Friday, September 21, 2018

Four from INL honored by Profiles in Diversity

Cheré D. Morgan
Dr. Donna J. O’Kelly
Four women from Idaho National Labora-tory have been selected as Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity, a national publication dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, non-profit, STEM and higher education sectors.

The list of Women Worth Watching contains leaders from a variety of industries throughout the U.S. and the world. The recognition is designed to recognize and publicly celebrate the achievements of women who are “leading the way to excellence in the workplace, marketplace and the world.”

Each awardee is featured in a full-page highlight in the fall issue of Diversity Journal magazine.

Congratulations to the four INL winners:

Cheré D. Morgan, Radiological Control and Emergency Management director (p. 97)
Dr. Donna J. O’Kelly, Materials and Fuels Complex chief operations officer (p.35)
Jennifer B. Porter, battalion fire chief (p. 36)
Heidi K. Scott, Performance Management lead (p. 39)

Heidi K. Scott
“We’re honored to have these four incredible women at Idaho National Laboratory recognized as Women Worth Watching. Recognition of our employees is confirmation that the steps we’re taking to promote a vibrant culture of inclusive diversity to fuel growth and drive innovation is making a real-world impact,” said Dr. Mark Peters, INL director.

Jennifer B. Porter
You can view each INL awardee’s spotlight profile in the online magazine issue here.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Distinguished Under 40 honorees named

The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce has announced its Distinguished Under 40 honorees for 2018.

Distinguished Under 40 is an annual awards program exclusive to eastern Idaho area that honors 10 young professionals who have “gone above and beyond to accomplish great things in their careers, community, and education,” a chamber news release said. To be considered for the award, young professionals are nominated by co-workers, managers, and business associates.

Winners are selected by a panel of past and present Chamber of Commerce board members, the release said. Fifty nominations were received this year.

The 2018 honorees are:

  • Jeff Sollis, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
  • Travis Zmak, Teton Toyota
  • Mark Baker, Bingham Memorial Hospital
  • Noel Bakhtian, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Nate Sunderland, East Idaho News
  • Daniel Quintela, Northwest Cosmetic Labs
  • James Hanneman, INL/Battelle Energy Alliance
  • Ryan Leland, Bank of Idaho
  • Jennifer Veldkamp, Northwest Cosmetic Labs
  • Monica Bitrick, YMCA.

The 10 recipients will be honored at a luncheon at noon Sept. 25 at the Hilton Garden Inn. RSVP by calling Lois Mackes at 208-523-1010 or emailing programs@idahofallschamber.com. Reservations also can be made at idahofallschamber.com/event/distinguished-under-40/.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wind energy company opening office in Idaho Falls

WindSim, a Norwegian company that has been conducting wind energy research with Idaho National Laboratory, announced this week it will be opening an office in Idaho Falls. The company plans to continue the commercialization of its Power Line-Optimization Solution.

Putting too much electricity on the power grid can cause transmission lines to overheat and sag. Because of that, power has been traditionally managed using conservative static line ratings. But wind power and other renewables, combined with changing consumption patterns and smart grid management, have opened up new possibilities to operators.

Around 2010, INL researchers studying wind power plants noticed that transmission lines being cooled by the wind seemed able to handle more load. Using a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program, the team blended data from commercially available weather monitors and electric utility load data with CFD-enhanced weather analysis algorithms.

Taking wind and weather conditions into account, along with solid computer modeling and control approaches, dynamic line rating (DLR) has shown potential to unlock latent network transmission capacity – a welcome development, as it typically takes five to 10 years to bring new transmission from the planning stage to construction and operation, costing millions of dollars of investment per mile.

To use DLR effectively, however, engineers need accurate real-time information about wind conditions and factors such as the line’s temperature and amount of current it’s carrying. That information then has to be conveyed to utility operators in a way that enables them to quickly and safely adjust generation to meet load demands while operating within transmission safety limits.

Idaho Power has been working on DLR solutions with INL for close to ten years, and the utility now has roughly 450 miles of transmission line in two test beds set up to provide real-time weather information. INL discovered WindSim's CFD software around 2015, integrating it with INL-developed software called General Line Ampacity State Solver (GLASS), a finalist this year for the annual R&D 100 Awards.

In early 2016 the project was included as part of a $220 million Grid Modernization announced by DOE. Last year, DOE announced it would be receiving $300,000 in Technology Commercialization Funding. WindSim is also the recipient of a DLR project grant from Innovation Norway for implementation of the project in 2018-19.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bonneville County real estate market shows sharp jump in median home prices

Bonneville County real estate numbers from the Snake River Multiple Listing Service for the first seven months of this year show that while houses are selling in about the same numbers, prices are up dramatically along with new listings, and properties are selling faster than they were last year.

If you look at the median price from 2011 -- $134,578 -- compared to the median price this year -- $193,121 -- you've got an increase of 43 percent. It would be hard not to conclude that the market has rebounded from the hole it was in.

We took a look at the HPI Calculator to find out the value today of a house valued at $134,578 in the second quarter of 2011 and it shows that house would be worth $186,894, a 38 percent increase.

All in all, if you're thinking about selling a home you've been hanging onto for a while, it looks like now would be a pretty good time to do it. Of course, you'd have to find some other living arrangements, wouldn't you?

