Argonne staff initiate and participate in DOE-NE pilot program
Four Argonne staff members recently participated in the “Leaders of Tomorrow in Nuclear Energy,” pilot program hosted at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) headquarters in Germantown, Maryland and in Washington. The program was an intensive two-day experience that brought together early career staff with DOE Leadership.
Heather Connaway, Florent Heidet, Darius Lisowski and Nicholas Smith (NE) gathered with participants from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory and the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) to brainstorm and provide a fresh vision on important topics, including the future of nuclear energy and ways to further collaborations among national laboratories and with DOE. “This was such a unique opportunity for a broad mix of people to meet and engage, and it puts us on the right path for more collaboration in the future,” said Connaway.
The program included presentations on the budget process, DOE-NE missions, program development and program management. It also helped attendees expand their professional network by strengthening ties with experts from other institutions and touring the DOE headquarters. “It was a great way to see the broader DOE-NE mission and how it tied into equities across the complex, and how those areas can be effectively leveraged,” said Smith.
Attendees heard presentations from, and engaged in discussions with, the Deputy Assistant Secretaries from the various DOE-NE offices, as well as with leaders from the DOE Office of Environmental Management, representatives from the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Deputy Director for Science Programs in the DOE Office of Science, Steve Binkley.
“It was a valuable new perspective on the inner workings of program development and budget at DOE headquarters,” said Lisowski.
Argonne’s Heidet was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the program. “On the DOE-NE side, Chief Technology Officer John Kelly, NE-43 Director Patricia Paviet and Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ray Furstenau were instrumental in obtaining support for this pilot,” Heidet said. “Associate Laboratory Directors from the three participating laboratories also played a crucial role in in its success by selecting participants and providing travel support to attend this two-day meeting.”
All who participated found it productive and agreed it was “two days well spent.” They hope the program can be held annually to provide other colleagues with the opportunity to participate. “We look forward to working with DOE-NE to find future opportunities to repeat the program,” said Heidet.
Photo: Back row, left to right: Diego Mandelli (INL), Kevin Lyon (INL), Nicholas Smith (ANL), Florent Heidet (ANL), Jared Johnson (ORNL), Jason Tokey (DOE), Stephanie Bruffey (ORNL). Front row, left to right: Craig Welling (DOE), Jeffrey Powers (ORNL), Tara Pandya (ORNL), Darius Lisowski (ANL), Heather Connaway (ANL), Troy Unruh (INL), Joseph Nielsen (INL), Patricia Paviet (DOE).