as research for the Manhattan Project during World War II, turned into the Ames Project at Iowa State College (as it was called at the time). In 1947, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission founded what we now know as the Ames Laboratory.
this year, the Ames Lab is one of only 17 national laboratories for U.S. Department of Energy.
The Ames Lab is a leader of clean energy challenges, researching better materials for improved magnets, biofuels, solar cells, and other technologies central to our 21st century lives, but its history dates back to a time far before the use of lead-free solder cell phones.
During World War II, researchers worked to develop efficient ways to purify large quantities of uranium for atomic weapons and energy. The Ames Project produced
more than two million pounds of high-purity uranium, advancing wartime efforts. The newly discovered uranium-purification process was so efficient and cost effective that it is still in use today.
With a world-class reputation and a long history of scientific breakthroughs,
the Ames Lab seeks solutions to energy-related problems of national concern through the exploration of physics, chemistry, engineering, applied mathematics, and materials sciences.
Did you know? Iowa State is the only university in the nation that has a U.S. Department of Energy research laboratory physically located on its campus. The partnership benefits everyone involved - the university offers a pipeline of student and faculty talent, while the Ames Lab provides students with hands-on experiences to solve real-world problems.
Members of the original team of scientists and students involved in the purification process reunited 40 years after the Ames Project began.
The boulder on campus with the plaque marks the spot where 2 million pounds of uranium metal were produced for the Manhattan Project.