Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Computational Sciences & Mathematics


PNNL's computational software tools frequently receive recognition in the form of national and international awards, including R&D 100 Awards, Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer and top honors in the good-natured competitions at the annual Supercomputing (SC) conferences. The following lists PNNL computational technologies that have received one of these prestigious awards since the Laboratory began to record results. For a complete list of PNNL awards, visit Awards & Achievements.

R&D 100 Awards

2007: UPA: Universal Parsing Agent is a document analysis and transformation program that accepts multiple datasets or information streams, discovers and extracts information needed and delivers results in their most useful form.

2005: The Morning Report: Advanced Proactive Safety and System Monitoring Tool, developed in collaboration with NASA, analyzes massive amounts of data from thousands of flights overnight and renders a report that can give aviation experts "insight" into making airlines safer.

2003: The Starlight Information Visualization System launched a new generation in visualization technology by uncovering key relationships hidden in large, complex, dynamic information collections. Starlight also received an FLC Award. Visit the Starlight Website

2002: OmniViz™ enabled the integrated analysis of large amounts of disparate biology and chemistry data and literature through the use of a variety of computer-based visual formats and query tools.
Visit the OmniViz™ Website

1999: MS3: Molecular Science Software Suite was the first general-purpose software to provide access to high-performance, massively parallel computers for a broad range of chemists on a broad range of applications. MS3 was developed at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, and also received an FLC Award 2000. Visit the MS3: Molecular Science Software Suite Website

1996: SPIRE: Spatial Paradigm for Information Retrieval and Exploration Software fundamentally transformed the tasks and processes of information retrieval and analysis in an era of rapidly expanding access to information. SPIRE provided a suite of information access, analysis, and visualization tools, allowing the user to visually analyze information needed to make decisions and solve problems. SPIRE also received an FLC Award in 1998.
Visit the SPIRE Website

Federal Laboratory Consortium Awards

2007: The Morning Report: Advanced Proactive Safety and System Monitoring Tool.

2006: Starlight™ Information Visualization System. Starlight™ has enabled nearly 40 entities to access and interpret information about business intelligence, consumer trends, medical records, current events, and cyber security data and to enhance their operations by exploiting the data to their competitive advantage. Companies use Starlight™ to extract consumer and product information pertinent to their business operations from enormous masses of data that previously were virtually inscrutable. Starlight is the only software that can integrate many different data types and formats, perform high-speed, high-efficiency analysis, and display the results graphically so that the relationships among the data and their implications can be quickly and easily understood. While other commercial software products support only a few predefined data types, Starlight™ supports the concurrent analysis of an unlimited variety of information types. Starlight™ received a 2003 R&D 100 Award.

2005: Millimeter Wave Holographic Body Scanner. The transfer of this versatile technology to the commercial sector has been a success for PNNL and for the two diverse companies who have licensed the technology. SafeView, Inc., was licensed in 2002 to market the technology as a security screening device. The scanner has been deployed at airports, border crossings, train stations, and other areas that require security scans. Intellifit licensed this technology for the apparel industry. In this application, the scanner is used to take exact body measurements, helping customers find clothing that really fits. Dozens of precise body measurements are obtained in less than 10 seconds while the customer remains fully clothed. This technology won an R&D 100 Award in 2004, and R&D Magazine's Editor's Choice Award as "Most Promising New Technology."

2003: EMADVANTAGE: Emergency Management Capabilities to Support Multiple Users and Jurisdictions. The EMADVANTAGE software system was transferred to a refinery in Mexico, a small business in Maryland, NASA, and the U.S. Army. The system is based on components of the Federal Emergency Management Information System (FEMIS), the breakthrough technology PNNL developed to safeguard communities near the nation's chemical weapons depots. The PNNL team enhanced, copyrighted, and packaged FEMIS into a broadly applicable suite of capabilities called EMADVANTAGE. EMADVANTAGE is the only emergency management system that supports all phases of emergency management and makes information available with constant, dynamic updates via desktop computer, the Internet, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). The PNNL team worked with NASA to integrate EMADVANTAGE decision support architecture into NASA's wireless device that integrates a PDA, modem, and a global positioning system into a single unit that can acquire and deliver field data.

2000: Superplastic Forming for Automotive Component Manufacturing. This Pacific Northwest team transferred new understanding and optimization of the superplastic forming (SPF) process for aluminum alloys to General Motors Corporation, MARC Analysis, and Kaiser Aluminum. Applying the improved SPF technology to automotive component manufacturing is helping develop lightweight, fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles by providing a cost-effective forming technology for aluminum sheet materials. The team developed and transferred an integrated approach to optimizing the SPF manufacturing process. This approach yields accurate models that have dramatically reduced the forming time of a complex part, making the traditionally slow SPF process attractive and practical for higher volume manufacturing.

