Julia Bussinger has been named director of the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, effective July 16. As director, Bussinger will be responsible for supervising staff and managing the daily operations of AMSE, a press release said.
The museum is moving soon from its current location on South Tulane Avenue to a new home in renovated space near JCPenney at Main Street Oak Ridge, the 58-acre redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall. The new facility is expected to open this fall, and the current location will close July 29.
“We welcome Julia to Oak Ridge and are extremely pleased to have someone of her caliber to oversee the day-to-day operations of the AMSE,” said Ken Tarcza, manager of the Integrated Support Center—Oak Ridge for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Bussinger has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Sofia University in Bulgaria, a master’s degree in philosophy in conservation, and a doctorate in conservation from Gothenburg University in Sweden. She also has significant experience managing a variety of museums and has managed multiple projects and collaborations with businesses and community organizations, the press release said.
From 2009-2015, Bussinger managed the Aerospace Museum of California and concurrently served as museum director for the City of El Paso Museum of History and Museum of Archaeology. She most recently served, from January 2017-July 2018, as the executive director of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs, California, where she was the driving force behind the development and construction of the TouchCity 3-D Digital Wall—the first of its kind in the U.S. and the biggest in the world, the press release said.
“I am extremely passionate about science and museums and I am humbled to use my education in chemistry and conservation for the benefit of the American Museum of Science and Energy,” Bussinger said in the press release said. Bussinger will report for her new role on July 16, the release said.
The new AMSE facility renovations, designed by museum professionals and fabricators, began in January 2018 and are expected to be completed July 2018, the press release said. The new facility is slated for public opening in fall 2018, and it will include a newly-designed exhibit gallery (for permanent and temporary exhibits), a lobby area with information desk and monitors, retail shop, state-of-the-art classroom facility, lecture hall with 150-seat capacity, and office space for museum staff and volunteers.
In order to begin the transition to the new AMSE, the current AMSE facility on South Tulane Avenue will officially close to the public on July 29, the press release said. The DOE Facilities Public Bus Tour will continue to operate on regular schedule, but the specific location from which the tour will operate is still under development. Residents and visitors can expect that information to be released soon on the AMSE website, through the media, and other official information outlets used by DOE and its partners in the area, the press release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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