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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
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Committee on Smaller Facilities



Midsize Facilities: Infrastructure for Materials Research

Released July 2005

Most of the instruments now used for materials research are too complex and expensive for individual investigators to own, operate, and maintain them. Consequently, they have become increasingly consolidated into multi-user, small to midsized research facilities, located at many sites around the country. The proliferation of these facilities, however, has drawn calls for a careful assessment of best principles for their operation. With support from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, the NRC carried out a study to characterize and discuss ways to optimize investments in materials research facility infrastructure with attention to midsize facilities. This report provides an assessment of the nature and importance of mid-sized facilities, their capabilities, challenges they face, current investment, and optimizing their effectiveness.

Committee Members and NRC Staff

Robert Sinclair, Chair, Stanford University
Ani Aprahamian, University of Notre Dame
Arthur I. Bienenstock, Stanford University
John P. Bradley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
David R. Clarke, University of California at Santa Barbara
James W. Davenport, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Franics J. DiSalvo, Cornell University
Charles (Drew) A. Evans, Jr., Consultant
Walter P. Lowe, Howard University
Frances M. Ross, IBM T.J. Watson Research Labs
David J. Smith, Arizona State University
John M. Soures, University of Rochester
Leonard Spicer, Duke University
Don M. Tennant, Lucent Technologies

NRC Staff

Donald C. Shapero, Director, BPA
Timothy I. Meyer, Study Director