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Tribute To Dr. Bill Madia

Rep. Zach Wamp

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Mr. Speaker, just over 3 years ago, the University of Tennessee-Battelle team took over the contract to operate the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN. Our Lab Director, Dr. Bill Madia will soon be leaving ORNL to take a new position. I would like to take a moment today to recognize Bill's tremendous accomplishments and thank him for all he has done in East Tennessee.

Bill came to ORNL with over 25 years of experience in research and research management, with more than 15 years leading public and private research labs. That experience is evident in all the recent successes of ORNL, including receiving the laboratory's first-ever ``outstanding'' rating for overall performance from the Department of Energy for fiscal year 2002.

Under his watch, the construction of the Nation's largest civilian science project, the Spallation Neutron Source, has moved forward on time, on budget and on scope. Adjacent to SNS, atop Chestnut Ridge, is the site for the Center for Nanophase Materials Science, the first of DOE's Nanoscience centers. Another new facility is the recently completed Center for Computational Sciences, one of the world's most modern computer laboratories.

Along with these examples of cutting edge major research user facilities, Bill tackled the needs of a laboratory that dated back to the Manhattan Project. In June 2003, only 16 months after breaking ground, ORNL celebrated completion of the first of 12 new facilities in the Laboratory's ambitious modernization program. The new buildings represent an unprecedented partnership among the private, state, and federal sectors. This unique effort can be attributed to Dr. Bill Madia.

In the Oak Ridge community, Bill Madia has been active in promoting economic growth and providing leadership in the role that science and technology can play in education, the workplace, and our daily lives. He has served on the boards of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, East Tennessee Economic Council, and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. He has also been supportive of the next generation of scientists by supporting funding for high school science laboratories and the University of Tennessee's Academy for Math and Science.

Mr. Speaker, Bill has contributed mightily to the Lab's success during his tenure in East Tennessee. I am pleased he will continue his commitment to the lab and our community by serving as a member of the UT-Battelle Board of Directors. In my judgment, he is by far the greatest, most innovative ``lab director'' in the United States. He is my personal friend and I will miss him very much.

However, because of his amazing vision and tireless work, the people of Oak Ridge, East Tennessee and the Nation face a brighter, more prosperous future. I would like to thank Dr. Bill Madia for his remarkable leadership and extraordinary commitment to the great state of Tennessee.