Kevin Byrne, EOF team provide novel expertise in support of Argonne community
Kevin Byrne and his colleagues in the Experimental Operations and Facilities (EOF) division of the Energy and Global Security directorate apply their diverse skills and talents to expertly support Argonne’s research and development community.
“We’re here to help all organizations across the laboratory — EOF loves to hear from folks who are looking for solutions that aren’t ‘off-the-shelf’ since there’s a good chance we can help,” Kevin noted.
Elaborates EOF Division Director Dan Carlson, “Through collaboration and teamwork we provide engineering and experimental technical support services to a variety of customers across Argonne and others within the U.S. Department of Energy complex.”
In June, Kevin will be starting his 27th year at Argonne. His background in HVAC, with experience in metallography and electronics, has proven to be ideal expertise for his role as a chief technician in EOF. “When I was hired at Argonne, I was excited to have the opportunity to work with diverse talent to solve complex problems,” reflected Kevin. Through the years, Kevin’s contributed to everything from fluidized-bed combustion and battery research to supporting such facilities as the Alpha Gamma Hot Cell Facility (AGHCF) and the Integral Fast Reactor (1984–1994).
Fast-forwarding to the present, Kevin continues to ensure mission success in innovative ways. For example, for the past seven years, Kevin has been working with Yung Liu, program manager, Packaging Certification and Life Cycle Management (PCLCM) group, Decision and Infrastructure Sciences division, to support the development of ARG-US — the Watchful Guardian — radio frequency identification (RFID) and remote area modular monitoring (RAMM) technologies.
“Since 2014,” noted Liu, “Kevin has supported our work on ARG-US remote monitoring systems technology in development, testing and applications on-site and off-site. He maintains our command center in Building 221 and labs in 203 and 212, as well as our RFID and RAMM systems in the AGHCF. Kevin’s also our interface with Central Shops and Shipping.”
Kevin’s expertise has been essential to the continued success of the ARG-US program. For example, he’s been instrumental in the development of the newest ARG-US technology, the TRAVELER, which provides real-time tracking and monitoring of risk-significant materials in conveyances during transport. “Kevin’s an integral part of the team that recently installed the TRAVELER on a flatbed truck and successfully demonstrated its effectiveness as a means of monitoring fresh fuel assembly containers transported cross-country,” highlighted Liu.
He also works with Mike Billone, program lead, Irradiation Performance, Nuclear Science and Engineering division. Mike relies on Kevin to complete critical testing, including that for controlled heating/cooling of a pressurized irradiated-cladding rodlet. Thanks to Kevin’s customer-focused effort, testing was successful. “It was both exciting and a relief to see clear, high-quality images containing long radial hydrides,” said Mike, who also appreciated Kevin’s insights into the results and his suggestions for ways to demonstrate that the rodlet held pressure throughout the heat-treatment phase.
In Kevin’s spare time, he’s the percussionist for a four-person country music band called Straw Dawg. “We travel most every weekend to perform in a variety venues across the region,” Kevin said. And when it comes to helping Argonne scientists and engineers solve complex problems important to our nation, Kevin and his EOF colleagues never miss a beat.
By Kevin A. Brown (CPA)