Henry Diaz (Computer Engineering)

Henry Diaz (Computer Engineering)

About DOE Fellow:
Henry Diaz graduated from Florida International University in the Summer of 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. He shortly left DOE and moved to Palmdale, California where he is now working for Lockheed Martin as a Computer Systems Analyst. His work deals with managing, upgrading, and maintaining the sites IT infrastructure. His future goal is to apply for jobs internally and obtain an engineering position within the company. Mr. Diaz also plans to attain his Master’s degree in the field of Electrical Engineering.

Accomplishments as a DOE Fellow:
The DOE Hanford site has the largest number of high level waste storage tanks containing the largest volume of high level waste slurry in the United States. The safe storage, retrieval, treatment, and disposal of several million gallons of highly toxic, high-level radioactive waste stored in Hanford’s underground tanks is a priority. Retrieval and treatment of waste from these tanks pose a considerable challenge. As part of the retrieval process a certain level of solids concentration must be maintained in the slurry if the sludge is to be transferred between tanks without clogs. In order to ensure the desired solids concentration is being achieved, Henry worked in an in-tank solids monitor (ITSM) that was being developed to take real-time measurements of temperature, mass flow, viscosity and density. This system will prevent transfer pipeline plugs from forming, which in some cases have exceeded $3 million in repairs.

For more information on the Hanford Site visit:

A tank farm at Hanford, Washington, built in the 1940s, used to store radioactive sludge from plutonium processing. (Source: National Geographic)

In the summer of 2008, Henry interned at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Computational Sciences and Engineering Division under the mentoring of Dr. Glenn O. Allgood. While there, he assisted Dr. Allgood on the ACDEPP (Air Cargo Explosives Detection Pilot Program) created by the Department of Homeland Security in order to provide critical knowledge to help the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) make future decisions on how to handle air cargo. The ACEDPP will do this by assisting in the technological research and development planning for the nation’s air cargo security infrastructure. Data was gathered to determine the flow of air cargo and how quickly it must be screened. One of the interests of the DHS in the program is data illustrating the economic and operational impacts of enhancing cargo screening levels in air carriers. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory was one of the national labs with a hand in this project and during his internship, Henry assisted in the analysis of the data that was collected and did logistics on what methods (e.g. genetic programming) could be used to optimize the data for efficient, safe and profitable solutions to air cargo dynamics difficulties.


A general (very simplified) outline for genetic programming is as follows:

  1. A population of random solutions is formed.
  2. The best solutions are given precedence in forming offspring solutions.
  3. The best in the population combine their code to create a new, possibly better suited population of solutions to replace the least fit of the previous generation.
  4. The process is repeated until a satisfactory approximation is found.