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Press Release

NNSA Announces University Contracts
Jan 13, 2003

Academic Strategic Alliance Program's Centers of Excellence strengthen national security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, announced today $110 million in contracts for its Academic Strategic Alliance Program's Centers of Excellence. The five recipients and their centers have signed contracts for $22 million dollars each over five years, exercising the renewal options of previous five-year contracts.

The five university-based Centers of Excellence were chosen competitively in 1997 from among almost 50 proposals to create complex computer-based simulations in support of NNSA's Stockpile Stewardship Program. The centers are: California Institute of Technology, Center for Simulating the Dynamic Response of Materials; Stanford University, Center for Integrated Turbulence Simulations; University of Chicago, Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets; and the University of Utah, Center for the Simulation of Accidental Fires & Explosions.

Acting NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks said, "Collaborations involving our national weapons laboratories and U.S. universities provide significant contributions to the science and technology required for the continued safety, security and reliability of our nuclear weapons stockpile. They are also a key means of recruiting the next generation of scientists and engineers needed to maintain the outstanding capabilities of our national laboratories."

The renewal proposals were subjected to an intense and extensive peer review by subject matter experts. The decision to extend the original five-year program for a final five years was based on the accomplishments and quality of the ongoing work as determined by peer review and its value to national security in the Stockpile Stewardship Program.

NNSA is funding the contracts to:

  • Solve science and engineering problems of national importance through the use of large-scale, multidisciplinary modeling and simulation.
  • Enhance overall supercomputer effort by engaging academic experts in computer science, computational mathematics, and simulations of science and engineering.
  • Leverage relevant research in the academic community, including basic science, high-performance computing systems, and computational environments.
  • Strengthen education and research in areas critical to national security, and
  • Strengthen ties among NNSA's weapons laboratories and participating U.S. universities.

NNSA enhances U.S. national security through the military application of nuclear energy, maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, promotes international nuclear non-proliferation and safety, reduces global danger from weapons of mass destruction, provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion, and oversees national laboratories to maintain U.S. leadership in science and technology.

Media contact(s):
Bryan Wilkes 202) 586-7371

Number: NA-03-01