Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Reyes, Meier Cited by Fusion Power Associates

Summer Scholars Learn by Doing

Valeria Santiago Morales: Future Engineer

NIF Team Receives Maintenance Award

The NIF Maintenance Team has been awarded a Special Recognition Award for Best Maintenance Reliability, Not for Profit/Public Organization, as part of the 2015 Uptime Awards Program. Sponsored by Uptime Magazine and, the internationally competed awards for asset reliability programs Uptime Awardwill be presented at IMC-2015, the 30th International Maintenance Conference, on Dec. 9 in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Uptime Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to asset management, reliability, predictive maintenance and machine condition monitoring. The Uptime Magazine Best Maintenance Reliability Program Awards were established in 2006 to recognize organizations that demonstrate excellence in managing equipment reliability using advanced strategies and high-tech sensing technologies to determine the early onset of a potential failure.

“NIF’s many complex facility and utility systems must operate flawlessly in order for the laser to deliver the precision pulses required for the users to get high quality data,” said NIF Facility Manager Doug Larson. “It’s great to see this team receive such well-deserved recognition for the excellent work that they do day in and day out.”

“Reliability, safety and profit are all aligned and these best practice organizations are leading the way,” said Uptime Publisher and CEO Terrence O’Hanlon. “Proactive reliability…has been shown to have a direct impact on safety by eliminating defects and reducing emergency situations. In addition this special group of maintenance reliability professionals help their organizations meet the triple bottom line of economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and social responsibility by managing physical assets in a responsible way.”

For information about NIF’s reliability management program, see “Proactive Maintenance Saves NIF Shot Time and Money.”

NIF Maintenance TeamThe NIF Team that won a Special Recognition Award for Best Maintenance Reliability from Uptime Magazine. The photo includes members of the Facility and Utility Systems, Beamline Systems, Facility Operations & Maintenance, and Transport & Handling teams. Credit: James Pryatel

Reyes, Meier Cited by Fusion Power Associates

The Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Board of Directors has selected LLNL nuclear engineer Susana Reyes as the recipient of its 2015 Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award. The FPA also will present a Special Award to LLNL fusion scientist Wayne Meier.Fusion Power Associates Logo The awards will be presented at the FPA’s 36th Annual Meeting and Symposium, “Strategies to Fusion Power,” on Dec. 16-17 in Washington, DC.

Susana ReyesSusana Reyes

FPA Excellence in Fusion Engineering Awards have been given annually since 1987 in memory of MIT Professor David J. Rose to recognize persons in the relatively early part of their careers who have shown both technical accomplishment and potential to become exceptionally influential leaders in the fusion field. Reyes is cited for “the leadership you have been providing to both magnetic and inertial fusion efforts in many areas, including safety and licensing, tritium systems, and power plant designs.” The ANS noted “the important roles you played in the National Academy’s panel on Prospects for Inertial Confinement Fusion Energy Systems and as Chair of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Fusion Energy Division.”

Reyes has more than 15 years of experience in international fusion projects. She joined LLNL’s Fusion Energy Program in 1999 to work on the safety analysis of inertial fusion energy (IFE) power plant designs. Since then, she has worked in a variety of fusion research projects, such as the U.S. ITER Test Blanket Module program, for the testing of tritium-breeding blanket concepts within the ITER magnetic fusion facility now under construction in Cadarache, France.

Wayne MeierWayne Meier

She also has been involved in neutronics and materials damage simulations at LLNL in support of NIF and of high-energy accelerators. From 2006 until early 2010, Reyes took a leave of absence from LLNL to join the ITER Organization in France to support the project through the performance and coordination of safety analyses and associated documentation in preparation for ITER licensing.

FPA Special Awards have been given periodically since 1980 to recognize individuals who have made a special contribution to the cause of fusion power development. A Special Award will be given to Meier “in recognition of your many contributions to advancing the science, technology, and integrated assessments of potential fusion power plants, and for your broad support of the fusion community in leadership positions within the ANS and IEEE, as well as your role on journal editorial boards.”

Meier has been leader in advancing the science, technology and integrated assessment of IFE power plants since the mid-1970s. He has been involved in virtually every major study, working on chamber design, nuclear analysis, systems integration and modeling, cost assessment and optimization. These studies span all driver concepts including laser, heavy-ion, and pulsed-power approaches.

Summer Scholars Learn by Doing

The NIF & Photon Science Directorate hosted 48 undergraduate and graduate students this summer under the directorate’s annual Summer Scholar program.

The students worked on a variety of independent research projects supporting the science, operations, target fabrication, optics, and engineering programs. Eight of the students performed original research in high energy density (HED) physics, including modeling and characterization of diagnostics, improvements to current diagnostics, and advanced analysis of implosion data. In the optics and materials science program, Summer Scholar Aria Dang analyzed NIF beam quality to help predict laser-induced optics damage (see “Driven to Serve Her Country),” while Valeria Santiago Morales studied the behavior of laser heating on plates with different properties for material processing.

