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Chapter 9: Global Outreach

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THE BUSH VISIT: MOLDING THE FUTURE 

On February 19, 1992, President George Bush visited the Laboratory to witness the signing of a $3.6 million, three-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between the Laboratory and Coors Technical Ceramics Company. The agreement, co-signed by Joseph Coors, Jr., president of Coors, and Director Alvin Trivelpiece, could lead to precisely shaped ceramic parts for multiple uses, including the highly efficient and durable high-temperature engines of the future. 

During his February 1992 visit to ORNL, President Bush speaks to Laboratory Director Alvin Trivelpiece as Secretary of Energy Admiral James Watkins (left) and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander (right) look on. Joseph Coors, president of Coors, signs a CRADA on ceramics with ORNL.
During his February 1992 visit to ORNL, President Bush speaks to Laboratory Director Alvin Trivelpiece as Secretary of Energy Admiral James Watkins (left) and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander (right) look on. Joseph Coors, president of Coors, signs a CRADA on ceramics with ORNL.

"You're pointing our country toward the next American century," President Bush told the 800 Laboratory employees who attended the signing ceremony. "This agreement," he said, "combines in one place the resources of government with the energy and inventiveness of private enterprise." He added that the future of U.S. competitiveness in the world marketplace depends on research and development. 

President Bush was only the second U.S. president to visit the Laboratory (unless you count Zachary Taylor, whose remains were analyzed for arsenic in 1991). President Jimmy Carter visited ORNL in 1978. 

President Bush delivered his message in front of the High Temperature Materials Laboratory, which he toured. He cited this CRADA as one in a series of pathbreaking initiatives that would help overcome the obstacles government currently faces in sharing its technology with private industry. CRADAs are research partnerships between government laboratories and private companies made possible by the National Competitiveness Technology Act of 1989. 

President Bush called the High Temperature Materials Laboratory "a world-class advanced materials testing facility" that would be instrumental in helping "American industry...take a world lead in making precision ceramic parts. We're in a race with other nations in this multimillion-dollar market, and we will get there first with the best product, thanks to the hard work of the people right here and the imagination of your scientists." 

The president said that the Laboratory and Coors researchers would "attack one of the obstacles to wider use of durable, efficient, and lightweight ceramic parts—machining ceramics without destroying their desirable qualities." The collaborative work, which will also involve staff members of the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant, will take place largely in the new Ceramic Manufacturability Center in the High Temperature Materials Laboratory. 

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