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Energy Secretary Perry visits Ames Laboratory

Adam Schwartz, Director, Ames Laboratory, 515-294-2770
Alissa Brammer, Communications Manager, 515-294-1048

AMES, IOWA – Energy Secretary Rick Perry made his first visit to the Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory on Tuesday where he toured the facilities, met with Laboratory leadership and scientists, and thanked staff for their work in materials research.

“You come here each day, dedicated to changing the world through discovery, innovation, and technology commercialization,” Perry said, in a meeting with the leadership and staff of the Laboratory. “Your work makes a profound difference in people’s lives, even if it happens in ways we cannot see and ways we may never know.”

Ames Laboratory scientist Vitalij Pecharsky (right) explains the CaloriSMART system to Energy Secretary Rick Perry during a tour of Ames Laboratory.

During his visit, scientists demonstrated the Laboratory’s gas atomization method of producing fine metal powders, used in multiple industries for parts manufacturing. The technology reduces production costs and improves product quality, and has earned the Laboratory 16 patents in the last two decades.

Perry spoke with the director and researchers from the Laboratory’s Critical Materials Institute, an Energy Innovation Hub dedicated to finding better ways to replace, recycle, and reuse rare earth metals and other materials used in clean energy technologies.

Researchers gave the Secretary a tour of CaloriSMART, a test facility that evaluates caloric materials for their use in next-generation energy saving refrigeration technology.

Perry also spoke with the Lab’s experts in computational physics and chemistry, materials preparation, and catalytic materials, and toured the Sensitive Instrument Facility, which holds the Lab’s state-of-the-art electron microscopy equipment.

“The fundamental materials science being done here touches on so many areas of our lives: From clean energy technologies such as wind turbines and electric vehicles to mobile phones and laptops to a whole range of military applications,” said Perry.

“We are enormously pleased to host Secretary Perry today,” said Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz. “Our chemistry, physics, and materials sciences are key aspects of the Department of Energy’s mission to promote technological innovation as a foundation of American economic prosperity.”

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