WASHINGTON, D.C. – Taxpayers are getting their money’s worth out of Robert Rosner, astrophysicist and director of the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Rosner tells us his workweek usually winds up closer to 80 hours than to 40.
“When I go home,” says Rosner, 59, “I don’t stop working.”
What keeps Rosner so busy? Plenty. Running Argonne, the country’s oldest national laboratory and a hub of research on topics like nuclear reactor technology, means dealing with Washington bureaucrats, safety concerns, a budget of $475 million and a staff of 2,900, including 750 PhDs.
But Rosner is also devoting a good deal of time to developing Argonne’s ties with the private sector. Although the lab’s Web site touts existing partnerships with companies like Baxter International, Caterpillar and 3M, Rosner describes the national labs as a “severely under-recognized gem” of American research and development. He wants more recognition, meaning more partnerships.