• Pacific Northwest National Laboratory namedVince Sprenkle
as its 2014 PNNL Inventor of the Year based on his leadership in the fields of electrochemical energy conversion and storage. These emerging technologies will help make the electric grid more reliable by enabling the deployment of highly efficient, distributed energy resources, such as fuel cells and energy storage. Sprenkle holds 15 patents on fuel cells, batteries and high temperature electrochemical devices with 33 pending patent applications.
John Fulton and Johnathan Holladay were recognized as the 2014 Battelle Distinguished Inventors at PNNL.
Fulton’s research focuses on measuring the molecular structure of water that contains salts and other ionic species, using intense X-ray sources available at the nation’s synchrotron. His fundamental work on liquids has led to new ways to exploit their properties. Fulton has earned 15 patents, some of them used in commercial products. One is a cardiovascular stent for heart patients. It uses an absorbable polymer coating to deliver drugs in a controlled, sustained way to help patients heal. Another is the use of liquid carbon dioxide for precision cleaning of surfaces which is being used for semi-conductor parts, clothing and medical equipment.
Holladay has earned 17 patents and has advanced bioscience by serving in leadership roles in national consortia for biofuels and bioproducts. His research contributions over the years have ranged from sustainable use of terrestrial biomass and marine systems to fuels and chemicals via chemical and biological catalysis. His patents are for innovations in chemical production, catalytic processes and systems, and hydrothermal processing. These technologies have been licensed to at least eight companies.
• Connell Grain recently raised more than $10,200 and and 33,433 pounds of food during a recent Harvest for Hunger drive by CHS, a farmer-owned cooperative.
The Kennewick office helped raise more than $2,400 and 940 pounds of that food. CHS’s country operations division helped add to the total, bringing the donation to Second Harvest Tri-Cities to nearly $5,800.
• Kamiakin High School took first place at the recent Junior Achievement High-Tech Business Challenge. Fourteen teams from area schools took part in this competitive regional competition at Tri-Tech Skills Center on May 5.
Team members Michael Hubbard, Austin Schulz, Connor Pestovich earned the Titan Traveling Championship Trophy and the title of first place winner. The team was led by Kamiakin teacher Heidi Wilson. Team consultant was Bill Robertson of Bill Robertson Nissan.
In addition, Kamiakin student Oscar Bautista was named 2015 CEO of the Year during the second round of the competition.
Finally, Kamiakin’s Team Check Generators, Inc. also claimed first place in the consolation bracket. Team members Katie Selby, Calista Gann, and Hunter Robbins-Bilou won after two competitive rounds of play. The team was led by Kamiakin teacher Olivia Clizbe. Kurt Beckley of Community First Bank was the team’s consultant.
, a Franklin Public Utility District commissioner in Pasco, has been named to the nine-member participants review board of the Columbia Generating Station for a one-year term. The board has elected him secretary. The board reviews the nuclear power plant’s annual budget, fuel management plants, nuclear construction and purchases of more than $500,000.
• Victor Scarano has been hired as the auditor and director of administrative services at the Franklin Public Utility District. He replaces Tim Nies, who has been named general manager. Scarano will be responsible for the PUD’s accounting functions, including the annual budget, compliance with accounting standards and internal auditing. He also will provide oversight and supervision to information technology and broadband operations, customer service and the meter reading departments. Scarano most recently was vice president and chief financial officer of an Alaskan company. He has a master of business administration and has worked in accounting and finance for 19 years, with 14 of those years in a leadership role.