UT–Battelle has managed Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy for 10 years. Now the partnership has embarked on a 5-year extension on the strength of its successful record. ORNL is the nation’s most modern and fastest growing national lab. It’s the only lab to receive an A in every evaluation category of its 2009 annual report card from DOE. Why is the UT–Oak Ridge partnership such a good deal for Tennessee?
1. More jobs. Under UT–Battelle management, ORNL has grown from 3,700 to 4,700 employees.
2. More money coming in. Research funding at ORNL has increased from $640 million to $1.6 billion since 2000.
3. Fantastic facilities. The ORNL campus has undergone a renaissance, including the addition of the one-of-a-kind $1.4-billion Spallation Neutron Source.
4. Computing power. ORNL is home to the world’s most powerful supercomputers, including UT’s Kraken, the world’s fastest academic computer.
5. New knowledge. Basic research at ORNL translates to better lives for Tennesseans and all Americans. The laboratory is a major player in the nation’s energy future. Its neutron-scattering research is a building block for improved medicines, foods, electronics, cars, and airplanes.
6. Bringing the best minds to Tennessee. Nine internationally renowned scientists hold the prestigious UT–ORNL Governor’s Chairs. Joint appointments attract top researchers.
7. Growing tomorrow’s scientists. A new graduate degree program will increase the number of UT doctoral students in science, technology, engineering, and math and will add about 200 Oak Ridge researchers to the UT Knoxville faculty. The new program will feature a $50,000 package of stipends and tuition designed to attract top grad students.
8. Collaboration that strengthens Tennessee. The state of Tennessee has leveraged the assets of the lab and the university for economic development. Since 2000 the state has provided about $215 million to help grow ORNL’s research program, including five joint UT–ORNL research institutes.
9. Keeping good company. If you’re known by the company you keep, Battelle is a great associate to have. Battelle is the world’s largest independent scientific research and technology development organization. It manages seven national laboratories for the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security.
10. It just keeps growing. In 2009 UT–Battelle received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding worth more than $338 million that has enabled construction of a new chemical material sciences building and upgrades to the Jaguar supercomputer.