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Energy Secretary Moniz dedicates new research facility at Ames Laboratory

Contacts:                                                                                                    For Release: May 9, 2016
Adam Schwartz, Director, Ames Laboratory (515) 294-2770
Laura Millsaps, Public Affairs, Ames Laboratory (515) 294-3474

AMES, IOWA—Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz emphasized the role of materials research in clean energy innovation Friday at the dedication of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory Sensitive Instrument Facility.

Moniz led laboratory leadership, researchers and employees in the ribbon-cutting for the $9.9 million building, funded by the DOE’s Office of Science and constructed at the Applied Sciences Complex of the Laboratory’s contractor, Iowa State University. The facility holds $6 million in state-of-the-art electron microscopy equipment, and is specially sited and designed to protect the microscopes from the vibrations and electromagnetic interference that compromise their accuracy. The microscopes were funded by the DOE, Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University.

“Ames Laboratory is one of our 17 national laboratories. It certainly isn’t our largest in terms of budget, but it is the one that has the absolutely strongest integration with a university. That’s partly the physical presence on the campus, but it’s also a question of relationship and attitude,” said Moniz. “It amplifies the impact of this laboratory even beyond its exceptional scientific performance.”

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz cuts the ribbon to officially dedicate Ames Laboratory's new Sensitive Instrument Facility with assistance from Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz (left) and Iowa State University President Steven Leath (right).

Moniz emphasized the connection between the Ames Laboratory’s accomplishments in materials research and technology transfer as well as the expanded capabilities of the SIF, to the federal government’s effort to promote clean energy technologies.

“Materials are at the heart of just about every major advance that you can think of, for the department and our missions, and in particular the clean energy mission. There is no doubt about it.”

Moniz also delivered the address at Iowa State University’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 7.

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. 

DOE’s 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