Department of Energy Awards ORNL, UT-Battelle High Marks for Scientific Research

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The Department of Energy has awarded UT-Battelle a performance evaluation of “A” for the quality and productivity of the company’s research and development and for its science and technology program management at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. DOE’s “report card” comes after an evaluation of performance from October 2005 though September 2006.

The Department of Energy used eight performance goals to evaluate contractor management at 10 DOE laboratories. The performance goals included evaluation of leadership in science and technology, the laboratory’s operation of programs and facilities, and safety performance.

UT-Battelle’s total fee for operating ORNL in 2006 is $10,379,000, or 97 percent of the maximum fee. The 97 percent fee award is the highest in history for management of ORNL.

“This is a tremendous testament to the success of our managing partnership of ORNL,” said University of Tennessee President and UT-Battelle Chairman John Petersen. “We’ve set high goals for what can be accomplished in all facets of the lab, and the team we have assembled has consistently exceeded those goals.”

Lab officials viewed 2006 as one of most successful in history. Among the year’s highlights was the completion on time and on budget of the $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source, the world’s leading center for materials research. The Laboratory remained on pace to build the world’s most powerful unclassified supercomputer, surpassing the target of 100 trillion calculations per second.

DOE noted ORNL’s success in energy-related research, where scientists made breakthroughs in the effort to develop ethanol from switchgrass. In 2006 DOE awarded ORNL the leadership role for coordinating the $1.122 billion U.S. effort in the ITER international fusion experiment in France.

ORNL Director and UT-Battelle CEO Jeff Wadsworth said the Laboratory’s performance evaluation “is fitting recognition for the fantastic job of the ORNL staff. Whether in science, operations, safety or community outreach, our staff members have adopted the goal of achieving world-class standards in everything they do.”

ORNL’s safety record in 2006 included a 75 percent reduction in construction injuries from 2005. In the Oak Ridge region, UT-Battelle dedicated a new technology park and provided $10,000 signing bonuses to attract math and science teachers to rural schools.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.


Billy Stair, ORNL, (865-574-4160)