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A.C. Moore holding grand openings Saturday in Idaho Falls, Rexburg

A.C. Moore now occupies the two Porter's stores in Idaho Falls and Rexburg.
A.C. Moore, a New Jersey-based arts and crafts retail chain, will be opening its first stores in Idaho this Saturday, in Rexburg and Idaho Falls.

The company will kick off a craft-filled grand opening weekend with doorbuster deals, giveaways, special discounts and free $10 gift cards to the first 100 customers at both locations.

Both stores are where Porter’s Craft & Frame used to be. A.C. Moore started as a single crafts store in Moorestown, N.J. in 1985. It has since grown to more than 130 stores, mainly on the East Coast.

The grand opening will showcase more than 40,000 arts and crafts products, home decor, special occasion accessories, and kids’ activities. A.C. Moore also offers custom framing, as well as free floral arranging from in-store designers.

College students, teachers, and members of the military receive a 15 percent discount on purchases.

“The A.C. Moore family is growing, and we can’t wait to share our value-trusted products and unmatched in-store shopping experience with the creative community of Idaho,” said A.C. Moore President Anthony Piperno. “We will work hard to uphold the legacy left behind by the Porters, and look forward to building our own personal and inspiring relationship with the community for many years to come.”

The stores — at 19 College Ave., in Rexburg, and 2455 E. 25th St. in Idaho Falls — open Saturday at 8 a.m.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cardamom Indian restaurant opening in downtown Idaho Falls today

The staff at Cardamom, a new downtown Indian restaurant, enjoy some down time Friday afternoon.
Here’s a heads-up for all of you people eager for a new place to eat: Cardamom, a new Indian restaurant in downtown Idaho Falls, is having its soft opening today.

Located at Park Avenue and B Street, the restaurant is owned by Sheba Bakshi-Sofi and her husband, Javed. A native of Kashmir, in the north of India, Bakshi-Sofi has lived in the United States for more than 40 years. She has worked for Nestle and Con-Agra Foods, and was most recently vice-president of international marketing for Melaleuca, Inc.

She left Melaleuca earlier this year to pursue her restaurant dream, and on Friday morning it was her former Melaleuca colleagues she invited to the restaurant for a trial run. “There were 40 to 45 people, which was more than I expected,” she said. “I told them ‘Don’t hold back, order anything off the menu you want.’”

Kashmir is unlike the rest of India in that it borders China, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its cuisine is a reflection of its crossroads status, and Bakshi-Sofi said they wanted to be eclectic when it came to Cardamom’s menu. “You’ll find dishes traditionally not on the big menus,” she said. “We do serve Chicken Tikka Masala, though.”

In addition to her husband, Bakshi-Sofi’s mother, Nasira Sofi, has been involved in menu decisions and training the staff. Cardamom has five people in the kitchen, led by head chef Jessica Guison and sous chef Stuart Stansifer. Emily Ketchum is taking care of the front-of-house.

Located in the Earl Building, 501 Park Avenue, Cardamom has capacity for about 70 dinners. Bakshi-Sofi said they are planning a grand opening for Sept. 7. “We have fallen in love with downtown,” she said. “Your have to really love what you do to make things happen.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Six GEM Fellows study at INL this summer

INL’s first GEM Fellows (from left): Jordan Galloway, Denise Owusu, Stephanie Jones, Diana Perales, Terrence Buck (program manager), Malik Hayes, Jorge Ramirez
As part of Idaho National Laboratory’s inclusive diversity efforts, the lab has recruited its first cohort of GEM Fellows. The six students arrived in June to begin their internship experience.

Established in the mid-1970s, the National GEM Consortium’s mission is to increase the involvement of underrepresented talent pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. GEM interns work as paid summer interns while completing their studies, offering public- and private-sector employers the opportunity to assess their abilities. The GEM partnership allows the laboratory to develop grant proposals with underrepresented universities, encouraging some to become GEM schools.

Terrence Buck, an INL senior inclusion and diversity consultant, manages the GEM program at the laboratory. A New York native, he has been a GEM board member for 15 years and brought the program to INL when he started working at the laboratory last May.

“The program is designed to identify, recruit and bring underrepresented talent to STEM,” he said. “The three most underrepresented groups are blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. By recruiting these GEM Fellows to INL, we are providing them real hands-on experience at a leading research institution. Ultimately, we would like to see these experiences translate into full-time positions here at INL.”

Representatives from INL’s senior leadership team and the GEM CEO met last August to discuss INL’s mission and vision and determine if GEM and INL were a good match. “The team decided it was a good fit,” said Buck. “These fellowship interns will bring their unique backgrounds and innovative ideas to INL.”

The following are the first six GEM Fellows to begin their intern experience at INL:

Jordan Galloway, University of California, Merced
Field of Study: Chemistry, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Dr. Shannon Bragg-Sitton

Malik Hayes, Georgia Institute of Technology
Field of Study: Computer Science, M.S.
Virginia Wright

Stephanie Jones, Northwestern University
Field of Study: Computer Science, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Virginia Wright

Denise Owusu, Carnegie Mellon University
Field of Study: Energy Engineering & Technology Innovation Management, M.S.
INL Mentor: Dr. Shannon Bragg-Sitton

Diana Perales, Purdue University
Field of Study: Chemistry, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Dr. Russell Watson

Jorge Ramirez, Purdue University
Field of Study: Materials Science, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Dr. Gabriel Ilevbare