The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) joined Innovation Crossroads as a program sponsor, enabling a record number of innovators focused on energy-related and grid topics. Innovation Crossroads is also sponsored by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO).
Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have the opportunity to advance their technologies by working with world-class science experts and unique capabilities at ORNL, such as Summit, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, DOE’s largest advanced manufacturing research center; and the Spallation Neutron Source, offering atomic-level insight into advanced materials. The innovators also will be partnered with a network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help them develop business strategies to advance their breakthroughs to market.
The third cohort of Innovation Crossroads fellows and their projects include:
• Jesse Thornburg: Learning-Based Monitoring and Control for Optimizing Commercial Refrigeration Operations – Thornburg is developing a novel technology and operating framework for monitoring and control of commercial refrigeration systems installed at food retailers. This technology aims to simultaneously procure savings for retailers and provide grid response services for the power network.
• Alex Lewis: Microbial Electrolysis for Production of Renewable Hydrogen from Organic Waste – Lewis is developing a microbial electrolysis system to extract energy from organic waste streams to produce renewable products such as hydrogen.
• Leila Safavi-Tehrani: Advanced Production of High Purity Radioisotopes for Nuclear Medicine – Safavi-Tehrani is developing a platform technology that can be implemented in existing underutilized research reactor infrastructure nationwide for local and on-demand medical grade radioisotope production.
• Hicham Ghossein: Innovative Processing of Advanced Fiber Nonwoven Mats Through a Hydroentanglement System – Ghossein founded HG Technologies to continue the design and implementation of an innovative mixer system for the hydroentanglement process that offers several advantages over the current fiber dispersion techniques. The innovative mixing system allows production of defect-free CF nonwoven textiles at an increased production rate compared to current processes.
• Trevor McQueen: Next-Generation Sample Preparation Device for Cryo-TEM Studies – McQueen is working to scale-up, validate and manufacture an advanced, thin-film cryogenic sample preparation device designed to substantially improve sample preparation for the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) community.
• William Fitzhugh: Industrial Scale Production of Semiconducting Carbon-Nanotubes via Resonant-Dielectrophoresis – Fitzhugh is developing a novel dielectrophoresis (DEP) platform that can reduce the cost of semiconducting carbon nanotube production by orders of magnitude. He aims to produce semiconducting carbon nanotube inks that can be implemented with roll-to-roll printing to disrupt the thin-film-transistor industry.
• Jesse Claypoole: Advanced Multi-Spectral Light Field Imaging Sensors – Claypoole is developing roll-to-roll manufactured, active multispectral light field (AMLF) micro-optics for applications including autonomous surgery, industrial manufacturing, robotic farming and real time robot vision.
“We are pleased to welcome the third group of entrepreneurs to Innovation Crossroads,” said Moe Khaleel, ORNL associate laboratory director for energy and environmental sciences. “We look forward to supporting these young innovators as they work to advance their early science to benefit American manufacturing and clean energy.”