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CNL Announces 2019 Awards of Excellence Winners

CHALK RIVER, Ontario, Nov. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 CNL Awards of Excellence. Held once again at the Normandy Officers’ Mess at Garrison Petawawa, the annual employee recognition ceremony celebrates the outstanding achievements of individuals and teams whose hard work, determination and accomplishments helped CNL deliver its science and technology programs and major projects. Through their work, CNL employees provide nuclear science and technology products and services to both federal and commercial customers, work to safely address Canada’s nuclear liabilities, and support the revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories into a modern and sustainable nuclear campus.

“One of the qualities that makes CNL so unique is the breadth of work we carry out on behalf of Canadians, including research and technical activities that span public health, clean energy, environmental stewardship and nuclear security,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL President and CEO. “The teams and employees being recognized by CNL this year really reflect this diversity. From important advances in cancer research and waste management, to technical achievements in safety and material analysis, these Awards of Excellence recipients demonstrate the diversity of expertise and capabilities at CNL.”

D.F. Torgerson Discovery Award

CNL’s Awards of Excellence are organized into two categories. The first, known as the D.F. Torgerson Discovery Award, is named after CNL’s former Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Dave Torgerson, and recognizes employees for the generation of new or innovative ideas and solutions, significant research or technical achievements, and new business initiatives. This year’s awards were presented to 11 employees from two groups, including:

Javed Anderson, Mark Chapman, Raghu Rao, Kyle Schinnour, Kevin Williams and Jenny Zhou for an innovative solution to process cemented target material (CTM). In this project, the team was tasked with identifying methodologies to process, separate and manage these waste materials. In carrying out this work, the team had to overcome a number of technical challenges to identify and successfully demonstrate their new process, including the manufacturing of specialty equipment. Their innovative new methodology improves safety for CNL employees, and will help to restore and protect Canada’s environment by reducing and effectively managing nuclear liabilities.

Laura Bannister, Michelle Bugden, Dmitry Klokov, Tanner Stein and Yi Wang for their work towards an improved cancer treatment by combining low doses of radiation with immune checkpoint therapy (ICT). This novel type of therapy, despite holding great potential for cancer treatment, still suffers from low success rates. The CNL team was able to demonstrate that low doses of radiation, coupled with ICT, provides improved therapeutic outcomes and results in increased eradication of cancerous tumours. This work represents great progress in the fight against cancer.

Distinguished Merit Award

The Distinguished Merit Award, is given to employees who have made exceptional contributions in productivity improvements, achievements of increased revenue, decreased operating costs, safety innovation or environmental initiatives, development or strengthening of new or existing partnerships, and the exploitation of these results. This year awards were presented to 35 employees from three groups, including:

Diane Boulianne for her work on an iodine adsorption test rig for a commercial customer. Diana’s contributions to this project spanned over a decade, during which time she performed the majority of the experimental work. Diane has shown a long-lasting commitment to performing high quality work without compromising safety, has coordinated laboratory activities with various internal and external service providers and has shown dedication to training and mentoring junior staff members along the way.

Grant Bickel, Jeff DeJong, Stephen Eyvindson, John Leppinen, Ryan MacLeod, Kevin McCaugherty and Youqing Shi for an innovative analytical method for determination of transmuted helium in irradiated nuclear reactor materials by vacuum fusion mass spectrometry (VFMS). The analytical method and equipment were developed to meet the requirements of a major project, and the newly developed technology and repurposing of existing equipment and laboratories was motivated by the principles of improved productivity, efficiencies, effectiveness and cost reduction.

Quincy Alexander, Romeo Audette, Jim Brennan, Mike Brideau, Mike Cameron, Andre Campbell, Qingwu Cheng, Crystal Cluett, Gabrielle Constantineau, Gilles Danis, Ailsa Eyvindson, Nathan Hartwig, Rodney Herwig, Zahid Khan, John Loftstedt, Nicholas Lubitz, Roman Lungu, Josh McLellan, Tibor Molnar, Charles Poulin, Geoff Quast, Donia Reynard, Jaleh Semmler, Arshad Toor, Michael Wright, Michael Zadow and Joey Zhou for the successful completion of a major commercial project. In 2018, CNL received an urgent request to decontaminate, disassemble and examine an important component from a power reactor for a commercial customer. In a short period of time, CNL received the component, designed, fabricated and commissioned a chemical decontamination skid; arranged for rental of a large crane to handle the heavy components; and, fabricated three temporary ventilated enclosures to conduct the disassembly, decontamination and measurements. As a result of the successful completion of this project, additional opportunities for similar work have come forward.

“On behalf of everyone at CNL and the customers who directly benefit from these tremendous achievements, I’d like to extend my thanks to this year’s winners and congratulate them on their hard work, innovative thinking and unwavering commitment to safety in the delivery of their work,” adds Lesinski.

For more information on the 2019 Awards of Excellence, including video profiles of this year’s winners, please visit

About CNL
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defense, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally. With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, CNL is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

To learn more visit

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
CNL, 1-866-886-2325

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