larrance@ameslab.gov

Lora L. Larrance

Budget Analyst
Budget Office
Address
231 TASF
The Ames Laboratory
Ames, IA 50011-3020
Phone
515-294-6110
Email
larrance@ameslab.gov

emley@ameslab.gov

Pat A. Emley

Budget Analyst
Budget Office
Address
231 TASF
The Ames Laboratory
Ames, IA 50011-3020
Phone
515-294-5721
Email
emley@ameslab.gov

haugen@ameslab.gov

Ila J. Haugen

Budget Officer
Budget Office
Address
231 TASF
The Ames Laboratory
Ames, IA 50011-3020
Phone
515-294-5722
Email
haugen@ameslab.gov

Office of the Director

Welcome to the Ames Laboratory,  one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 10 Office of Science national laboratories. The Ames Laboratory is located in Ames, Iowa, on the campus of Iowa State University.  Iowa State is the Lab’s contractor.

The Ames Laboratory has invented materials that impact every individual on the face of the earth. It also develops processes and tools that are used worldwide, from manufacturing to gene sequencing.

16 Schools headed to Ames for 7th annual science competition

For release: Feb. 22, 2010

Contacts:
Steve Karsjen, Public Affairs, (515) 294-5643

AMES, Iowa –Teams of middle school students from across the state of Iowa will turn light into power this Friday; power they’ll use to propel model solar cars. Solar car racing is the first half of the two-day, seventh annual Middle School Science Bowl, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University.

On Friday, Feb. 26, students will race their model solar cars at the 3M recreation center off Dayton Road in Ames. On Saturday, Feb. 27, the same 16 teams will participate in an academic competition in Ames Laboratory buildings on campus. During the academic competition, teams consisting of four students plus one alternate will square off in a quiz-bowl competition in which they will answer questions about the physical sciences.

The winner of the Ames Lab/ISU Regional Middle School Science Bowl receives an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the DOE’s National Science Bowl®, April 29 - May 4, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

During the two-day competition, the middle school students will have an opportunity to interact with ISU students, faculty and Ames Lab staff. Members of ISU’s Solar Car Project, Team PrISUm will work with the middle school students during the solar car challenge. On Saturday morning, students, staff and faculty will serve as moderators, judges, scorekeepers and timekeepers for the question-and-answer academic competition.

Middle schools competing in the 2010 Ames Laboratory/ISU Regional Science Bowl are: Anthon-Oto-Maple Valley, Adel-Desoto-Minburn, Boone, Central Academy, Eleanor Roosevelt (Dubuque), Evans (Ottumwa), Homeschools of Eastern Iowa, Johnston, Lynnville-Sully, McKinley (Cedar Rapids), Mediapolis, Mount Vernon, Nodaway Valley, Notre Dame (Burlington), South Hamilton, Walnut.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE 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 challenges.

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Note to editors: A press release with the results of the competition will be issued Monday, March 1. Photos of the winning team from the solar car challenge and the top three finishers in the academic quiz bowl will be available also. If you are interested in receiving images, please contact Kerry Gibson, (515) 294-1405 or kgibson@ameslab.gov.

For release: Feb. 16, 2010

 

Contacts:
Theresa Windus, Associate Scientist, 515-294-6134
Mark Gordon
, Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences, 515-294-0452
Monica Lamm
, Associate Scientist, 515-294-6533
Mark Ingebretsen
, Public Affairs, 515-294-3474

 

AMES, Iowa –Depending on how they form and their chemical composition, clouds reflect and absorb varying amounts of the sun’s energy. That makes them key players in global climate change. Yet the complex molecular processes underlying cloud formation are little understood.

Now, a team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has been awarded the opportunity to study the problem, using one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, located at another DOE facility, Argonne National Laboratory, in Illinois.

“We know that clouds are formed by aerosol particles,” said the team’s principal investigator, Theresa Windus, associate scientist at Ames Laboratory and a professor of chemistry at Iowa State University. “The composition of the aerosols determines if a cloud is made up of a lot of small particles or large particles, which in turn impacts the size of clouds, their longevity and the probability they will produce rain.”

Other scientists taking part in the research include: Mark Gordon, director of the Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences program at the Ames Laboratory and Frances M. Craig distinguished professor of chemistry at ISU; Monica Lamm, Ames Lab associate scientist and ISU assistant professor at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; and Michael Schmidt, Ames Laboratory associate chemist.

The team recently received the DOE’s coveted Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) award, allowing them access to 8 million processor hours on Argonne’s IBM Blue Gene supercomputer.

The amount of processing time is perhaps best understood if you consider a city of 8 million people, in which everyone uses their personal computers to work on the same problem for one hour. In fact, the award received by the Ames Lab team is part of a total of 1.6 billion hours of supercomputing time granted to 69 research teams by the DOE as part of the INCITE program.

 

Image
Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers, left to right,
Theresa Windus, Monica Lamm and Mark Gordon are working to scale
up their computational chemistry tools for the Blue Waters
supercomputer being developed at the University of Illinois
and its National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Performing research on ultra-high-speed computers allows “scientists and engineers to conduct cutting-edge research in just weeks or months rather than the years or decades needed previously,” according to a DOE statement on the INCITE program. “This facilitates scientific breakthroughs in areas such as climate change, alternative energy, life sciences, and materials science.”

 “Computation and supercomputing are critical to solving some of our greatest scientific challenges,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “This year’s INCITE awards reflect the enormous growth in demand for complex modeling and simulation capabilities, which are essential to improving our economic prosperity and global competitiveness.”

 “The Department of Energy has some of the most powerful computers in the world, and the INCITE program provides time on some of them for researchers to perform complex calculations,” said Alex King, Ames Laboratory Director. “Competition for INCITE awards is tough,” he added, “and they go to the best and brightest to address the toughest problems that can be solved today. We are very pleased to be part of this important collaboration between national labs.”

A key tool that will be used in the Ames Lab team’s work is a suite of software programs known as the General Atomic and Molecular Electronic Structure System (GAMESS), which is designed to run on massively parallel supercomputers, such as the one the researchers will use at Argonne. Gordon is the lead developer of GAMESS code, and he has devoted much of his career to its refinement.

The group’s work is expected to generate terabytes worth of novel data. And while other researchers will be able to draw upon that data for future environment-related work, the sheer volume of information available to them may in itself present challenges.

 “The more large-scale computing you do, the more you generate large amounts of data. So the issue arises, how do you best manage that data?” commented Gordon.

 In addition to modeling aerosol formation, the Ames Lab team will use their allotted supercomputer time to simulate the bulk properties of water. As with the group’s work in the area of aerosol formation, the highly detailed modeling of the ways water behaves will provide benchmark data that will greatly facilitate further research into green chemistry, climate change and related areas.

 A third portion of the group’s allotted computer time will consist of running simulations aimed at better understanding how dendrimers, a kind of polymer, can be used to decontaminate water, an effort that could be of significance to millions of people who live in water-deprived developing nations.

 “Clean water is going to be a huge issue as the world’s water resources become increasingly stretched in the years ahead,” noted Monica Lamm, who is heading up the Ames Laboratory team’s decontamination research. “For that reason, the opportunity to have your science run on these machines is very exciting,” Lamm said, adding “and the fact that we don’t know what the results will tell us is also exciting.”

 Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE 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 challenges.