Globally recognized research and development leader Chris Heckle has been appointed as the first director of the Materials Manufacturing Innovation Center (MMIC) at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.
Argonne established the MMIC with the goal of bringing advanced materials and chemical manufacturing technologies — including energy storage and others essential for the clean energy transition — to market faster, by cultivating and sustaining partnerships between the laboratory and the private sector, DOE, universities, and other stakeholders.
Heckle most recently served as Research Director for Inorganic Materials Research and Asia Research Labs for Corning Incorporated. She is a materials informatics champion who over a 25-year career has facilitated technology innovation across business units for multiple industries, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. She brings to Argonne experience in creating a manufacturing platform that opened new market opportunities for Corning in energy storage, as well as a demonstrated record of translating megatrends into technical thrusts and accelerating product timelines through introduction and adoption of new tools.
"I'm thrilled for this opportunity to support materials and chemical processing companies by connecting stakeholders and Argonne's impressive variety of capabilities and people," Heckle said. "And I'm passionate about people development, which is essential to prepare a new generation of technology and manufacturing leaders for our nation."
To help partners commercialize new materials, Argonne manufacturing experts leverage a one-of-a-kind combination of facilities — including the Materials Engineering Research Facility, Advanced Photon Source, and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility — to rapidly develop and scale up materials discovered at the laboratory bench (gram-scale) to commercially relevant quantities (hundreds of kilograms) produced using cost-effective, scalable processes.
"We are pleased that Chris has chosen to join our team," said Megan Clifford, Associate Laboratory Director for Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach at Argonne. "Her deep technical knowledge and record of innovation and motivational leadership will guide the laboratory in making meaningful and long-lasting partner connections, to fulfill the MMIC mission of advancing U.S. technological leadership in materials manufacturing at a critical time."
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