Ames Laboratory director finalists named

Five finalists have been named in the search for the director of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory.

The finalists are:

  • Emilio Bunel, division director, chemical sciences and engineering, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.
  • Alan Hurd, executive adviser, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M.
  • Duane Johnson, chief research officer, Ames Laboratory
  • Adam Schwartz, division director, condensed matter and materials, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif.
  • Patricia Thiel, faculty scientist, Ames Laboratory

Open forums

Finalist interviews will begin next week. Each finalist will meet with members of the Ames Laboratory and Iowa State communities and participate in an open forum. All forums will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon in 301 Spedding. The schedule is:

  • Bunel, Monday, Jan. 27
  • Thiel, Thursday, Jan. 30
  • Hurd, Tuesday, Feb. 4
  • Johnson, Thursday, Feb. 6
  • Schwartz, Friday, Feb. 14

The open forums will be recorded and posted on the Ames Laboratory website once the final forum has concluded; an online form also will be available to provide feedback on the finalists.

Tom Lograsso, division director of materials sciences, has been serving as interim director of the lab.

The Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State.

About the finalists

Emilio Bunel currently serves as director of the chemical and engineering sciences division at Argonne National Laboratory. Bunel earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Chile and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He previously served in research positions at DuPont, Eli Lilly and Co., Amgen and Pfizer before joining Argonne National Laboratory in 2008.

Alan Hurd, executive adviser at Los Alamos National Laboratory, returned to the lab recently from the U.S. Department of State, where he was a Franklin Fellow serving as the Secretary's science and technology adviser. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from the Colorado School of Mines and master's and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Colorado. He previously served at Brandeis University, Sandia National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico and the Santa Fe Institute.

Duane Johnson serves as chief research officer at the Ames Laboratory and is the F. Wendell Miller Professor of Energy Science in Iowa State's department of materials science and engineering. Johnson earned bachelor's and doctorate degrees in physics from the University of Cincinnati. He previously served at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Sandia National Laboratories before joining Iowa State in 2010.

Adam Schwartz currently serves as division leader of the condensed matter and materials division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and also leads the lab's projects for the Critical Materials Institute. Schwartz earned bachelor's and master's degrees in metallurgical engineering an.d a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, all from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate in 1991.

Patricia Thiel serves as a faculty scientist in the Ames Laboratory. She also is the John D. Corbett Professor of Chemistry and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State. Thiel holds bachelor's and doctorate degrees from Macalester College and the California Institute of Technology, respectively. She previously served at Control Data Corp. and Sandia National Laboratories before joining the Ames Laboratory and Iowa State in 1983.