UT-Battelle’s ORNL Contract Renewed

KNOXVILLE — The U.S. government has extended its management contract for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the University of Tennessee and the Battelle Memorial Institute.

The contract extension, worth $4.8 billion, runs through 2010.

UT-Battelle manages the Oak Ridge lab, which has an annual budget of almost $1 billion and conducts research in computing, physics, materials science, energy and homeland security.

Dr. Jack Britt, UT executive vice president, said the renewal shows that the U.S. Department of Energy was pleased with UT-Battelle’s stewardship of the lab.

“UT and Battelle joined forces to win this contract in 1999, and to see it renewed is a testament to the quality of work we’re doing together to manage ORNL,” he said.

Britt said some of that new technology will come from the Spallation Neutron Source, a device expected to peer into the heart of matter and shed light on its composition.

“The SNS will come online during this next five-year period, and it will position the lab and UT to be world leaders in neutron-source technology,” Britt said.

UT and ORNL have several joint institutes in the facility, Britt said, focusing on nanotechnology, biological science, materials science and computational science.

“Essentially we have an extended campus at the lab, which is a great place for us to do close collaborative work.”

The partnership between UT and Battelle has been very beneficial to the university, Britt said.

“This management opportunity really enhances UT’s research portfolio,” he said. “Such research ultimately leads to new technology and new jobs for Tennesseans, and it’s a way to take the brainpower of our faculty and students and turn it into something valuable for everyone.”