The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga announces the signing of a research and development partnership agreement between UTC’s SimCenter: National Center for Computational Engineering and Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12 (B&W Y-12).


The formal agreement was signed during a ceremony at the SimCenter on Monday, November 17.

“This research and development partnership takes advantage of the resources available in the Tennessee Valley Corridor and highlights the advanced computing technologies at the SimCenter,” said Congressman Zach Wamp. “The partnership will allow the advanced modeling and simulation available at the SimCenter to aid B&W Y-12 in developing national security solutions.”

The agreement provides for the SimCenter and Y-12 National Security Complex to partner on the development of programmatic opportunities and to share resources for development and demonstration purposes. Specific areas of joint projects might include simulations related to toxic plume patterns, chemical processes, metal processing, safety, engineering, and other areas.

“Modeling is becoming more and more important because there are fewer dollars out there to do research, development, test and evaluation.  By utilizing the SimCenter’s advanced computing technologies, we’ll be able to save taxpayers money and increase safety,” said Randy Spickard, vice president and executive director of science, technology, and partnerships at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

B&W Y-12 manages and operates the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Y 12 National Security Complex was constructed as part of the World War II Manhattan Project. Construction for the Manhattan Project began with the first shovelful of dirt turned at Y 12 in February 1943, and operations began in November of that year. In the years following World War II, Y 12 evolved into a high-precision manufacturing assembly and inspection facility while maintaining the nation’s uranium and lithium technology base.

Y 12 applies unique expertise, initially developed for highly specialized military purposes, to a wide range of manufacturing problems to support the capabilities of the U.S. industrial base. Y 12’s all-inclusive expertise includes proceeding from concept, through detailed design and specification, to building prototypes and configuring integrated manufacturing processes.

“This partnership helps UTC fulfill its mission of service and economic development to the citizens of this state and this nation by employing our intellectual resources to solving problems of national security. We look forward to a long relationship that benefits our students, our faculty members, and our partners at Y-12,” said Dr. Roger Brown, UTC Chancellor.

Dr. Dave Whitfield, Director of the SimCenter, and Dr. Harry McDonald, holder of the Chair of Excellence in 21st Century Engineering, lead the SimCenter’s internationally renowned team of computational engineers and researchers.

The SimCenter: National Center for Computational Engineering is a center for integrated research and education.  Its primary goals are to establish next-generation technologies in computational modeling, simulation and design, to educate a new breed of interdisciplinary computational engineers who can solve a broad range of real-world engineering problems and to provide consequent leadership and national impact in critical technology areas affecting defense, sustainable energy, environment, and health.

M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computational engineering are offered through the UTC Graduate School of Computational Engineering.  The National SimCenter also participates in the UTC Center of Excellence for Applied Computational Science and Engineering, which sponsors faculty and students engaged in advanced research projects.

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