Ames Laboratory Performance Reaches New Heights in 2011

Laboratory scores a grade of A- in Science and Technology

Contacts:                                                                                      For Release:  Jan. 4, 2012
Alex King, Director, 515-294-2770
Steve Karsjen, Public Affairs, 515-294-5643

Ames, IA – The state of scientific research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory reached a new performance milestone in 2011.   According to the just released 2011 DOE Laboratory Performance Report Card, Ames Lab received an A- for Mission Accomplishment (Science and Technology).  This grade reflects an improvement from the B+ earned in 2010. 

In a message to employees, Ames Lab Director Alex King reported on the significance of the A- in Mission Accomplishment. “This is the component of the evaluation that reflects our scientific achievements, and it is arguably the most important grade of all.  Notably, the Ames Laboratory is the only DOE national lab to see its Mission Accomplishment grade rise this year.  All of our other grades are at least ‘satisfactory’ too, so this is a very good report for us.”  

Since FY 2006, a standardized Performance Evaluation Management Plan, or PEMP, has been utilized as a means of ensuring that all 10 of the DOE’s Office of Science laboratories are assessed in Science and Technology and Management and Operations against eight common performance goals with multiple objectives.  Other notable Ames Laboratory grades received in 2011 were in areas such as Science and Technology Program Management and Contractor Leadership/Stewardship.  Both of these areas received grades of B+. (Note that a B+ rating “meets expectations.”)  Ames Laboratory grades in all eight performance areas can be found at:  http://science.energy.gov/lpe/performance-appraisal-process/fy-2011/).  A copy of the Ames Laboratory’s 2011 PEMP can be found at:  http://www.ameslab.gov/operations/resources/performance-measures.

The PEMP report also represents an evaluation of the scientific, managerial and operational performance of the contractors who manage and operate the 10 DOE national labs.  These evaluations provide the basis for determining annual contractor performance fees and the possibility of winning additional years on contracts through an “award term” extension.  A significant result of the Ames Laboratory’s high marks in scientific performance in 2011 will be the granting of a 12-month extension of the Iowa State University contract to operate the Ames Lab for the DOE.

“We are certainly pleased with the Ames Laboratory’s report card and the Department of Energy’s 12-month extension of Iowa State’s contract to operate the laboratory,” said ISU Vice President for Business and Finance Warren Madden.  “The lab creates exciting collaborations and opportunities for our faculty and students.  As the contractor, Iowa State is pleased to be one of the few DOE laboratories to see improvement in its evaluation. This report card makes it clear the Ames Laboratory is producing science and technology that can help meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

In reflecting on the contribution of employees in helping the Ames Laboratory achieve its high performance marks in 2011, Director Alex King said, “This outcome reflects the hard work and smart choices of every individual and team in the Lab. Good job, all of you!”

The Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. The Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.