March 1, 2007
Vol. 26 No. 11

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    Argonne Lab gets high marks from DOE

    By Lisa La Vallee
    News Office

    The University received high marks for its management and operation of Argonne National Laboratory in each of eight categories on its fiscal year 2006 report card from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

    Though the DOE has always issued report cards for performance in the past, this year’s appraisal process is unique in that it provides a common structure and scoring system across all 10 Office of Science laboratories. It has moved the assessment methodology to focus on the value-added provided by the contractor and the systems they put in place to manage and operate the laboratories. The new process went into effect for fiscal year 2006, which ended Sept. 30, 2006.

    Argonne received grades of A for mission accomplishment, business systems, and for security and emergency management, and grades of A-minus for construction and operation of research facilities; science and technology project development and program management; and contractor leadership and stewardship. In the remaining categories, Argonne received a B-plus for facilities maintenance and infrastructure, and a B in environmental safety and health.

    “The DOE’s assessment reflects the tremendous focus we’ve placed on improvement over the past year,” said Argonne Director Robert Rosner. “We also know that our performance can be improved, particularly in the general areas of environmental safety and health, and project management; and we have already made significant strides forward in all of these areas since the start of the new contract in October 2006.”

    Next year, the University will be graded not only for its management of Argonne via UChicago Argonne, LLC, but also for its management of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a contract recently awarded to Fermi Research Alliance, LLC, a partnership between the University and Universities Research Association.

    “Overall, we are very pleased with the DOE’s assessment of our performance in managing and operating Argonne and we look forward to applying the knowledge, experience and lessons learned to our new role in co-managing Fermilab,” said President Zimmer, who is Chairman of UChicago Argonne, LLC. “Both laboratories are fortunate to possess strong leadership and highly committed board members, in addition to a myriad of collaborative opportunities. These advantages will enable us to achieve extraordinary science and technological advances in the years to come in accordance with the goals set forth by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.”