Thomas Lograsso has been named interim director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Ames Laboratory.
Lograsso will replace Alex King, who is stepping down to the lead the Laboratory’s Critical Materials Institute, a $120 million DOE Energy Innovation Hub announced in January. Lograsso will assume the directorship as soon as funding for the Critical Materials Institute is received.
“We have had exceptional leadership of the Ames Laboratory under Alex King, and I am confident Tom will maintain the Lab’s momentum as we search for a permanent director,” said Jonathan Wickert, Iowa State University senior vice president and provost.
In a message to Ames Laboratory staff, Lograsso said he was honored by the opportunity to serve during the transition.
"During this transition in leadership, we face several challenges over the next year, first and foremost is the search for and selection of a new Laboratory Director; second, the launch of the Critical Materials Institute; and third, to maintain the current momentum of our core programs," Lograsso said. "I will focus my efforts in these areas as well as several other ongoing efforts, including the completion of the Sensitive Instrument Facility; developing plans for the conceptual design of a new building for our computational efforts; and, continuation of the acquisition of state-of-the-art characterization equipment, which is essential for Ames Laboratory to continue its scientific leadership in key signature areas. Clearly, these are exciting times for our Laboratory."
As the Interim Ames Laboratory Director, Lograsso will primarily focus on representing the Laboratory in DOE, promoting its scientific agenda, and striving to streamline Lab operations. He will appoint a new Interim Deputy Director to serve until the successful completion of an open search for a new Deputy Director. Matthew Kramer will serve as the DMSE Director.
A search committee will be formed in the coming weeks with the goal of naming the Lab’s next director in 2014. The committee will be led by Mufit Akinc, professor of materials science and engineering; and Cynthia Jenks, assistant director for scientific planning, and division director of chemical and biological sciences in the Ames Laboratory.
Lograsso, who holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University, has served as a scientist in the Laboratory since 1988, and is currently interim deputy director, and division director of materials sciences. He is also an adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State.
Lograsso’s research interests include phase transitions in materials, quasicrystalline alloys, and the creation of new metallic alloys and compounds. He holds six patents, and is the author of more than 270 peer-reviewed articles.