Teleworking from his home in Washington state, IDREAM EFRC postdoc Sebastian Mergelsberg operated the synchrotron’s robotic arm 2,000 miles away at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. By pivoting to the virtual use of technology during COVID-19 travel restrictions, IDREAM researchers continue to build collaboration and discover insights into the chemical and physical makeup of the Hanford Site’s legacy nuclear waste. This illustration by Stephanie King at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory captures the spirit of long-distance partnerships along with details about IDREAM and the pandemic experience.


1Stephanie King, illustrator; 1Sebastian Mergelsberg, geosciences postdoc; 1Emily Nienhuis, materials scientist postdoc; 3Yihui Wei, chemist grad student; 1,3Carolyn Pearce, IDREAM EFRC director; 2,1Xiaosong Li, IDREAM Early Career Network advisor; 3,1Aurora Clark, IDREAM cross-cut lead.

1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), 2University of Washington, 3Washington State University

Graphic created by the Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM) EFRC for the Science in the Time of Covid Contest at the 2021 DOE EFRC-Hub-CMS-CSS Principal Investigators’ Meeting.

EFRC Acronym

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