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May 16, 2012

"Joint initiative expands focus to materials design"

Media Contacts: Brian Grabowski,

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University have appointed Pete Beckman, Director, Exascale Technology and Computing Institute at Argonne, and Peter W. Voorhees, Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern, as co-directors of the Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering.

The institute, established last year, brings together top scientists and engineers – Northwestern faculty and students and Argonne researchers – to collaboratively attack key problems in energy, nanoscience and advanced scientific computing.

Earlier this week, Argonne Director Eric D. Isaacs announced plans to expand the institute’s collaborative efforts to include significant emphasis on cutting-edge materials research in support of President Barack Obama’s Materials Genome Initiative for Global Competitiveness. One aim of the collaborations is to strengthen Chicago’s regional “innovation ecosystem” by linking experts in every aspect of advanced materials science and providing them with direct access to the world’s most advanced tools for materials discovery and characterization.

“As co-directors, Pete Beckman and Peter Voorhees bring vital and complementary expertise to the new Northwestern-Argonne Institute, which promises to have a real and lasting impact on materials science,” Isaacs said at a meeting of science and technology leaders held Monday at the White House. “Their leadership will help provide the tightly knit combination of computation and materials expertise that President Obama envisioned last year when he announced the Materials Genome Initiative.”

Beckman is a supercomputing expert who has designed and built software and architectures for large-scale parallel and distributed computing systems. Voorhees is a computational materials expert whose research employs theory, simulation and experiment in areas from nanotechnology and energy to four-dimensional microscopy.

An effort of the National Science and Technology Council, the Materials Genome Initiative targets building a national ...


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