Over the last two months, the NIF Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) Program has been recognized for promoting maintenance reliability and asset management both within NIF and across the Laboratory.
On Aug. 25, the Reliability Program Implementation Team received a 2016 Director’s Institutional Operational Excellence (DIOE) Award, one of ten awards presented to Laboratory teams and one individual. The DIOE awards were established to recognize important employee and team accomplishments in operational areas that contribute to the successful execution of the Laboratory’s overall mission. Each directorate was asked to submit nominations that supported institutional goals and had a significant, positive impact on the Laboratory’s mission work.
NIF has a robust RAM program that includes a rotation of quarterly reviews of critical RAM metrics for all of NIF’s systems. In each review, system managers and others review the reliability program, discuss significant operational and maintenance issues, review quad charts in which issues are evaluated with recommended courses of action, and discuss trends indicated by metrics on critical shot delays, production efficiency, and system availability.
For the DIOE award, the program was recognized for applying the Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) approach to streamline maintenance efforts by evaluating maintenance tasks for applicability and effectiveness. This included the use of predictive technologies to eliminate intrusive time-directed tasks and move towards condition-guided maintenance decisions. The approach has considerably improved operational efficiency as it has led to a targeted maintenance approach that applies resources where they they will be most effective.
As a result, preventive and reactive maintenance at NIF have been substantially reduced, and equipment lifetimes are increasing: for example, the NIF AMP cooling motor lifetimes have increased from three to six years. Evaluations are under way to potentially extend the approach from NIF to other production facilities within NIF&PS in a partnership with the Laboratory’s Operations and Business Directorate.
Last year at IMC-2015, the 30th International Maintenance Conference, the NIF Maintenance Team received a Special Recognition Award for Best Maintenance Reliability, Not for Profit/Public Organization, as part of the 2015 Uptime Awards Program.
A Certified Reliability Leader (CRL) workshop and exam were held at LLNL on July 25 and 26, during which the participants learned about asset management and RAM considerations for maintenance. Twenty-two participants from across NIF and from LLNL Facilities and Infrastructure (F&I) joined in an Uptime Elements™ framework program for reliability and asset management. After the workshop, 13 participants from NIF and LLNL F&I passed the CRL exam. Combined, the NIF, LLNL F&I, and Weapons and Complex Integration organizations now have 19 CRLs.
The workshop was led by Terry O’Hanlon from the Association of Asset Management Professionals (AMP). AMP’s mission is to encourage the practice of maintenance reliability in the context of asset management—an effort to go beyond maintenance and consider the full life-cycle of assets—to help organizations enhance the delivery of economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. A San Francisco/Bay Area chapter of AMP was established this year which includes representatives from NIF and other LLNL organizations.
NIF & Photon Science Summer Scholar Ruth Holden is studying optical engineering and physics at Norfolk State University. She is among more than 900 students from universities nationwide and around the world, including 52 in the NIF & Photon Science Directorate, who are 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.
Introducing Ruth Ellen Holden
Hometown: Norfolk, VA.
Place of Birth: Long Beach, CA. I am a Californian to the core!
University attending/educational background: Norfolk State University (NSU), Norfolk, VA. Completed AA (Engineering) and AAS (Electronics Technology) at Tidewater Community College (TCC), Virginia Beach, VA. Obtained Paramedic Certification at TCC.
Major: Optical Engineering; minor in Physics
Graduation year: 2017
What interested you in pursuing a summer internship at the Laboratory?
One of the NIF & PS researchers (Graham Allen) came to NSU and gave a symposium. Although I had heard about LLNL, I had not heard much about NIF, so the presentation was very captivating. When he stated that internships were available, I immediately knew that I was going to apply for a summer position for the opportunity to be involved in the type of research being described.
What are you working on at the Laboratory?
Design and fabrication aspects of negative curvature hollow-core fiber (NC-HCF). I knew about optical fibers but not NC-HCF, and certainly nothing about the design, fabrication and testing until this summer. I had also previously seen a picture of the LLNL Fiber Draw Tower—but using the tower to draw fibers has been especially fascinating and informative. Every aspect of the process has been a new and different learning experience. I have also been involved in using lasers as the group moves toward achievable future testing of light transmittance through the NC-HCF.
What do you enjoy most about interning at the Laboratory?
Just being here and being able to interact with various researchers/scientists. I believe that the culture here is very accepting of students—there is an openness and willingness for mentors and staff to share knowledge with students. Additionally, I have enjoyed and learned a great deal from every NIF Summer Scholar symposium in which different researchers have presented their work. Just walking around the site, with its very casual atmosphere, there is a feeling of being on a university campus. However, meetings, symposiums and group discussions confirm the high level of intellectual and scientific work and research being done at the Lab. I really appreciate this and want to be part of the challenge.
What have you learned (or are learning) that has made a difference to you?
There has been an affirmation of the need for time commitment to an experiment. I thought the long time requirements and commitment in research were due to my own particular lack of lab experience. However, I now have gained insight into how much time is truly spent “thinking” about different facets of the experiment/research; of how important it is to ask questions of yourself and of others. Also, how valuable collaboration can be, especially in terms of providing feedback and considering other choices.
Where do you see yourself after graduation? What is your dream job?
My dream job is going to Mars with SpaceX (and especially after seeing “The Martian”), but in the real world I am giving strong consideration to either a position at NIF or going to graduate school. I also want to be in a position where I will continue to support and motivate girls and women in choosing and succeeding in STEM careers.
Who/what has inspired you to pursue an education and career in a STEM field?
As a child, I was encouraged by my parents and family to explore, so I was always interested in animals, insects, flowers, trees, the sky, and especially the ocean (thanks to my childhood in Southern California). I wanted to learn more about the “how and why” of each of these phenomena. If I saw something I didn’t understand, I would get a book and read. However, by high school little or no encouragement was given to me (or any female) by teachers to pursue science. So I did not pursue a formal education in science, but was always reading and contemplating “who thought of that?,” “how did they do that?,” “what’s next?,” and “how can I do that?” Now after several years I am still interested in the “how and why” and have never forgotten the excitement of making observations and understanding the root of occurrences. So that is what presently drives me to pursue this path in optical engineering. Two years ago I didn’t even know that optical engineering existed. Now by just changing my major (I literally saw the light) I have been able to be involved in previously unforeseeable research opportunities.
What has been your biggest challenge to overcome?
Other people placing obstacles in my way. I have been fortunate to have self-belief and fortitude. If the door is closed I have always looked for the open window.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?
Having the health and sense of humor to be able to enjoy life.
As a college student, what is the most important lesson you have learned?
Never take “No” for an answer: set your goal and fight to obtain it. Also, identify someone (a classmate or instructor) who appreciates and supports your determination and motivation to work toward your goals.
What advice would you give a high school student?
Be true to yourself. Never give up …Never ever give up!
What do you like to do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
I am an avid reader of different genres. I am a true-blue fan (some would say fanatic) of Premier League soccer and only have cable so I can watch matches. The other obsession I currently have is “Game of Thrones,” having watched seasons 1-5 at least four times each, season 6 two times so far, and currently going through the episodes for the 3rd time; and I have read all the available GOT books. I also like to walk and explore—especially historical sites. For example, here in Livermore I was walking down First Street and saw one street, Trevarno, with houses totally different from others in this area. So I googled and read about this historical site. I also love to travel and will get in the car and set off for “someplace.” And I’m still hoping to travel to places I have not yet visited, like South America, New Zealand and Australia.
What is next for you/what are you looking forward to?
I am definitely looking forward to graduation in May 2017—counting the weeks! I have worked hard to accomplish that “reward” and plan on using my degree to fulfil the aspiration of being a woman who contributes to the scientific (or engineering) understanding and knowledge of others.