STARR award winners display technical achievements to NNSA and KCNSC senior leaders

STARR award winners display technical achievements to NNSA and KCNSC senior leaders

Three Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) employees, recently distinguished as Significant Technical Achievement Reward and Recognition (STARR) Award winners, presented their accomplishments to James McConnell, the National Nuclear Security Administration's Associate Principal Deputy Administrator (NA-3), Kansas City Field Office (KCFO)  Manager Jeff Shoulta, and KCNSC/FM&T leaders on Nov. 2.

McConnell was in Kansas City for a speaking event at the former Bannister Federal Complex. He joined KCNSC President Eric Wollerman, Vice President of Engineering Robin Stubenhofer, Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain Dylan Plemons, and Steve Tanner, Senior Director of Global Security, on a visit with the award winners that included stops and discussions throughout manufacturing and Global Security locations within the KCNSC main campus.

"We are always pleased to have NNSA Senior Leaders visit and see firsthand the innovative and mission-focused accomplishments of our STARR Award winners," Stubenhofer said. "Thank you to Jim McConnell for taking time to help us recognize our STARR recipients."

Dan Deavours, a lead technical engineer; Louis Diamond, a senior mechanical engineer; and Ben Williams, a senior chemical engineer, were honored by KCNSC and KCFO at a Sept. 13 ceremony for their work. The STARR Award was established in 1998 to recognize and reward technical staff for their achievements. All nominations submitted come from peers.

Deavours, an expert in radio frequency systems, digital signal processing, and embedded systems developed an optimized architecture for software defined radio (SDR) to meet the requirements of multiple SATCOM mission sets.

"There are several things that made this project special.  First, I got to work with a talented team (special thanks to Jeff VanDeusen and Todd Rider), and so I need to acknowledge that.  Next, it's just a really exciting combination of novelty, technical challenge, creativity, and a real sense of ownership and accomplishment. Finally, we have every confidence that one day soon our customers will be fielding product made at KCNSC based on this technology. It's hard to describe the feeling of pride and accomplishment when that happens," Deavours said.

Diamond developed a new transparent package to allow for visual non-destructive characterization of surface mount devices during production. The clear package enables process development and evaluation to quickly pinpoint solder joint and flux residue defects in an easy and non-destructive way. Diamond was issued U.S. and World Intellectual Property Organization patents for the design.

"It has been an honor to receive the STARR award, and the success of this project is a testament to the collaboration between our Global Security and SMT AME partners. This technology was originally developed to visually correlate soil volumes associated with an array of complex interconnects for research purposes, and it has been inspiring to see this technique adopted to advance KCNSC production capabilities and the public sector," Diamond said.

Williams developed a multiphase process to recover filler material from a waste stream. The process developed demonstrated KCNSC could recover waste filler material from processing at the same purity level as when originally sourced from the vendor base A U.S. patent was issued for this process.

"We appreciate the leadership team taking the time to tour the area and their support for these projects. The NNSA and KCNSC's continued support of plant directed research and development is what makes new innovations like this possible," Williams said.

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