Director’s Message: Charting our success
June has been a busy month. In addition to keeping our great science going here at the lab, we have been raising Argonne’s visibility outside our campus — engaging our sponsors, meeting with Congressional staff and connecting with stakeholders. Our efforts to make Argonne highly visible continue to have strong impacts.
This week, President Trump, along with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry, will host Unleashing American Energy, part of a weeklong dedication designed to highlight the administration’s agenda in enhancing our nation’s energy security. Argonne has been invited to participate and I am honored to represent our lab.
Last week marked the first joint meeting of the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory with the Fermilab Research Alliance Board of Directors. As you can see from the links, both labs are fortunate to have impressive and influential leaders from a broad array of disciplines working on their behalf. The joint session took place in Washington, D.C., and included discussions with DOE leadership on FY18 priorities and a meeting at the Capitol with Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth and Reps. Bill Foster, Randy Hultgren and Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois. In their remarks, everyone at the meeting emphasized the importance of the labs and their crucial service to the nation. It was gratifying to see the unwavering support and vigorous recognition of our science and technology contributions.
Earlier this month, senior leadership and I presented our Annual Laboratory Plan to our DOE sponsors and received much positive feedback. The Annual Laboratory Plan is part of the Office of Science strategic planning and performance process, and we can all be proud of the headline comment, “Argonne is commended for presenting a coherent well thought out strategic plan. The increased level of collaboration across the laboratory and the initiatives was particularly noteworthy.”
Our hard work is paying off and our sponsors are noticing. The Office of Science was complimentary of our efforts and I was encouraged by the strong attendance and support from the applied energy programs — Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Nuclear Energy and Office of Electricity Delivery — as well as the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Office of the Secretary of Energy.
Our forward momentum continues on many other fronts too. We are excited to have cleared another significant milestone for the APS Upgrade — concurrence from the Basic Energy Sciences program to start production procurements. We have submitted several key proposals for new research projects and are working on a number of emerging opportunities in quantum materials and computing, national security, energy storage and manufacturing, to name a few. We also have been hard at work on business transformation, including implementation of Workday Financials, for which I appreciate all of the effort across the lab in solving the myriad issues inherent to new implementations. Lastly, we have continued to build our lab community, with another successful Argonne OutLoud presented to a large and engaged public audience and a picnic hosted for an enthusiastic crowd of summer students.
As we close the month and look forward to Fourth of July celebrations, you should be proud of Argonne’s accomplishments and the work we do to support our nation. Your efforts help make our country a land of opportunity and freedom — prosperous, sustainable and safe. Thank you for continued diligence and support. Together we are doing great things.
Please mark your calendar for Thursday, July 20, 2017, at 10 a.m. for the State of the Laboratory, where I will present additional details from our Annual Laboratory Plan and share with you our overall lab strategy. Add to your calendar.
As always, feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Conversations with Kearns, Mondays from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the Bldg. 213 Cafeteria. New ideas and suggestions are always welcome.
Be safe and enjoy the holiday.