Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory, a Department of Energy national research laboratory, collaborate in training tomorrow's scientists and engineers. Approximately 20% of the Ames Lab's workforce is made up of Iowa state students, giving both undergrads and graduate students hands-on opportunities to work with world-class scientists and use scientific instruments available at national laboratories.
This week, Iowa State and the Ames Lab partnered to launch the Critical Materials Institute, one of five DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The CMI will bring together top researchers from universities, national laboratories and the private sector to find innovative technology solutions to avoid critical materials supply shortages. Economic projections are that valuable critical materials could experience worldwide supply deficits of up to 30% by 2016.
And why are critical materials so critical? Many critical materials are necessary ingredients in clean energy technologies -- like hybrid cars, compact-fluorescent light bulbs, and some wind turbines -- and in many military technologies. Critical materials are also in many of the personal electronics we can't live without (or wouldn't want to) including cell phones, laptop computers, tablets and televisions.
CMI by the numbers:
- $120 million in funding over five years leveraged from the U.S. Department of Energy
- 60 expected new hires, in high-paying, high-tech jobs
- The 18 project partners are comprised of four national laboratories, seven research universities and seven industrial partners, all led by the Ames Laboratory
Did you know? Iowa State is the only university nationwide that has a U.S. Department of Energy research laboratory physically located on its campus. The Ames Lab has 65 years of working with a group of materials called the rare earths, and has been a world leader in rare-earth science for most of its history.
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