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Corporate Commitment to STEM

Students explore science

Regardless of the motivation for investing in math and science, the resulting innovations, new technologies and advanced quality of life are invaluable for strengthening our nation. ORAU takes pride in helping develop the next generation of S&T innovators who will bolster our nation’s competitiveness. In FY13, ORAU invested in a variety of STEM programs through in-kind support, volunteer efforts and financial contributions in our local community and beyond.

  • Center for Science Education
    In FY13, ORAU’s Center for Science Education, which connects real science to classroom instruction, provided 12 programs that enhance classroom teaching and learning of key STEM principles to more than 300 participants at no charge to them.
  • Extreme Classroom Makeover
    Fifth grade math and science teacher Karla Fultz of A.L. Lotts Elementary School in Knoxville, Tenn., was awarded $25,000 to enhance her classroom technology and the STEM learning of her students in 2013.
  • Education Grants
    In its 12th year, the ORAU Education Grants program awarded more than $39,000 to 27 teachers from 17 East Tennessee schools.
  • Tennessee Science Bowl
    For the DOE Tennessee Science Bowl, ORAU was a major sponsor, contributing more than $77,000 and managing the 2013 competition for the agency.
  • Tennessee Middle School Math Competition
    ORAU donated $17,000 to Pellissippi State Community College for the 13th annual Tennessee Middle School Math Competition, which included more than 600 students representing 40 area schools.
  • Science Saturdays
    More than 200 middle and high school students from East Tennessee attended a series of free “Science Saturdays,” sponsored by ORNL and hosted by ORAU in early 2013. This program engaged students with nearly 30 top ORNL personnel on wide-ranging scientific topics.
  • Harnessed Atom Middle School STEM curriculum
    ORAU completed and received DOE approval for a new Harnessed Atom Middle School STEM curriculum, which provides teachers with unbiased information on energy science and nuclear energy for classroom instruction. Work is also underway to develop a similar curriculum targeted to high school students.
  • UT Arboretum
    ORAU partnered with the University of Tennessee Arboretum, making a final contribution toward a $100,000 ORAU grant to improve facilities, expand educational programming and promote the arboretum as a quality space for training and events.

Expertise and Impact

At ORAU, we have a deep-rooted history of success in integrating our expertise, skills and resources to provide comprehensive solutions to support customers’ needs. In 2013, this had a positive impact not only on advancing the scientific mission, but also addressing needs in health, education and national security.

Tennessee STEM Leadership AcademyDeveloping leaders in STEM education through hands-on academy

In its second year, the Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy brought together more than 90 educators from 67 Tennessee school districts to learn the latest techniques and information in the art of teaching STEM subjects.

Female researcherImproving online application systems for DOE internships and fellowships

Under the direction of DOE, ORAU programmers redesigned the web application system for internships and fellowships that incorporated three key programs and resulted in more than 2,100 applications processed in FY13.

ORNL Titan supercomputerSupporting DOE’s mission to recognize outstanding scientists

ORAU coordinated the Early Career Research Program peer reviews for all six DOE Office of Science program offices, which involved reviews of 767 projects and resulted in 61 awards to early career researchers worth up to $15.3 million dollars over five years for research programs funded by DOE-SC.

Virtual meetingProviding responsive customer solutions under reduced government spending

ORAU hosted 420 attendees for DOE peer reviews and other events through the use of more than a dozen virtual meeting, webinars, and online reviews, potentially saving the agency more than $1.6 million.

Maritime shipProviding government agencies with responsive solutions to emergencies and threats

ORAU assists national and international agencies that are tasked with the mission to prepare for, respond to and recover from a full range of natural and man-made threats to safety and security. In FY13, ORAU planned and executed more than 250 exercises and training courses involving thousands of participants.

CBL exerciseIncreasing international capacity for cytogenetic analysis of radiation accident victims

The REAC/TS Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory designed a collaborative, web platform for remote analysis of images and led an international exercise conducted entirely online with cytogeneticists form laboratories in six countries: Argentina, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Japan and the U.S.

