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Tom Barton, Ames Laboratory, (515) 294-2770
Steve Karsjen, Ames Laboratory Public Affairs, (515) 294-5643
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Tom Barton, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University, is the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Laboratory Director of the Year.

The Laboratory Director of the Year award is given to directors who have made outstanding contributions supporting technology transfer activities at their laboratory. The award will be presented May 7 at the FLC National Meeting in Tucson, Ariz.

"It is an honor to be recognized by the FLC because this organization represents the best in efforts to help federal laboratories, such as the Ames Laboratory, strengthen ties with industry," said Barton. "These ties are essential if we are to help build Iowa's and our nation's economy."

"This is a well-deserved honor for Tom Barton," said Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy. "He has worked tirelessly in shaping the focus of Ames Laboratory and making sure that Ames Lab is accessible to industry. His efforts have helped make the laboratory a rich resource for Iowa business and industry, and it has helped generate economic growth for the state."

The FLC is a nationwide network of more than 700 federal laboratories and centers and their parent departments and agencies. The FLC's primary focus is moving federal laboratory research and technology into the mainstream of the U.S. economy.

"Because of the competitiveness and prestige of the award, being selected as a recipient is an honor which recognizes both the excellence of the director's efforts and the facility's technology transfer program," said Ann Rydalch, chair of the FLC.

Barton has been the director of the Ames Laboratory since 1988. The laboratory has a workforce of approximately 500 employees, more than half of who are scientists and engineers. Its estimated budget for 2003 is $29 million.

The laboratory's technology transfer program provides numerous opportunities for companies to collaborate with the lab, from contract research to licensing of patents. Since 1986, 136 U.S. patents have been issued on technologies resulting from Ames Laboratory research. In addition, Ames Lab research has been the basis for 14 start-up companies. The most recent of these is CombiSep Inc., an Ames, company that manufactures the MCE 2000, a sophisticated instrument for separating and measuring a variety of chemical compounds.

In addition to his duties as director of Ames Laboratory, Barton is also director of Iowa State's Institute for Physical Research and Technology, a position he's held since 1998. He is also a distinguished professor of chemistry in ISU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 1999, Barton was elected a member of the National Advisors Group for the FLC. This select panel of approximately 15 people provides guidance to the FLC in pursuing its technology-transfer goals and making the organization more effective. The group includes senior agency officials, laboratory administrators and industry leaders.

Ames Laboratory is operated for the Department of Energy by Iowa State University. The laboratory conducts research into various areas of national concern, including energy resources, high-speed computer design, environmental cleanup and restoration, and the synthesis and study of new materials. More information about Ames Laboratory can be found at


A downloadable photograph of Tom Barton is available at

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