Director’s Message: Thank you
As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to recognize and celebrate what we have achieved over the past year. Amid changes, uncertainty and challenges, you have adapted to new situations, marshaled resources to respond to new requests, and been willing to go above and beyond to fulfill our lab mission. I thank you for your commitment and dedication.
In recent conversations across the lab, I have shared my vision for Argonne: to be known for our ideas, our rigorous and quality science, and the positive impact we have on the world. Our accomplishments in 2017 helped to realize that vision.
This past year we tested solar cells for electricity-generating windows and identified new ways to understand the role of soil organic matter in long-term carbon storage. We helped fast track new engine designs by simulating over 2,000 combinations with our Virtual Engine Research Institute and Fuels Initiative. We contributed to next-generation materials engineering by using the Advanced Photon Source (APS) to image defects forming in real time.
We figured out how to create some of the world’s thinnest wires — important when you consider that for our smartphones to get faster, the circuits have to get smaller — and invented the Oleo Sponge, which could revolutionize oil spill and diesel cleanup. In our Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, we helped accelerate cancer research with a deep learning framework and models that were able to explain over 92 percent of variance in drug response.
We teamed up with the University of Chicago and Fermilab to create the Chicago Quantum Exchange, with a goal of advancing the science and engineering of quantum information for applications in communication, computing and sensing. We worked with nuclear energy innovators to begin to move concepts to commercialization and started new relationships with enthusiastic attendees of our first Battery Industry Day.
We also helped Northwestern University researchers scan a 1,800-year-old mummy in the APS, which put Argonne on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.
Looking back at those achievements and many others, I am proud of what we have accomplished. Our accomplishments are a result of your energy, engagement and collaboration, and I thank you for your active participation in such events as the Materials and Chemistry Initiative town halls, Program Development and Intellectual Property symposia, and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence workshops.
As we approach 2018, we have reason for excitement. With our foundational capability strengths, we will continue to move forward five strategic initiatives that leverage our expertise in computing, data science and precision synthesis as well as our powerful characterization tools. We will also work to build relationships with new sponsors, demonstrate excellence in all aspects of research and operations, and further develop our people.
Through a safe, diverse, inclusive and engaged Argonne community, we can work together to have an even greater impact in 2018. I thank you for all you do to support the lab and its mission, and I wish you a restful and enjoyable holiday break.