipient of the 2016 Richard P. Feynman Innovation Award; Rochelle Blaustein, DOE deputy director of technology transitions; Lee Finewood, technology transfer program manager for NNSA.

The Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) recently hosted its third annual DisrupTech. This event is basically the ultimate show-and-tell. It features disruptive technologies – ingenious developments that have the potential to forever transform society.

The leading-edge research and development being done to address our nation’s most pressing national security issues at Los Alamos and the other national labs can sometimes wind up in the hands of consumers through a mechanism known as Technology Transfer.

As Chief Technology Officer Duncan McBranch puts it, “…When the Laboratory collaborates with the private sector, we can combine our transformative technologies with new business models to change the world. The Feynman Innovation Prize and DisrupTech were created to celebrate our scientists’ role in creating technologies that can help further the Laboratory’s mission while simultaneously making the world a better place.”

Dr. Jessica Kubicek-Sutherland won “Best Pitch” for her research presentation on a universal bacterial biosensor. Her technology seeks to aid in rapid infection diagnosis by accurately detecting biomarkers with a single drop of blood. Among staff scientists, Dr. Nataliia Makedonska won “Most Fundable” for her idea to use a simulation software called dfnWorks to predict the flow and transport of fluids through underground rock fracture networks. Dr. Makedonska’s project has also been selected as a finalist in the prestigious R&D 100 Awards.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Dr. Ray Newell was awarded the 2016 Richard P. Feynman Innovation Award for using quantum encryption technology to create a commercial cybersecurity product – the Entropy Engine™. This creation is capable of producing an ultra-high-speed stream of random numbers and was licensed to Whitewood Security in 2014. The commercial success of the product has resulted in new U.S. government funding, fueling future capabilities in quantum encryption.

Dr. Jessica Kubicek-Sutherland won “Best Pitch” for her research presentation on a universal bacterial biosensor at DisrupTech.

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Dr. Nataliia Makedonska won “Most Fundable” at DirupTech for her idea to use a simulation software called dfnWorks to predict the flow and transport of fluids through underground rock fracture networks.

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