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For release: Jan. 2, 2008

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



AMES, Iowa—Alex King began his duties as director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory on Jan. 1, 2008.  King becomes Ames Laboratory's fourth director.

King will lead a staff of over 400 employees, including more than 240 scientists and engineers.  Ames Laboratory conducts basic and applied research in the chemical, materials, mathematical, engineering and environmental sciences, and physics in support of the DOE's mission and vision.  The Laboratory's estimated FY08 budget is $30 million.

"I am excited to assume the director position at the Ames Laboratory at this critical time for our nation's energy future," said King. "Ames Laboratory's scientists are well positioned to make unique contributions to DOE's research thrusts in the physical sciences, and I look forward to helping them find new opportunities that will lead to the strengthening and growth of the Ames Laboratory."

King's appointment as Ames Laboratory director was announced in October.  He was chosen for the director position following a nationwide search conducted by a 14-member search committee following private and public interviews on the ISU campus in August and September.  He succeeds Tom Barton, who served as Ames Laboratory director from 1988 to February 2007, when he resumed teaching at Iowa State University.  Alan Goldman, division director of Science and Technology at Ames Laboratory, had served as interim director since Barton's resignation.  

Prior to becoming Ames Laboratory director, King served as professor and head of the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University, a position he'd held since 1999. Prior to that, he was a member of the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, from 1981 to 1999.  King also served as Vice Provost for Graduate Studies at Stony Brook from 1987 to 1992.  He was a research associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1979 to 1981.  He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Metallurgy and Science of Materials at the University of Oxford, England, in 1979.

King received a bachelor's degree (1975) in physical metallurgy from the University of Sheffield, England, and a doctorate in metallurgy and the science of materials from the University of Oxford in 1979.  In 2007, King was a distinguished lecturer in materials science and engineering at ISU.  He is a past chair of the Gordon Conference on Physical Metallurgy, past president of the Materials Research Society and a fellow of the American Society of Materials and the Institute of Materials of the United Kingdom.

King is an editor of four books and has published 108 journal articles and 145 refereed conference proceedings, book chapters, extended abstracts, book reviews and other short contributions.  He has given more than 100 presentations at conferences, symposia and colloquia around the world.  King's professional service includes membership on numerous committees for national and international symposia and committees.

He was a Jefferson Science Fellow in the U.S. Department of State, in 2005-06, where he served in the role of senior science advisor for the Bureau of African Affairs.

Ames Laboratory, celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2007, is operated for the Department of Energy 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.



Note to Editors:  For a high-resolution photo of Dr. Alexander King, please contact Kerry Gibson at