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Critical Materials Institute Names New Director

Contacts:                                                                                                                           For Release: May 22, 2018
Adam Schwartz, Ames Laboratory Director, 515-294-2770
Alissa Brammer, Ames Laboratory Communications, 515-294-1048

AMES, Iowa – Dr. Chris Haase has been named Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) at Ames Laboratory. His appointment follows an extensive search and will be effective June 25, 2018.

Created in 2013, CMI is the nation’s premier research, development and deployment institute for critical materials, alloys, oxides and processing solutions. CMI’s team of multi-disciplinary, world-class researchers and technology developers are dedicated to finding innovative solutions and transformational paths to eliminating the criticality of rare earths and other materials in energy-related supply chains.

In announcing the selection of Haase, Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz said, “CMI is poised to begin its next five years as a powerhouse of energy innovation and critical materials solutions, and I am thrilled Dr. Haase will lead CMI during this crucial next phase.”

As the new Director of CMI, Haase plans to use his unique blend of technical knowledge and operational planning to expand CMI’s diversity of funding sponsors to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Institute. “I am excited to help CMI continue to increase its partnerships and collaborations on innovative projects that bridge fundamental and applied sciences for market-relevant technological breakthroughs,” Haase said. 

Throughout his career, Haase has served in many roles focused on early-stage technology and product development, joint industry partnerships, and innovation projects in energy. He is currently the Senior Director for New Business Creation at GE Ventures where he works with entrepreneurs-in-residence to develop and deliver new business solutions. This includes leading market studies and technical feature analyses, framing business decisions, devising market entry strategies, and raising capital.

A former U.S. Department of Defense Fellow and adjunct professor at the United States Naval Academy, Haase has held R&D positions with the Naval Ocean Systems Center (now SPAWAR) and Department of Defense and also served as a 10-year volunteer commercialization advisor for the National Technology Transfer Center and U.S. Missile Defense Agency. An inventor with several patents, Haase received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from the University of Chicago, his M.B.A. from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and his B.S. in Mathematics with Distinction from Ohio State University. 

Haase will replace CMI founding Director Dr. Alex King, who is stepping down at the end of June.

The Critical Materials Institute is a Department of Energy Innovation Hub led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and supported by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, which supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security. CMI seeks ways to eliminate and reduce reliance on rare-earth metals and other materials critical to the success of clean energy technologies.

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

Ames Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit