Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 1999
U.Va. to host public forum with alumni about the future of the Internet age
U.Va. part of consortium selected to manage DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Former dean Raymond J. Nelson receives U.Va.'s Thomas Jefferson Award
U.Va.'s foster families fill the breach for children in need

Conference explores ways to internationalize universities

Winston, Weaver 'rapt' up Film Festival
Sigourney Weaver on motherhood and other roles
Sharing digital resources to help teachers use technology in class
Hot Links - President's Office
Film, panelists explore 'digital divide' in computer access
After Hours - arborist Jerry Brown
U.Va. well on its way to ringing in the Year 2000 without a systems glitch
Off the Shelf - recently published books
Digital prints on display Nov. 1-29
CEO of Pew Trusts to give talk Nov. 3

U.Va. part of consortium selected to manage DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory

By Fariss Samarrai

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a five-year contract, valued at $2.5 billion, to a consortium of universities, including U.Va., to manage its Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

The contract was awarded to the University of Tennessee-Battelle, which is a team effort of UT and Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio. The team includes Oak Ridge Associated Universities, a consortium of 87 universities. U.Va. is one of six lead institutions on the team that will have a seat on the UT-Battelle governing board. U.Va. representatives will also serve on the lab's science and technology steering committee, conduct technical reviews of the lab and be able to set up joint professorships with the lab.

The other lead universities are Virginia Tech, Duke University, Florida State University, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State University.

Oak Ridge Laboratory is one of the nation's largest energy research and development laboratories with 4,500 employees and an annual budget of about $550 million. The lab focuses on national and global energy and environmental issues. It is responsible for major DOE programs in basic energy sciences, advanced scientific computing research, nuclear physics, and energy efficiency and renewable energy.

After a transition period, the UT-Battelle team will assume full management and operation responsibility on April 1, 2000. The lead partners will share a $7 million per year management fee. The contract is renewable for another five-year period. Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp. has managed the lab for the past 15 years.

"This contract opens the door for more resources and better research opportunities," says David J. Hudson, associate vice president for research at U.Va. "We will establish new collaborations, and strengthen current relationships with other institutions and with the Department of Energy through this contract. There is enormous potential for growth."

U.Va. departments that will conduct research at Oak Ridge with other participating institutions include: Environmental Sciences, studying ground water contamination; Computer Science, developing advanced computing processes; and Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering, running projects in new materials science.

"With our seat on the governing board and representation on the science and technology steering committee, we will be able to help formulate the research program at Oak Ridge for the coming years," Hudson says. "We will have access to terrific facilities, such as the linear accelerator and the new spallation neutron source, and this should help us in our recruiting efforts for top faculty and graduate students."

A new initiative at the lab, the Spallation Neutron Source, will be a facility for conducting basic research in materials science, solid state physics, engineering, chemistry and structural biology.

Hudson says the contract is likely to fund two to five new joint U.Va./Oak Ridge faculty research positions. The faculty members would serve part time in Charlottesville and part time at Oak Ridge.


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