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NETL Data Management & Curation R&D Spotlighted at Conference

NETL highlighted its expertise in data management and curation at the virtual U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Data days Conference (D3), which recently released its final report on conference proceedings. Researchers from the Lab were integral in the organization of the conference and had many opportunities to share how NETL is ensuring enduring and efficient access to data resources and exploring novel solutions to a number of challenges, from improving data accessibility to developing novel data-science tools and more. The Lab’s significant developments in data management are addressing critical needs in the areas of data access, data sharing and cloud computing to support DOE research and enhance the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Kelly Rose, NETL’s Science-based AI/ML Institute (SAMI) technical director, chaired one session at D3 and served as an event organizer while other NETL researchers presented five oral presentations — including a plenary talk — at the meeting. More than 160 participants took part in the conference, with 28 presentations and moderated panels held during the event. D3 is the only workshop of its type and represents data management and curation research and activities across the DOE community. The workshop promotes data management as a means to higher quality and more efficient research and analysis. Several of the presentations at this year’s D3 spotlighted data curation, transformation and discovery efforts ongoing by NETL researchers. 

Several of the presentations given at D3 focused on the NETL-developed Energy Data eXchange (EDX), which supports research in all stages of development by offering an ideal environment for data curation and maturation. The tool was designed as DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE’s) virtual library and data library built to find, connect, use and re-use data to advance fossil energy and environmental research and development. Developed in 2011, EDX is the only DOE platform tailored to support research from start to finish, across the lifecycle of data. To date, EDX users have downloaded more than 2.1 million resources, contributed more than 115,000 resources and uploaded more than 31 TB of data in support of FE’s data-driven efforts.

NETL researchers shared information about EDX’s capabilities at D3, such as offering the unique ability to foster data curation throughout the entire process of energy data management. The online tool offers a secure and accessible platform for both internal and external users and is designed to evolve and adapt to its user community’s needs. While most online data repositories only support public data products, EDX can serve as both a private workspace and public database for researchers in which to collaborate and share their work with others as each stage of the research is completed.

To allow for effective communication between scientists, EDX offers team collaboration capabilities tailored to meet requirements of research teams and conform to federal and DOE regulations. In the current cyber environment, technology challenges often impede multi-entity teams from working efficiently together on research-scale problems. One of the presentations from NETL at D3 spotlighted how EDX addresses the need for a solution that adheres to DOE and federal regulations while enhancing collaborative opportunities between teams.

NETL researchers at D3 also shared recent innovations stemming from DOE’s Carbon Storage Portfolio. NETL supports the curation of carbon storage data resources through EDX, including contributions from both DOE-supported research projects and NETL efforts to find, acquire and integrate open-source data resources. To organize and enhance the use of these assets, NETL researchers have trained and developed advanced machine learning and natural language processing tools to improve data discovery in EDX for end users. This curation and data transformation project is ensuring enduring and efficient access to millions of features from thousands of carbon storage data resources to meet a range of stakeholder needs. Click here to explore the carbon storage data assets now available through EDX.   
 
In another presentation, NETL showcased its efforts in sharing its data management and curation expertise with other national laboratories to further energy research. Researchers at D3 highlighted efforts to establish and apply a framework of data collection and analysis developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and NETL through the eXtremeMAT initiative. eXtremeMAT is a consortium of seven national laboratories which focuses on the development of advanced materials for use in extreme environments. There is a strong need for managing the quality of data used in materials data science, especially as data can be obtained from a wide number of sources with varying credibility. This collaboration resulted in the publication of a peer-reviewed manuscript detailing several novel metrics for data assessment. Establishing a standardized framework for data rating will ultimately improve the development of modeling future energy technologies. 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide reliable and affordable solutions to America's energy challenges. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.