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Ames Laboratory Receives High Marks on Annual Report Card

Lab Achieves New Level Of Excellence For Science And Technology 
Project/Program Management In Department Of Energy Appraisal

For release: Feb. 10, 2009

Alex King, Ames Laboratory Director, 515-294-2770
Steve Karsjen, Public Affairs, 515-294-5643



AMES, Iowa—The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory received high marks in Science and Technology Project/Program Management in 2008 as part of the DOE Office of Science's laboratory appraisal process.

Using a report card method, the Office of Science annually evaluates its 10 laboratories for their performance in scientific, technological, management and operational performance. The appraisal process provides for a common structure and scoring system across all 10 science labs. The assessment methodology focuses on the value-added provided by DOE's laboratory contractors and the systems they put in place to manage and operate the laboratories for the DOE. Ames Laboratory's contractor is Iowa State University.

For 2008, Ames Laboratory's Science and Technology/Program Management grade is an "A-," which is up from a "B" in 2007. Under the DOE system, grades above a B+ indicate a degree of performance that exceeds expectations.

"Rising from a B to an A- reflects a whole lot of hard work on the part of everyone at the Laboratory, with some especially notable standouts," said Alex King, Ames Lab director. "I am grateful to all of you for the efforts that have gained DOE's attention and recognition."

In addition to science and technology, the Laboratory maintained the same overall grade level it achieved in 2007 for the management and operation of the Lab. In particular, the Environment, Safety and Health goal received an A, which was the highest grade for any goal at the Laboratory.

The annual DOE evaluation is important to the Laboratory for several reasons. First, it's the most formal indication of how well the Laboratory is doing each year. Second, the letter grades have a direct impact on the magnitude of the management fee that Iowa State earns for operating the Lab, and third, the Lab's overall 2008 performance puts it on track to meet the performance objectives that will keep ISU from having to recompete for the Lab's contract after five years. The most recent Ames Laboratory contract went into effect on Jan. 1, 2007.

To view Ames Laboratory's report card go here on the Department of Energy's Web site. The site has an explanation of the grading criteria and lists reports for all the Office of Science laboratories for the past several years.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University. The Lab conducts research into various areas of national concern, including the synthesis and study of new materials, energy resources, high-speed computer design, and environmental cleanup and restoration.