Mr. President, I rise today to recognize a true leader in the science community and to thank him for his hard work on behalf of Tennessee and the Nation. After 3 years as Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dr. Bill Madia will be stepping down to return to Battelle headquarters in Columbus, OH as the Executive Vice President for Laboratory Operations. During his tenure in Oak Ridge, Bill has had a tremendous impact not only on the laboratory, but on the Oak Ridge community as well.
Bill Madia came to ORNL to continue the lab's tradition of world-class scientific research dating back to the Manhattan Project, and to advance its work on critical Department of Energy missions. His presence was felt immediately, as he took on an ambitious laboratory revitalization effort which included building new facilities to expand research capabilities, upgrading existing facilities to enhance ongoing research, and tearing down outdated facilities to relieve the lab from unnecessary overhead costs.
The cornerstone of this revitalization effort is the Spallation Neutron Source, a $1.4 billion dollar user facility that will be the most powerful machine of its kind in the world. Under Bill's watchful eye, the SNS has remained on schedule and on-budget. Alongside the SNS is the site for the new Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, the first of DOE's cutting-edge nanoscience centers. Down the hill is the upgraded High Flux Isotope Reactor; the combination of these three facilities has ORNL poised to become a premier neutron science laboratory.
Bill's vision for ORNL also includes scientific computing, and with the recent completion of the Center for Computational Sciences, one of the most modern computer laboratories in the world, ORNL is ready to be a major participant in the Department of Energy's high-end supercomputing programs.
On the biological sciences front, the old ``Mouse House'' is being replaced with a new facility, the Laboratory for Comparative and Functional Genomics. This updated lab will keep ORNL on the cutting edge of genetic research utilizing the mouse colony to address the need to study gene function and apply that knowledge to curing human diseases. For this research ORNL is participating in a statewide effort known as the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium, a group that includes the University of Tennessee/Knoxville, the University of Tennessee/Memphis, Vanderbilt University, the University of Memphis, St. Jude Children's Hospital, Meharry Medical College and East Tennessee State University.
Bill's leadership and commitment have truly made a difference at ORNL and throughout Tennessee, and I thank him for his service. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
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