2000: Molecular Science Software Suite (MS3). MS3 is the first general-purpose software that provides access to high-performance, massively parallel computers for a broad range of chemists on a broad range of applications. The multidisciplinary development team used several avenues to make MS3 easily available to the entire chemical research enterprise. The software can enable the scientific community to solve—quickly and cost effectively-complex environmental problems in the atmosphere, aquatic systems, and the subterranean environment. MS3 can be used in the search for new pharmaceuticals, to improve agricultural productivity, and to provide insights into how organisms work at the molecular level. MS3 received a 1999 R&D 100 Award.

1998: Spatial Paradigm for Information Retrieval and Exploration (SPIRE™). SPIRE changes the way people retrieve and analyze text information by quickly analyzing large volumes of text and displaying related documents and themes as star clusters in a night sky and terrain maps—visual metaphors that are intuitively understood by most people. Following immense interest in the software's capabilities by industry, Battelle partnered with the Smaby Group of Minneapolis, Minnesota, to form a new company, ThemeMedia Inc., Redmond, Washington, to market and sell the software. SPIRE™ received a 1996 R&D 100 Award.

1997: MECcheck™ Toolkit. The MECcheck™ team undertook the arduous job of making the Model Energy Code (MEC) more understandable and accessible to federal, state, and local government agencies; building code officials; builders; and manufacturers of energy-efficient materials; and ultimately, helping to ensure energy efficiency in new homes. The team sought advice from the end users, turned the collection of complex technical requirements comprising the MEC into a simple, yet comprehensive, set of tools called MECcheck™. Although other materials similar to MECcheck™ are available, MECcheck™ is the tool that gets used. The MECcheck™ team did more than generate a group of tools—it supported the code users and their organizations in application of those tools.

1996: Software for Energy-Efficient Design. For the first time, architects will be able to use separate energy analysis software to estimate energy use early in the design of a building—using information previously considered inadequate to the task. This PNNL project team pursued their vision of a "user-friendly" software for energy-efficient design, overcame the skepticism of industry and energy software traditionalists, and spearheaded an effort that resulted in commercial release of a unique product. The result is an energy analysis software package and a novel distribution concept that ensures the widest possible dissemination of the software within the design and building construction industry. The software package is commercially available as Softdesk Energy.

1994: Fast, Adaptive Communications Software. This software was created to facilitate research at the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) by strengthening the capability to perform simultaneous computations. The innovation—new algorithms and a set of global operations to make a user's operations run up 10 times faster—was licensed by a major computing firm. EMSL researchers use the codes to help them model the behavior of environmentally important chemical systems such as the interactions between various solutes and clays. Moreover, EMSL is a national scientific user facility, so the enhanced computing resources are also available to researchers from industry and academia.

1989: Computer Aided Genetic Engineering/Genetic Engineering Machine (CAGE/GEM). CAGE/GEM is a software toolkit that can help researchers design genetic structures before performing expensive laboratory experiments. By using the system, scientists can analyze sequences from both a broad and specific viewpoint with integration of expert knowledge. They can isolate a genetic element in DNA sequence, and then graphically manipulate the element to create and explore new genetic constructs. The technology was transferred to the private sector through a licensing agreement. CAGE/GEM received a 1986 R&D 100 Award.


SC08: PNNL's entry captured "Best Overall" at the Supercomputing '08 High Performance Computing Analytics Challenge in Texas. The research group developed an interactive program demonstrating that genome sequence analysis can be made interactive and intuitive, helping researchers find hidden relationships in massive amounts of data. The HPC Analytics Challenge competition honors top technical and commercial applications developed from leading-edge, advanced analytics techniques.

SC06: Participated as one of three finalists, and the only DOE lab, in the HPC Analytics Challenge, a competition that honors top technical and commercial applications developed from leading-edge, advanced analytics techniques. Our demonstration of visual analytics for biological sciences placed second.

Placed among one of nine finalists in the Bandwidth Challenge, a competition that focuses on increasing network bandwidth through remarkable applications.

SC'05 StorCloud Award—PNNL Computational Chemistry Simulation. PNNL took first place in the StorCloud challenge and finished second in the Bandwidth Challenge.

SC'04 Most Innovative Use of StorCloud Award-PNNL Active Storage. The PNNL team demonstrated a novel use of the StorCloud storage system that goes well beyond simply transferring data between the application and the storage devices in StorCloud.

Computational Sciences & Mathematics


Seminar Series

Fundamental & Computational Sciences

CSMD Research

Research highlights

View All CSMD Highlights