National Lab Day at The University of Toledo 2019

Breakout Session Details

Day 1

Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment

This session explores how emerging science, tools and technologies can be used to create more sustainable products that promote resilient human and natural systems. Examples of emerging decision-making tools include network analysis, advances in life cycle assessment, and other integrated modeling approaches that fully consider human and natural systems to address short- and long-term disturbances, feedback loops, and even planetary thresholds (absolute sustainability). We will explore how these tools can be used to evaluate the role of new technologies in creating sustainable and resilient systems, with special emphasis on circular economy approaches for solar PV panels and plastics.

  • Defne Apul, professor, The University of Toledo
  • Timothy Skone, lead, Life Cycle Analysis Team, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
  • Garvin Heath, senior scientist, Resources and Sustainability Group, Strategic Energy Analysis Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • Babetta L. Maronne, senior scientist, Bioscience Div., Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
  • Amgad Elgowainy, team leader/principle energy systems analyst, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)

Structural Biology Imaging and Spectroscopy – from atomic to cellular scales

This session profiles high-resolution imaging techniques in biological systems over multiple length scales. Techniques can provide temporal information for targets of interest in medicine and microbial ecology. Foci are protein - receptor interactions, cell structure and biological response to the physical and chemical environment. Techniques include cryo-EM, high resolution X-ray crystallography, IR spectromicroscopy using synchrotron radiation, and high-field NMR.

  • Isaac Schiefer, associate professor, The University of Toledo
  • John Hill, deputy assoc. laboratory director, Energy and Photon Sciences, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
  • Carolyn Larabell, director, National Center for X-ray Tomography; faculty scientist, Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Div., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
  • Wah Chiu, professor, Stanford University, scientific director, Cryo-EM Facilities, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Andrzej Joachimiak, Argonne Distinguished Fellow, director of Structural Biology Center; co-director for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases, ANL


Our understanding of origins, evolution, and structure in the Universe — from the widest cosmic scales, to galactic ecosystems, to the formation of individual stars — is poised for a great leap forward in the next several decades. The coming wave of advanced ground- and space-based observational facilities, large scale spectroscopic and time-domain surveys, advanced data exploration methodologies, and powerful new computational frameworks will greatly extend our reach, helping us answer fundamental questions about the Universe. This session will focus on simulations of the first stars and black holes in the early Universe, the impact of accreting black holes on the evolution of galaxies, and the formation, evolution and role of stellar clusters as the basic units of star formation.

  • JD Smith, professor, The University of Toledo
  • Nick Gnedin, senior scientist, Theoretical Astrophysics group, Fermi National Lab (FNL)
  • Peter Nugent, senior scientist, LBNL
  • Jarrett Johnson, scientist, LANL
  • Risa Wechsler, scientist, SLAC

DAY 2 - Breakout Session 1

Exposure Science – ‘Omics’ Applications for Human Health, Ecology and Environmental Science

Humans are exposed to, or intake, food, water, air, and other environmental agents on a daily basis. At the same time, humans release non-natural substances to the environment, including personal care products, and prescription and illicit drugs. The combination of these exposures can exert profound effects on human and environmental health. This session explores the contact of humans or other organisms with chemical, physical, and biologic stressors and their fate in living systems. Through exposure science and modern toxicology, we will explore how advanced ‘Omics’ approaches can help us understand stressors that affect human and ecosystem health and interface with sensor systems, analytical methods, molecular biology, computational tools, and bioinformatics.

  • David Kennedy, assistant professor, The University of Toledo
  • Ken Turteltaub, division leader, Biosciences & Biotechnology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
  • Srinivas Iyer, bioscience div. leader, LANL
  • Crystal Jaing, group leader, Applied Genomics, Biosciences and Biotechnology Div., LLNL
  • Hoi-Ying Holman, director, Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared for Structural Bioimaging, LBNL
  • Justin G. Teeguarden, chief scientist, Exposure Science, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

Materials & Manufacturing

This session explores a variety of approaches for the development of advanced materials and manufacturing technologies. Special focus is on the progress of additive manufacturing techniques, which are used to “print” a wide spectrum of functional components; design and synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts for accelerated chemical reactions; and fabrication of membranes for effective separations and fuel cell technologies. Topics include modeling and simulation, synthesis and fabrication, and ex-situ and in-situ characterization techniques for structure-property correlations to applications.

