Dignitaries Break Ground on Biological Research Lab

Dignitaries break ground Friday for a new research laboratory set to be constructed on property adjacent to the Los Alamos Cooperative Market at 95 Entrada Dr. From left, Dr. Peter Lammers (NMSU faculty), Bill Enloe (LANB), Secreary David Martin (NM Environment Dept.), Kevin Smith (LASO), Charlie McMillan (LANL), Richard Sayer (LANL/NMC), Sen. Tom Udall, Sharon Stover (LA County Council), Fran Berting (LA County Council) and Katherine Chartrand (NMC). Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, who celebrated his birthday Friday, spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for the New Mexico Consortium Biological Research Laboratory. “What you’re doing today is creating a sustainable future for our children in the U.S. and around the world … I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday,” Udall said. Last September, Udall introduced the Renewable Fuel Parity Act of 2011, a bipartisan initiative to provide legislative parity for algae based biofuels in the Renewable Fuel Standard to incentivize further use of algae biofuels. Udall has also championed the Department of Energy’s algae biofuel research program, which has been funded at $30 million in the past two years. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The Biological Research Laboratory will be utilized by Dr. Richard Sayre and his growing team of researchers. Dr. Sayre is director of the Biofuels Project at NMC and chief scientist for the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts. Their research on domestic algae biofuel aims to increase the energy density of this biofuel, increase overall production and lower its cost. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan spoke about the important work that will be conducted at the new facility. The research is supported by federal funding from the United States Air Force, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Dr. Peter Lammers is a research professor and technical director of the Algal Bioenergy Program at New Mexico State University. Dr. Lammers and Dr. Sayres were postdocs together in Chicago. At Friday’s event, he represented NMSU, which with New Mexico Tech and the University of New Mexico, formed the non-profit New Mexico Consortium under a teaming agreement with the University of California to partner with Los Alamos National Laboratory to advance scientific research and education in New Mexico. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos National Bank CEO Bill Enloe, who is assisting with financing for the new Biological Research Laboratory, spoke about the project. He said that he’s not only excited about the new Lab, but about the model developed to create it, which has potential for future projects. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 Although winds gusted at times during Friday’s groundbreaking event, the setting on the side of the Co-operative Market was quite pleasant with plenty of room for the many guests in attendance. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

County Council Chair Sharon Stover, emcee of Friday’s event, congratulates Andrew Zhao of Los Alamos High School who is a 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Zhao, along with his “most influential teacher” Margo Batha, at right, was recognized by Sen. Tom Udall during his talk. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office Manager Kevin W. Smith, right, speaks with LANL’s Randy Erickson and Nan Sauer prior to the groundbreaking Friday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Amanda Barry is a 100 percent LANL postdoc in Dr. Richard Sayre’s lab. She explains to LANL Director Charlie McMillian the intricacies of a photobioreactor, which simulates a pond environment. She said that 24 PBRs will be utilized in the new lab. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

A standing room crowd attended the groundbreaking of the New Mexico Consortium Biological Research Laboratory. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com




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