The Medical Basis for Radiation-Accident Preparedness coverPublishing radiation emergency medicine guides in multiple formats for ease of use

REAC/TS has published The Medical Basis for Radiation-Accident Preparedness, which is available in hardcover and Kindle format. The Medical Aspects of Radiation Incidents, also published by REAC/TS, is now available in its third edition as a free iBook from iTunes.

CSEPP ReadyEnhancing emergency preparedness of chemical stockpile site personnel and surrounding communities

ORAU took customized CSEPP training on the road to public information officers and emergency managers at the Colorado and Kentucky chemical stockpile sites. ORAU also created two, free mobile applications to provide local communities and exercise evaluators with better preparation for emergencies.

CAT scanExpanding free screenings for former DOE workers for earlier lung cancer detection

Beginning in July 2013, DOE’s National Supplemental Screening Program expanded its free screening options to include a pilot program for early lung cancer detection using low-dose CT scans.

Caution signCapturing more than a half century of radiation data on one million workers

In its first full year, the Million Worker Study finalized the project scope to include creating a registry that will capture 70+ years of occupational radiation data, dating from 1942 to the present.

VaccineEnhancing public health through communication and training

ORAU develops comprehensive communication programs that inform decision-making, educate health professionals and promote healthy behaviors. In 2013, this expertise supported programs ranging from weatherization training to vaccination awareness campaigns and radiation emergency preparedness exercises.

Environmental monitoringAccelerating the pace of cleanup through innovation

ORAU continued to support DOE’s cleanup mission across the complex in FY13 by completing independent verification of more than 200,000 acres and more than 3,500 square feet of facilities at three major DOE site: Hanford, Paducah and Oak Ridge.

Naval shipContinuing radiological surveys aboard seven ships that responded to Fukushima nuclear crisis

ORAU’s environmental survey team assessed and successfully cleared another support ship in FY13 that had been exposed to radioactive materials leaking from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant fowling the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

PlaneMeasuring Arctic emissions using airborne laboratory

ORAU climate scientists are providing fundamental support to a multiyear effort to measure the distribution of emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, both greenhouse gases, across the Arctic tundra.

Community Involvement

Habitat for Humanity

As beneficiaries of stronger communities, ORAU and its employees are invested in helping to build and strengthen them. Whether contributing to more secure local economies through annual giving campaigns or encouraging our employees to donate time to various volunteer initiatives, ORAU is committed to partnering with local and regional organizations to invest in and advance STEM education, economic development and other outreach activities in our community.

University Partnerships

Scientific researcher

ORAU’s University Partnerships Office provides its 100+ member university consortium with varied opportunities for connecting university expertise with government agencies, research laboratories and private industries. These opportunities include grants for faculty travel to collaborate with scientists, grants to support conferences and workshops sponsored by member institutions, and research experiences provided by ORAU’s Science Education programs to thousands of teachers and students each year.

Science Workforce: Rising Researchers

  • Lindsay Holdman: Expanding mathematical thinking to improve lithium-ion batteries
  • Amelia Hayes: Helping solve the nation’s nuclear waste storage challenges
  • Andrea Rocha: Bolstering DOE research in pollution and energy through microbial research
  • Clarina dela Cruz: Maturing through early career program to gain ORNL lead instrument scientist position
  • Jason Hayward: Receiving DOE funding extends the research of nuclear engineer
  • Davide Farnocchia: Improving near-Earth asteroid monitoring through data analysis
  • Nathanial Zaharia: Serving as “mission controller” for transport of radioactive material
  • Sara Harrison: Improving performance efficiency of neutron detectors
  • Rebecca Agapov: Investigating nanostructures to help advance forensic science, other fields
  • Michael Bellamy: Using new models to quantify health risk associated with radiation exposure
  • Felix sisters: Sharing a passion for improving public health through CDC research program
  • Ryan Tuttle: Determining best practices for environmental compliance through regulatory requirements tracking
  • Isis Fukai: Investigating carbon dioxide storage solutions to offset greenhouse has emissions

Science Workforce: Career Contributors

  • Bruce Pint: Drawing on previous postdoc experience to improve safety of U.S. nuclear reactors
  • Johnafred Thomas: Applying past fellowship experience to present nuclear security facility