ASU Partners With Argonne National Laboratory For Research

By Andrew Bernier
Published: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 10:39am
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(Photo Courtesy of ASU)
Mark Peters, associate laboratory director for Energy and Global Security at Argonne National Laboratory, and Nadya Bliss, director of ASU’s Global Security Institute, sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions.

Arizona State University is well known for its work with outside organizations. Now, they are embarking on a partnership with a renowned national laboratory to take on the planet’s biggest problems.

ASU has announced a partnership agreement with the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory based in Illinois. The two organizations are to take on some of the world’s most complex challenges. 

“What people are calling “wicked” problems,” said Nadya Bliss, who works at ASU.

She says the interdisciplinary nature of ASU and the Argonne Lab, being a multi-purpose research facility, makes the partnership ideal for taking on systemic problems.

“These types of problems have often conflicting dependencies and no real solutions, just kind of managing various objectives and require interdisciplinary teams addressing some of the wickedness in the problems that we face,” Bliss said.

The two agencies have already worked together. One project developed an artificial leaf that runs on solar energy to convert water into hydrogen fuel. Another project underway is to develop computational platforms to help decision makers assess climate change impacts.

“It became a natural after we had a couple of projects under our belts that the two institutions really could collaborate, especially on these really big wicked problems and why don’t we put a vehicle in place that would help to foster the collaborations and start getting the various scientists on each side associated with each other” said Pamela Sydelko with Argonne.

The initial partnership structure is set for the next five years.