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Chapter 9: Global Outreach

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DIRECTOR ALVIN TRIVELPIECE 

Selected in 1988 to succeed Herman Postma as Laboratory director, Alvin Trivelpiece shared the dual expertise of Eugene Wigner and Alvin Weinberg before him. A chemical engineer, Wigner had become a physicist; biophysicist Weinberg had become a nuclear physicist. Trivelpiece was an electrical engineer who became a physicist.

Alvin Trivelpiece

Trivelpiece earned his doctorate in electrical engineering in 1955 and taught the subject at the University of California for years. In 1966, he went to the University of Maryland as a professor of physics while serving as the assistant director of fusion research for the AEC. After working in private laboratories and technological companies in California, he returned to Washington in 1981 as director of the DOE Office of Energy Research. He was serving as an executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science when selected as Laboratory director. 

Extensive knowledge of both engineering and science is important in managing such an amalgam of science and technology as Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Trivelpiece had that depth of knowledge and, in addition, had worked in government, academia, and industry. This broad experience was excellent preparation for leading the Laboratory into new partnerships with universities and industrial firms in efforts to achieve faster technology transfer to the commercial marketplace. 

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