There’s a lot going on in the realm of critical minerals these days – and that does not only apply to policy, but also personnel changes.
After five years of building and leading the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a Department of Energy research hub under the auspices of Ames Laboratory, its Director Dr. Alex King is stepping down towards the end of this month. Ames Laboratory has announced that King will be succeeded by Dr. Chris Haase, who currently serves as Senior Director for New Business Creation at GE ventures, and previously served in several other roles focused on “early-stage technology and product development.”
King can look back at five very successful years at the helm of CMI. The hub was created in 2013 with the goal of “bring[ing] together the best and brightest research minds from universities, national laboratories and the private sector to find innovative technology solutions that will help us avoid a supply shortage [for critical minerals] that would threaten our clean energy industry as well as our security interests.”
Under King’s leadership, CMI has indeed become the nation’s “premier research, development and deployment institute for critical materials, alloys, oxides and processing solutions,” prompting us at ARPN to closely follow its activities and dedicate our blog feature series “Materials Science Profiles of Progress” to the public-private partnerships CMI and Ames Laboratory have engaged in to further the cause of alleviating our critical mineral resource supply challenges.
Since 2013, the research hub has engaged in at least 36 collaborative research projects. While most of these were initially focused on Rare Earth Elements, Ames Lab recently announced that CMI will be expanding its research on tech metals “as rapid growth in electric vehicles drives demand for lithium, cobalt,” focusing on maximizing the efficiency of processing, usage and recycling of Lithium and Cobalt starting this summer.
Among the projects ARPN has so far featured are:
- Materials Science Profiles of Progress: CMI Announces New Partnership to Recover REEs from E-Waste
- REE Extraction From Coal
- CMI Public-Private Partnership Studies New Ways to Capture Gateway Metals and Critical Co-Products
- Researchers Turn to Bioengineered Bacteria to Recover REEs
Haase, who will officially take over on June 25, plans to “use his unique blend of technical knowledge and operational planning to expand CMI’s diversity of funding sponsors to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Institute,” and is “excited to help CMI continue to increase its partnerships and collaborations on innovative projects that bridge fundamental and applied sciences for market-relevant technological breakthroughs.”
Congratulations to Alex King on a great five years at the helm of CMI, and we look forward to seeing Haase “help CMI continue to increase its partnerships and collaborations on innovative projects that bridge fundamental and applied sciences for market-relevant technological breakthroughs.”