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National Security


Our researchers within National Security at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) focus on delivering high-impact, science-based, practical solutions to our clients to prevent and counter acts of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Our world-leading capabilities cross-cut market needs and one of our major strengths is our ability to integrate our research and projects across PNNL and take them to market. We are committed to providing excellent service to our clients to help make our world safe and more secure.


Cybersecurity Competition Another Success

PNNL hosted yet another successful Pink Elephant Unicorn cybersecurity competition on September 16-17. Collaborating with more partners than ever, PNNL teamed up with Columbia Basin College, Washington State University, Yakima Valley College, area high schools, and industry partners for the third annual event.

Bringing novices and experts together, over 70 students, researchers, and computer industry representatives worked together to solve cybersecurity puzzles and learn new security techniques in a capture-the-flag style competition. This year's event also featured 10 tutorials on a variety of topics including Linux 101, reverse engineering, cryptography, and forensics.

PEU x 3.5 will be hosted on Northeastern University's Lake Union campus in Seattle on January 20-21.



Featuring NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program

The latest issue of the DNN Sentinel newsletter contains interviews of the NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) Class of 2015-2016 Fellows supporting the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. The article introduces this year's 15 DNN Fellows, including what attracted them to the fields of nonproliferation and nuclear security and what they have accomplished during the first few months of their fellowships. The Fellows' one-year assignments span the nonproliferation mission and utilize their mix of technical and policy skills and experiences.


R and D Award

National Security Directorate Team Wins an R&D 100 Award

PNNL received five 2015 R&D 100 Awards, which were announced at the R&D 100 Awards Banquet held Nov. 13 in Las Vegas. These technologies are among the top 100 most innovative scientific and technological breakthroughs of the year spanning private, academic, and government institutions, as selected by R&D Magazine.

Columnar Hierarchical Auto-associative Memory Processing in Ontological Networks, or CHAMPION was one of the technologies awarded. Team members include NSD staff members Shawn Hampton, Rick Berg, Katya Pomiak and Patrick Paulson; Champion Technology Company's Ryan Hohimer, Alex Gibson and Peter Neorr, who licensed the technology; and former PNNL scientist Frank Greitzer. Read the PNNL press release for more information.


National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center taps PNNL

PNNL has been named a supporting Laboratory to the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC). NISAC is a Department of Homeland Security program that addresses the potential vulnerabilities and consequences of disruption of our nation's critical infrastructure.

PNNL was selected based on our extensive depth of analytic capabilities in critical infrastructure. This expertise will be leveraged to simulate events ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks, and to predict and track potential impacts to critical facilities and the economy. PNNL will contribute advanced computer modeling and simulation capabilities to look at the dependencies, interdependencies, vulnerabilities, and complexities of important critical infrastructure sectors such as dams, water, transportation, energy, and information technology.


MaTEx Releases, Solving Scalability Issues

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists have found a way to combat the issue of scale related to cluster computing. Supported by the Analysis in Motion Initiative, Physical & Computational Sciences Directorate's Abhinav Vishnu, Khushbu Agarwal, Jeff Daily, Vivek Datla, Nitin Gawande, and Mark Greaves (National Security Directorate) have released The Machine Learning Toolkit for Extreme Scale (MaTEx) as a free software download. Designed as a collection of high performance parallel machine learning and data mining algorithms, MaTEx provides a handful of commonly used algorithms in Clustering, Classification and Association Rule Mining that support K-means, Spectral Clustering algorithms, Support Vector Machines, KNN Algorithms for Classification, and FP-Growth for Association Rule Mining.

Mark Greaves

Advancing Innovation in Seattle

Recently Bill Pike, Dave Thurman, Rob Jasper, and Mark Greaves represented PNNL and the Analysis in Motion Initiative at the Xconomy conference, Seattle 2035. At the conference they hypothesized what will be the next big innovation industries that will propel Seattle into the future. PNNL's participation dovetails with NSD's Innovation District Strategy which seeks to leverage the talent pool found in the Seattle metro area to increase our rate of innovation and mission impact. Engagements and partnerships in events such as Xconomy are helping PNNL increase our reputation in the high-tech community.

Social Media Tracking

Using Social Media to Track Outbreaks

Lauren Charles-Smith and Court Corley's abstract on Using Social Media for Actionable Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Management: A Systematic Literature Review has been published by Plos One Journal. The abstract argues that social media may be valuable tools in the disease surveillance toolkit used for improving public health professionals' ability to detect disease outbreaks faster than traditional methods and to enhance outbreak response. The article was featured on October 5, 2015.

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National Security Directorate

What's New

Tony Peurrung
NSD Director, Dr. Tony Peurrung oversees the delivery of impactful science and technology for PNNL's National Security clients.

Tony's Bio

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