Clemson will play a significant role in advancing the nation’s environmental, energy, and national security research and workforce development efforts as a member of the Battelle Savannah River Alliance that will now manage the Savannah River National Laboratory.
Clemson faculty have worked with scientists at SRNL for three decades to study solutions to nuclear waste storage, advanced materials, environmental protection and energy security. The long-standing relationship has resulted in numerous internships for undergraduate and graduate students who have conducted research with SRNL scientists and Clemson faculty. The new partnership is expected to bring even more opportunities.
“This historic partnership expands on our world-class workforce development efforts and opens a pipeline of scientific discovery and innovation that should benefit the entire state of South Carolina,” said Clemson president Jim Clements. “I’d like to thank Gov. McMaster and our state leaders for supporting this endeavor that will provide unique opportunities for our faculty and students while uplifting the state’s economy.”
As a member of the BSRA team, Clemson experts will provide technical support on environmental remediation, waste management, materials science, computational modeling, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and numerous other research topics.
“Workforce development will be central to our work at SRNL,” said Tanju Karanfil, Clemson’s vice president for research who will serve on a board of directors overseeing management of the lab. “This close partnership with Battelle and SRNL will nurture a skilled workforce that will be ready to lead the energy sector into the future.”
The contract DOE awarded to BSRA includes a five-year base with five one-year options. The estimated value of the contract is $3.8 billion over the course of 10 years if all options are exercised. Other members of the alliance are Georgia Tech, South Carolina State University, University of Georgia and University of South Carolina, as well as small business partners Longenecker and Associates and TechSource.
This marks the first time the U.S. Department of Energy has issued a management contract for the lab separate from the Savannah River Site contract. BSRA is led and wholly owned by Battelle, which already has a management role at seven other DOE national labs.