Director’s Message: A great time for Argonne
It’s a great time for Argonne. Recent scientific, engineering and technological accomplishments, combined with our vision for the future, position us well to keep changing the world with our science.
Argonne is never short on pivotal discoveries that push the boundaries of science and technology. Funding and interest in quantum science continues to rise, and Argonne researchers received over $11 million to fund projects in creating and manipulating quantum bits that can lead to new precision measurements and detection technologies. Argonne will co-host a Quantum Summit at the University of Chicago in early November to propel these important conversations, and an internal quantum task force will explore the possibilities of Argonne as a potential site of a future U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) quantum center.
Funding into the laboratory in FY18 exceeded $1 billion for the first time, which reflects the importance of our work accelerating science and technology to drive U.S. prosperity and security; we are leaders and collaborators with other labs, universities and industry. In addition to the renewal of Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), Argonne was awarded leadership of a new water-focused Energy Frontier Research Center, Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems (AMEWS), in partnership with the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. At the recent Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) Demo Day, nearly 200 innovators, investors and partners turned out to see how the first CRI cohort is crossing new frontiers with work that can transform electricity generation, food production and more, and applications for Cohort 3 are surpassing expectations as news of this valuable partnership opportunity spreads.
Innovators appreciate working with Argonne because they have access to our unique facilities, equipment and multi-disciplinary teams. Consider the scale of our current and future supercomputing power, capable of mapping a brain, projecting the impacts of major weather events and applying artificial intelligence to a range of challenges. From new materials for batteries, to manufacturing scale up, to unlocking additive manufacturing improvements, Argonne’s first-in-nation exascale computing capability will accelerate our science and engineering research. Similarly, the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Upgrade team recently shared their plans with DOE during a critical review that moved us closer to the upgrade that will convert our synchrotron into the ultimate 3-D microscope. The upgraded APS will produce the world’s brightest hard X-rays and transform our ability to understand and manipulate matter at the nanoscale.
Our facilities and our people enable Argonne to transform lives around the world. Our decision sciences team captured local attention with stories of how electric infrastructure system modeling helped FEMA and those in the paths of hurricanes Florence and Michael prepare for and recover from the storms. As partners in the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing project, we are working with industry and other national labs to increase the efficiency of machines and processes fundamental to economic growth, such as gas turbine combustors and fiber spinning. The scale at which our lab operates, and the possibilities our science creates, inspire me daily. We’ll soon start defining a 30-year science and technology vision, and I believe we have reason to be bold.
I enjoy taking time to share stories of impact with you and hearing your thoughts. Please join me any time at a Conversations with Kearns; the next one is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. in Building 202, Room B169.
Thank you again for your commitment and contributions to Argonne. It is a privilege to lead this laboratory.