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PNNL wins two R&D 100 Awards

National lab's technologies among the 100 most significant of 2018

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November 19, 2018 Share This!

  • DCAT helps utilities identify and address weak spots in the electric grid by combining analysis of steady-state operations and changing occurrences during extreme events.

  • StreamWorks provides near real-time information on emerging suspicious patterns and provides a description of the threat.

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RICHLAND, Wash. — The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is the recipient of two awards, selected by R&D Magazine, as part of the top 100 innovative scientific breakthroughs of the year. The magazine announced the winning technologies at its annual R&D 100 Awards ceremony, held Nov. 16 in Orlando, Fla.

The R&D 100 Awards have served as the most prestigious innovations awards program in research and development for the past 49 years, honoring pioneers in science and technology.

This year's awards bring PNNL's total to 109 since the awards' inception in 1969.

Protecting the electric grid — DCAT

Ever-increasing cyberattacks and natural disasters can wallop the nation's electric grid, potentially causing cascading power outages that cost utilities and their customers billions of dollars. PNNL's answer for minimizing the impact of extreme events on power grid is DCAT. By simulating thousands of extreme events, DCAT automatically meshes the evaluation of steady-state operations with changing occurrences in the electric grid to find weak spots. Once a weakness is identified, DCAT determines the impacts that would result from a cascading power outage and provides the power operator with actions to stop the outage before it happens. With DCAT, utilities would gain at least 50 percent in efficiency for analyzing grid occurrences compared to today's more manual processes.

Shifting cybersecurity from reaction to preemption — StreamWorks

One hundred forty six days — that's how long, on average, it takes to detect a cyberbreach from the time it begins. PNNL's StreamWorks cuts that time significantly — to near real-time — by detecting emerging patterns of sophisticated cyberattacks in massive data streams. Combining several analytic approaches, never before seen together in a cybersecurity tool, the technology tells a cyber analyst when major suspicious patterns are occurring, along with a description of the potential threat and a rationale for why the threat was selected — so the analyst doesn't have to guess, but instead can take action swiftly.

The R&D 100 Awards recognize excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, high-energy physics, materials science, chemistry and biotechnology. R&D 100 Award recipients include established Fortune 500 companies and federally funded research institutions, as well as academic and government labs.


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PNNL LogoPacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on signature capabilities in chemistry, earth sciences, and data analytics to advance scientific discovery and create solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in energy resiliency and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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