College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; College of Science

Clemson embarks on new era in advanced materials, energy, environmental research and workforce development with SRNL


Clemson University will play a significant role in advancing the nation’s environmental, energy, and national security research and workforce development efforts as a member of the Battelle Savannah River Alliance (BSRA) that will now manage the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL).

Clemson faculty have worked with scientists at SRNL for three decades to study solutions to nuclear waste storage, advanced materials, environmental protection and energy security. The long-standing relationship has resulted in numerous internships for Clemson undergraduate and graduate students who have had unique opportunities to conduct research with SRNL scientists and Clemson faculty. The new partnership is expected to bring even more opportunities.  

“This historic partnership expands on our world-class workforce development efforts, and opens a pipeline of scientific discovery and innovation that should benefit the entire state of South Carolina,” said Clemson University President Jim Clements. “I’d like to thank Gov. McMaster and our state leaders for supporting this endeavor that will provide unique opportunities for our faculty and students while uplifting the state’s economy.”

As a member of the BSRA team, Clemson experts will provide technical support on environmental remediation, waste management, materials science, computational modeling, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and numerous other research topics.

Clemson has numerous top-notch facilities and programs to support research and education and SRNL, including The Center for Nuclear Environmental Engineering Sciences and Radioactive Management (NEESRWM)Dominion Energy Innovation Center, the Electron Microscopy Facility, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), the Center for Workforce Development (CUCWD), the Palmetto High Performance & Research Computing Center, and the Clemson Artificial Intelligence Research Institute for Science and Engineering, among others. 

“This should unlock innumerable opportunities for Clemson faculty and students going forward, as well as for the University to enhance our already robust research facilities to support innovation and workforce development to benefit the South Carolina economy,” said Tanju Karanfil, Clemson University vice president for research.

Karanfil will serve on a new Board of Directors overseeing management of Savannah River National Lab. 

“Workforce development will be central to our work at SRNL,” he said. “This close partnership with Battelle and SRNL will nurture a skilled workforce that will be ready to lead the energy sector into the future.” 

Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, is in full support of the partnership.

 “Clemson University is home to the state’s premier college in engineering, computing and applied sciences,” he said. “We have deep experience and knowledge in advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, energy security and nuclear environmental engineering and science and a rich history of successful collaboration with Savannah River National Laboratory. Our team of faculty, students and staff looks forward to broadening our partnership with this world-class applied sciences laboratory, helping meet its needs in research, innovation, workforce development and economic development.”

Cynthia Y. Young, Founding Dean of Clemson’s College of Science, is enthusiastic about this strategic partnership with SRNL.  

“The College of Science at Clemson is nationally recognized as a leader in tackling some of tomorrow’s greatest scientific challenges and preparing the next generation of leading scientists. Several of our faculty, including two fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, have existing collaborations with SRNL scientists. We look forward to working with Director Vahid Majidi and his team in this expanded partnership that will be transformative for the advancement and translation of science at Clemson and help accelerate the scientific research, innovation, and workforce development mission of this high-caliber Department of Energy National Lab right here in South Carolina.” 

The contract DOE awarded to BSRA includes a five-year base with five one-year options. The estimated value of the contract is $3.8 billion over the course of 10 years if all options are exercised. Other members of the alliance are the Georgia Institute of Technology, South Carolina State University, University of Georgia, and University of South Carolina, as well as small business partners, Longenecker & Associates and TechSource. 

This marks the first time the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a management contract for the lab separately from the Savannah River Site contract. BSRA is led and wholly-owned by Battelle, which already has a management role at seven other DOE national labs.


About Clemson University

One of the most productive public research universities in the nation, Clemson University attracts and powerfully unites students and faculty whose greatest desire is to make a difference in the lives of others. A Carnegie R1 research institution ranked among the best national public universities by U.S. News & World Report, Clemson is dedicated to teaching, research and service. Our main campus, located in Upstate South Carolina, sits on 1,400 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the shores of Lake Hartwell. We have a presence in every South Carolina county through research facilities, economic development hubs and innovation campuses. Through the research, outreach and entrepreneurial projects led by our faculty and students, Clemson University is driving economic development and improving quality of life in South Carolina and beyond. For more information, go to or visit us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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