Vanderbilt University and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation hosted Susan Hubbard, deputy director for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and executive vice president for science and technology at UT-Battelle, and Jens Dilling, ORNL director of strategic institutional planning, for a two-day immersion into Vanderbilt’s interdisciplinary research initiatives related to pressing issues in energy, climate and global security.
At ORNL, Hubbard guides one of the nation’s most extensive portfolios of research and development, spanning physical and materials sciences, energy and engineering sciences, computing and computational sciences, biological and environmental sciences, neutron sciences, and global security.
Led by Vice Provost for Research and Innovation Padma Raghavan and her office, Hubbard engaged dozens of Vanderbilt faculty and research labs to explore enhanced collaborations across nanoscience technology and supercomputing, mobility and transportation, biomedical discovery, and climate, energy and environmental solutions.
“As the only Department of Energy Office of Science Laboratory in the Southeast, ORNL is deeply invested in enhancing partnerships and galvanizing a vibrant regional innovation ecosystem, including with core university partners such as Vanderbilt,” Hubbard said. “Vanderbilt has a unique, first-rate interdisciplinary approach to applied research solutions, engaging some of the world’s greatest minds in engineering, biotechnology and biomedicine, education, law and policy to work together to bring solutions to the forefront.”
“Vanderbilt’s long-standing collaboration with Oak Ridge National Lab fuels our engine of discovery, especially as we consider solutions to energy, mobility and climate issues, where Vanderbilt has particular interdisciplinary strengths,” Raghavan said.
Vanderbilt University and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation hosted Susan Hubbard and Jens Dilling from Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a two-day immersion into Vanderbilt’s interdisciplinary research initiatives related to pressing issues in energy, climate and global security. Photos by Vanderbilt University
ORNL, headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the largest U.S. Department of Energy science and energy laboratory and one of the most innovative labs in the world. Since 2004, ORNL has collaborated with Vanderbilt to offer opportunities for university faculty, postdoctoral researchers and students to access ORNL’s world-class facilities as well as develop collaborations with ORNL researchers.
“These opportunities further empower our students and faculty to pursue the pathbreaking questions that address the most complex problems of our time,” said C. Cybele Raver, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “In conjunction with Discovery Vanderbilt, our bold new research initiative, as well as our new climate studies major and other cross-disciplinary efforts, this partnership is one more exciting catalyst for Vanderbilt’s innovation and impact—across local, national and global communities.”
Hubbard presented ORNL’s current priorities to faculty and postdoctoral scholars and highlighted its role in building and hosting world-leading user facilities accessible to scientists worldwide. She also described an exemplar Department of Energy team science project focused on advancing a predictive understanding of multi-scale watershed behavior, emphasizing how new technologies provide an opportunity to seize a “watershed moment” for science.
Vanderbilt community members partnering with ORNL are supported by a faculty liaison, Jason Valentine, who works closely with Vanderbilt faculty; the Office of the Provost; university deans; and Vanderbilt University Medical Center leadership to advance key research themes aligned to Vanderbilt and ORNL priorities. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation manages ORNL travel support available to researchers seeking to use ORNL facilities and collaborate with ORNL researchers. Vanderbilt researchers can request limited travel support to visit ORNL by completing this form.