On Sept. 28, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm joined leadership and top scientists and engineers online at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a two-hour whirlwind tour. At 14 stops, researchers highlighted the lab’s world-class facilities and projects that enable leading-edge scientific discoveries and innovations that address some of the nation’s most compelling scientific and technical challenges.
On behalf of the lab’s 5,700 employees, ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia welcomed the energy secretary, who logged on from her Washington, D.C., office, kicking off the visit with an all-hands meeting where she took questions from ORNL staff.
“Meeting our nation’s brightest scientific minds has been certainly among the very highest highlights of this job,” said Granholm, who was sworn in on Feb. 25.
She expressed her support of basic science and recognized the importance of emerging technologies such as quantum materials that have the potential to transform technology, security and industry.
“The critical role of fundamental research (will) keep the country ahead of the curve throughout the century and ahead of our economic and geopolitical competitors,” Granholm said. “We know that the work that our labs are doing on this today provides the foundational knowledge that we need to solve big problems tomorrow."