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New PNNL Head

Computational mathematician Steven Ashby is to be the new director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory beginning next month, ScienceInsider reports.

PNNL, which is the second largest of the 10 national laboratories, investigates a range of areas, from climate change and advanced electrical grids to proteomics and the microbiome. Ashby tells ScienceInsider that the lab's mission "is to understand, predict, and control complex adaptive systems."

PNNL receives its funding, totaling $1 billion, from the Department of Energy's Office of Science as well as from other DOE offices, ScienceInsider notes.

Previously, Ashby was the deputy director for science and technology at PNNL and, prior to that, the deputy principal associate director for science and technology at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and he also held several leadership spots in in LLNL's computation directorate, according to a PNNL press release.

"When it comes to thinking about what the system can do to support science and national security, [Ashby is] one of the people [DOE leaders] call," Mark Peters from the Argonne National Laboratory tells ScienceInsider.

Ashby succeeds Michael Kluse, who is retiring after eight years at the lab's helm.

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