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  • Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz talks about his vision for Ames Lab during his public forum as a candidate for the position.

  • To meet one of the biggest energy challenges of the 21st century-- finding alternatives to rare-earth elements and other critical materials-- scientists will need new and advanced tools.

    The Critical Materials Institute at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has a new one: a 3D printer for metals research.

    3D printing technology, which has captured the imagination of both industry and consumers, enables ideas to  move quickly from the initial design phase to final form using materials including polymers, ceramics, paper and even food.

    But the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) will apply the advantages of the 3D printing process in a unique way: for materials discovery. By doing so, researchers can find substitutes to critical materials-- ones essential for clean energy technologies but at risk of being in short supply.

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  • As the global middle class grows, so does demand for the scarce elements used to make our cell phones and other gadgets. Alex King and his team at the Critical Materials Institute use science to steer us away from a supply chain shortage of critical materials called "rare earth metals". In ancient civilizations, running out of bronze gave rise to the use of inferior iron, and the collapse of empires. King's work seeks to shorten and mitigate the problems associated with such a scarcity.

    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Ames Laboratory, and Iowa State University marked their newest endeavor in intensive energy research with the official opening of the Critical Materials Institute on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese energy and industrial technology R&D organization, signed a memorandum of understanding today to promote cooperation between the two agencies in rare-earth and critical-materials research.

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