Thomas Lograsso has been named interim director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.

Lograsso has served as an Ames Lab scientist since 1988, and is currently interim deputy director and division director of materials science. He is also an adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University.

Lograsso will succeed Alex King, who is stepping down to lead the lab's Critical Materials Institute, a $120 million hub announced by the Department of Energy in January. A search committee will be formed with the goal of naming the lab's next director in 2014.