EM’s Laboratory Partners with University for Excellence in Research

EM’s Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and a South Carolina University have entered a unique partnership that provides for an independent peer review program to ensure the laboratory’s continued high scientific and technical standards.

SRNL and Clemson University signed an agreement establishing the External Review Committee (ERC) managed by Clemson to focus on the laboratory’s scientific and engineering capabilities. SRNL is a multi-program applied research and development laboratory for DOE, applying state-of-the-art science and engineering to provide practical, high-value, and cost-effective solutions for EM’s cleanup as well as nuclear security and clean energy challenges.

The ERC will provide guidance and feedback on technical matters, including core competencies and technical facilities, and highlight opportunities to advance new capabilities through partnerships between the laboratory and university. The committee will depend on independent reviews by researchers at Clemson and universities across the country. Those reviews will help guide future SRNL investments and give a greater depth needed to forge new collaborations with the academic community.

“As a land-grant university, Clemson is working toward a lot of the same goals as the Savannah River National Laboratory — to make South Carolina and our nation stronger, and to protect the environment for future generations,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements.

SRNL Director Terry Michalske said the new collaboration will continue to build the relationship between Clemson and SRNL, opening a new channel for scientific exchange and collaboration.

“Peer review is the backbone of technical excellence. This new institutional partnership will help integrate and elevate the scientific and engineering resources in South Carolina,” Michalske said.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, SRNL’s management and operations contractor, established the ERC with financing from its parent companies of Fluor, Newport News Nuclear, and Honeywell.

“SRNS is pleased that Clemson University, one of the nation’s premier science and technology institutions, has agreed to manage this important function needed to ensure both excellence and success for SRNL,” Fluor Government Group President Bruce Stanski said.

According to the National Academy of Science, external peer reviews are a robust means to evaluate ongoing research programs because they provide objective assessment of relevance, quality, and merit.