Summer Scholars Work on a ProjectNIF&PS Summer Scholars Grace Cowell and Joseph Falcao, mechanical engineering students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, investigate static deflection of diagnostic snouts as a function of cantilevered load under the tutelage of responsible engineer Ken Skulina. Their work will be used to design, fabricate, and test an upgraded kinematic base and snout capable of fielding heavier diagnostics. (Credit: James Pryatel)

Two of the HED students were recognized at the recent Lab-wide Summer Student Symposium for their significant work on modeling NIF neutron time-of-flight data (Owen Mannion, University of Massachusetts, Amherst), and improving streak camera performance (Jeremy Hassett, University of Rochester).

The Summer Scholar program was organized by the directorate’s Zhi Liao, Tammy Ma, Reggie Drachenberg, and Sam Schrauth with administrative support from Carly Limtiaco and Nyla Wlodarczyk.

Valeria Santiago Morales: Future Engineer

NIF & Photon Science Summer Scholar Valeria Beatriz Santiago Morales, from Yauco, Puerto Rico, holds a BA in civil engineering with a minor in environmental engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus. Santiago Morales was among more than 600 students from universities nationwide and around the world, including 48 in NIF & Photon Science, who engaged in work-study employment opportunities at LLNL this summer. The LLNL student internship program is designed to allow students to engage in work-study employment opportunities in relevant science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and administrative fields during the summer academic break.

Valeria Santiago MoralesValeria Santiago Morales is pursuing a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Myaguez. After receiving her master’s she plans to join the workforce while simultaneously pursuing a doctorate in a field that combines structural engineering and materials science. Credit: Julie Russell

What interested you in pursuing a summer internship at the Laboratory?

The interdisciplinary environment in which I could develop and improve my skills and become a more integrated professional.

What are you working on at the Laboratory?

My primary responsibility in NIF this summer was to simulate laser absorption and phase transitions using finite element models in COMSOL multi-physics for laser material processing. Basically, I am studying the behavior of the laser heating on plates (with different properties) for material processing. I have prior experience doing FEM simulations, but this was my first time working with lasers.

What do you enjoy most about interning at the Laboratory?

What I enjoy the most is the diversity that you can find here, the advanced technology used to conduct the investigations and the passion of the employees doing the work.

What have you learned (or are learning) that has made a difference to you?

During my internship I have learned to integrate with different cultures. I have never worked in an environment with so many people from different countries. It has been an amazing and eye-opening experience for me.

Where do you see yourself after graduation? What is your dream job?

Actually, I am still figuring out what I want to do after graduation. I would like to pursue a doctorate in a field that combines structural engineering and materials science, while being part of the workforce at the same time. My dream job is one where I can apply the skills acquired during my academic studies and job experiences during my internships, and where I can develop new ones for my professional growth and development.

Who or what has inspired you to pursue an education and career in a STEM field?

As a child, I always belonged to advanced study groups in science and math due to my natural desire to understand everything related with it. I always knew I wanted to study something related to those fields. When I was about to finish high school, I knew that I wanted to become an engineer, and when I was accepted into the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, it enabled me to reach that goal. My mother encouraged me to enroll in civil engineering and now I am poised to earn my master’s in civil engineering.

Valeria Santiago Morales on the Dance FloorSantiago Morales enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, drawing, painting ceramics and dancing.

What has been your biggest challenge to overcome?

The language. Spanish is my first language and I have worked diligently to improve my knowledge of the English language as well as my ability to speak it. Although I can maintain a conversation in English, I know I need to continue to improve. My time here at the Laboratory has given me the opportunity to practice my English and I have found the experience to be invaluable. Another challenge during my studies has been getting noticed and recognized in a competitive career such as civil engineering, which is dominated by men.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

Having the privilege of interning at prestigious laboratories, such as LLNL. In past summers I worked at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Information Technology Laboratory, the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory and the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory. Because of my experience with the ERDC, I have continued to work with them as an investigator (student contractor). I am working on my master’s thesis on the environmental quality modeling and simulation project doing finite element analysis of hydraulic steel structures, specifically miter gates. The knowledge and experience I have gained working at each of these laboratories has been tremendous and will help me as I progress in my career.

As a college student, what is the most important lesson you have learned?

To persevere and take advantage of the opportunities. I also learned to always leave each opportunity with a good impression of me as a person and of my skills and capability. I believe you should always give your best in everything you do, no matter how complex or difficult the challenge may be.

What advice would you give a high school student?

The sky is the limit. What I mean by this is, with perseverance and genuine desire, every dream can be reached and every barrier can be overcome. Get in contact with the right people and network as much as you can.

What do you like to do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?

To try and catch up on sleep that I missed during the work week! After that, I love spending time with my family and friends. Every person that has pursued or is pursuing higher education degrees knows that time is a factor. We must make sacrifices to follow our dreams and sometimes miss out on experiences with our friends. Other things I like to do in my free time is dance tropical movements with my friends, read, draw and paint ceramic figures.

What is next for you—what are you looking forward to?

My next step is to finish my master’s degree and continue acquiring experience to become a complete and successful professional.

More Information

To see more profiles of LLNL summer interns, go to the Summer Student Spotlight Website.

To learn more about summer internships and the Laboratory’s scholar programs, visit the scholars@llnl website.

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