One of the world’s premier research universities, the University of Chicago helps lead the country in scientific and technological innovation in part through its management of two U.S. Department of Energy laboratories. UChicago has contributed its expertise as the prime contractor for Argonne National Laboratory since the lab’s founding in 1946 and as co-contractor with the Universities Research Association for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory since 2007.
Partnerships among the labs and UChicago facilitate collaborative research among UChicago faculty and students and national lab scientists and engineers—with some faculty holding joint appointments within the labs. These broadened research initiatives are strengthened by combining University and lab intellectual and physical resources, paving the way for greater impact in Illinois, the United States, and across the globe.
Argonne National Laboratory
Founded in 1946 as an outgrowth of the Manhattan Project and the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory, Argonne’s broad science and engineering portfolio aims to solve the nation’s most important challenges in energy, the environment, and national security. From designing more efficient jet engines on one of the world’s fastest computers to decoding the proteins behind drug-resistant superbugs at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne research has continued breaking ground for more than six decades. In 2011, advanced battery research, which began over 20 years ago at Argonne, enabled the development of the breakthrough cathode technology that helps power the Chevy Volt. Through advancements like these, Argonne’s research and development touches lives around the globe.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Fermilab is the country’s only national laboratory dedicated to the study of particle physics. It is a user facility for more than 2,000 scientists and students from around the world. In 2011, researchers conducting work at the lab came from 116 U.S. and 140 foreign universities and laboratories. Currently Fermilab is building the nation’s most advanced test facility for superconducting radio-frequency technology. This innovative technology will serve as the model for next-generation accelerators and the future of particle physics.