  • Ana Alba-Rubio, assistant professor, The University of Toledo
  • Tanja Pietrass, division leader, Materials Physics & Applications, LANL
  • Christopher Spadaccini, director, Center for Engineered Materials, Manufacturing and Optimization, LLNL
  • Rebecca Fushimi, senior research scientist, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
  • Steve Wesolowski, global R&D/university lead, Dana Incorporated
  • E. Andrew Payzant, materials engineering group leader, Neutron Scattering Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)


In 2011, the DOE announced the SunShot program with the goal of making solar electricity price-competitive with conventional utility sources by 2020. The combined effort from national labs, universities, and industry allowed the goal for utility-scale photovoltaics to be reached three years early. As a result, a new goal has been established: to reduce the cost of solar by an additional 40% to 70% beyond 2018 costs by 2030. This session will explore the development of avenues that have the potential to reach this goal, with a focus on device and module efficiency, manufacturing, and reliability.

  • Mike Heben, professor, The University of Toledo
  • Wyatt Metzger, Thin-Film Material Science and Processing, NREL
  • Dirk Weiss, industry panelist, First Solar
  • Tony Martino, Sandia National Lab (SNL)
  • Joe Berry, NREL

Breakout Session 2

Microbial Ecology

There is a critical need to understand the function and role of microbial communities and how they control biogeochemical responses to a wide variety of changes in environmental conditions. This understanding is necessary for everything from predicting ecosystem responses to warming to achieving environmental contaminant remediation. The session goal is to explore methodologies and tools to improve our predictive understanding of the roles of microbial communities in mediating carbon and nutrient fluxes, contaminant remediation and other critical biogeochemical processes, as well as using microbial systems as sentinels of environmental threats and perturbations. This includes integrated lab and field experiments, coupled with a sophisticated suite of biochemical and chemical analyses, to determine the molecular mechanisms governing microbial decomposition, biogeochemical cycling and synthesis into microbial-explicit models.

  • Mike Weintraub, professor, The University of Toledo
  • Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, senior scientist, Biological Systems & Engineering, LBNL
  • Janet Jansson, chief scientist; laboratory fellow, Biological Sciences Div., PNNL
  • Srinivas Iyer, bioscience div. leader, LANL
  • Jonathan Allen, LLNL

Molecular Structure & Dynamics: molecular interactions in solutions, nanoparticles and at interfaces

Molecular structure and interactions underlie the properties and performance of natural and engineered systems, including living organisms, chemical technologies, and advanced materials. This session focuses on characterizing how the chemical structure affects intermolecular interactions in solution, colloidal and interfacial, and biological processes. These include biomolecular binding, small molecule and polymer self-assembly, phase transitions (e.g., condensation, evaporation and crystallization/precipitation), and multiphase processing.

  • Yakov Lapitsky, professor, The University of Toledo
  • Jeffrey Nelson, manager, Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, SNL
  • Susan Rempe, SNL
  • Volker Urban, ORNL
  • Xiao-Min Lin, ANL

Energy Storage & Distribution

Energy storage and distribution are critically important components for the future of transportation and the electric grid. Developing low-cost, reliable, energy-dense and safe energy storage and grid solutions for the future requires catalyzing breakthroughs in materials science, interfacial reactions and transport processes, and advances in manufacturing methodologies. This session will explore how advanced experimental and theoretical capabilities can accelerate materials discovery and the control over transport and reactions at many length-scale to enable the design and scale-up of the next-generation of energy storage and grid solutions.

  • Rohan Akolkar, professor, Case Western Reserve University
  • Lei Cheng, chemist, Materials Science Div., ANL
  • Vince Sprenkle, techinical group manager, Electrochemical Materials and Systems Group, PNNL
  • Anthony Burrell, research advisor and chief technologist, NREL
  • Amy Marschilok, BNL
  • Tony van Buuren, group leader, Materials Science Div., LLNL
Last Updated: 6/27/22