California’s strict air quality regulations help farmers prosper, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., March 16, 2020 – Farmers in California’s Central Valley are not known for their love of government regulations, but those same growers have seen a boost in the productivity of their high-value crops – and greater earnings – as a result of the Golden State’s strict air pollution controls. For a study published today in Nature Food, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions conducted a statistical analysis of pollution exposure and yields from 1980 to 2015 on a key sector making up about 38 percent of the state’s total agricultural output: perennial crops such as almonds, grapes, nectarines, peaches, strawberries and walnuts.

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Sandia, Puerto Rican university collaborate to develop energy projects for global tropics

A new 10-year agreement between Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, has the potential to bring more reliable electricity to remote communities and the latest in electrical grid technology to rural areas in the world’s tropics. A Sandia manager who was born and grew up in Puerto Rico says the agreement will continue a decadeslong relationship with the university he attended.

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Energy researchers invent error-free catalysts

A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Delaware, and University of California Santa Barbara have invented oscillating catalyst technology that can accelerate chemical reactions without errors. The groundbreaking technology can be incorporated into hundreds of industrial chemical technologies to reduce waste by thousands of tons each year while improving the performance and cost-efficiency of materials production.

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A material benefit to society, Sandia scientist elected AAAS fellow

Sandia National Laboratories senior scientist Tina Nenoff was elected by her peers fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for outstanding accomplishments in nanoporous materials and technology through research and group effort leadership, particularly in ion and gas separations for energy and environmental applications.”

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DIII-D Researchers Use Machine Learning to Steer Fusion Plasmas Near Operational Limits

Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility recently achieved a scientific first when they used machine learning calculations to automatically prevent fusion plasma disruptions in real time, while simultaneously optimizing the plasma for peak performance. The new experiments are the first of what they expect to be a wave of research in which machine learning–augmented controls could broaden the understanding of fusion plasmas. The work may help deliver reliable, peak-performance operation of future fusion reactors.

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Former PPPL intern honored for outstanding machine learning poster

The American Physical Society (APS) has recognized a former PPPL summer intern for producing an outstanding research poster at the world-wide APS Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) gathering last October. The student used machine learning to accelerate a leading PPPL computer code known as XGC.

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