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From the May Issue


Tried and True

Leading hubs keep rolling.

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North Carolina

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) President & CEO Jay Wileman earlier this month announced plans to grow the GEH workforce by approximately 500 jobs over five years to support the commercial deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor. “We are proud to have hired more than 250 people this year to be part of the team that is advancing the deployment of our carbon-free energy generation technologies,” Wileman said. Among GEH’s project partners planning to deploy the BWRX-300 are Ontario Power Generation at its Darlington New Nuclear Project; TVA at its Clinch River Site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee; SaskPower in Saskatchewan; and Synthos Green Energy in Poland (where it hopes to deploy at least 10 of them). GEH also has agreements in place with companies in the U.K., Sweden, Czech Republic and Estonia. Concurrent with this announcement, Global Nuclear Fuel–Americas (GNF-A), a GE-led joint venture, and TerraPower announced an agreement to build a $200 million Natrium Fuel Facility at the site of GNF-A’s existing plant site near Wilmington. The facility will be jointly funded by TerraPower and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. In 2021, TerraPower announced its intention to build the first Natrium reactor at a retiring coal facility in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

Source: Conway Projects Report


Delaware-based global water technologies leader Solenis has chosen its hometown of Wilmington for a $40 million R&D expansion, moving to the 100,000-sq.-ft. Building 713 at Chestnut Run Innovation and Science Park (CRISP), a former DuPont campus that MRA Group is developing into a hub for a range of life sciences and advanced chemical companies. The company says the new site will allow for the addition of “up to 46 new highly skilled Delaware jobs — including lab technicians, scientists and R&D supervisors — within the next three years.” Originally spun off from Ashland and headquartered at Wilmington’s Avenue North since 2020, Solenis has 48 manufacturing facilities and more than 6,400 employees around the world, including more than 300 in Delaware. Solenis officials presented an application to Delaware’s Council on Development Finance (CDF) for a Jobs Performance Grant of $552,000 and a Delaware Lab Space Grant of $3.5 million from the Delaware Strategic Fund. “Solenis has deep roots in Delaware, so we are pleased to announce our continued commitment to growing in the state at CRISP,” said John Panichella, CEO, Solenis. “This investment of moving our Wilmington research center to a contemporary new location, in combination with our recently opened headquarters at Avenue North, allows us to continue to attract, retain and recruit the highest caliber of employees.”

Source: Conway Projects Report





Picture Illinois

Views from around the state take us from the Great River Road to Rock Island, Rockford and Wrigley Field.

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Map courtesy of USPTO

A recently released report from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) analyzes women’s patenting by county between 1990 and 2019. Over those 30 years, women inventors patented in 411 new counties, an increase of 32% in the number of counties where women patent. “We plan to use this study and other data as we focus on bringing more women into the innovation and patenting ecosystem,” said USPTO Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director Kathi Vidal. “We must increase the number of women inventors on patents from the 12-13% it is at today to full representation. This is critical for job growth and economic prosperity.”

Across technology hubs, more women were named on physics patents than in any other field. The technology hub with the largest growth rate in women inventor-patentees was in electricity in Santa Clara County, California, rising over 7,000% during the 30 years studied. In 1990, only 46 women inventors were listed on electricity; by 2019, they numbered nearly 3,300. The report was unveiled at the Society of Women Engineers WE22 event in Harris County (Houston), Texas, “a top women-patenting county that experienced a 2,045% growth in women patentees in the field of fixed constructions (buildings, structures, earth drilling, and related materials) during the 30-year period studied,” said the USPTO, making it the top county for women patentees in that field. Middlesex, Massachusetts, was tops in women patentees in both chemistry/metallurgy and human necessities, while the Detroit suburbs of Oakland and Berrien, Michigan, led in performing operations/transporting and textiles/paper, respectively.


Photos courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service

Today was the day final drilling took place to complete the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1941. The U.S. National Park Service’s deep archives include these images of the just-completed sculpture and the mountain before any carving took place. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum picked the mountain and location “because the grain of the rock was suitable for carving and the mountain faced southeast which meant it would be in the sun for much of the day,” says the National Park Service.

The final drilling took place under the direction of photographer, engineer and sculptor Lincoln Borglum (named for his father’s favorite president) after his father Gutzon died in Chicago in March 1941 from a heart attack his doctor said was brought on in part by overwork. “Lincoln proved especially valuable to the project as he had inherited many of his father's artistic talents and none of his artist's temperament,” explains a story from the PBS series “American Experience.” “Although from back East, and of a much wealthier class than the South Dakota crew, he was considered one of the guys. On game days, he would park his car near the hoist house so that the hoist operator could listen to baseball scores and telephone the developments to the men on the mountain.”