Department of Labor’s second annual technology event features ORNL researchers

Last month, the US Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Tech Day 2019 put federal agencies’ emerging technologies on display for the public, highlighting developments in 3D printing, cybersecurity, virtual reality, and more. Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) were among the participants in the second annual all-day expo in Washington, DC, on May 16

Among ORNL’s contributions to the event were the laboratory’s 3D printed Shelby Cobra, a parallel programming demonstrator from the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), and an exhibit focused on ORNL’s role in advancing US health care. The OLCF is a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at ORNL.

“The goal of Tech Day is to showcase the technologies that government agencies are developing for the public,” said Becky Verastegui, operations director in the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate at ORNL.

Eleven government agencies participated and more than 2,500 people attended this year.

ORNL’s Jayson Hines, Jack Wells, and Chris Fuson demonstrated parallel computing at the ORNL booth through a parallel demonstration system. In another booth, Gina Tourassi, director of ORNL’s Health Data Sciences Institute, and ORNL researcher Ioana Danciu presented three applications developed at ORNL that aim to revolutionize health care via artificial intelligence.

“All of the ORNL exhibits were world-class and represented DOE and ORNL as shining examples of what great things technology can do to improve the lives of citizens,” Verastegui said.

In addition to educating the public about upcoming technologies in the government space, Tech Day encouraged collaboration and networking among government entities. To show off their 3D printing capabilities, ORNL and DOL both displayed 3D printed vehicles in the outside entrance area of the DOL building. Amy Elliott and Brian Post of ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility led discussions about the latest technologies in 3D printing and distributed 3D printed Tech Day tokens.

“The hope is that from this event there will be more collaboration among the agencies in the areas where there is commonality of where we are working,” Verastegui said. “I think that’s already happened and will continue to happen.”

UT Battelle LLC manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit