Mound Made a Mark on History

City commits to Mound's redevelopment and reuse

Mound was built in 1946 to consolidate the work being conducted at various Dayton sites to advance weapons systems development through the renowned Manhattan Project. Mound Laboratories evolved over 50 years and, with its corps of leading scientists, gained status as a premier facility for innovation and invention.

Power sources for deep-space missions invented here

The driving force at Mound was the continual improvement of the sophisticated processes and technologies that would be used during the Cold War. Mound scientists also pioneered long-life power sources for space exploration. Early in 1954, Kenneth Jordan, along with John Birden, established the principle of the “nuclear battery” and constructed the first working model. This principle, which was patented by the two scientists, is the basis for all radioisotopic-powered thermoelectric generators that make possible deep-space missions, such as Galileo, Ulysses, and most recently Cassini.

The global balance of power shifted in the early 1990s, leading to the end of the Cold War. These events ushered in a new era of improved international relations, resulting in a reduction in U.S. defense production and the decommissioning of Mound in 1993.

To view a video about the history of Mound, click Mound History Video.

City commits to Mound’s redevelopment and reuse

When the Department of Energy closed Mound Laboratories as a government facility in 1993, the city of Miamisburg took a lead role in determining the site’s future. It created an economic development organization that has evolved as the Mound Development Corporation to spearhead the site’s redevelopment and reuse. The organization’s goals were to:

  • Abate the loss of 2,500 jobs
  • Preserve Mound's unique technological capabilities
  • Maximize the nation’s investment in Mound's technologies, equipment and facilities
  • Provide continued economic benefits to the local community, the region, the state and the federal government
  • Ensure the transfer of an environmentally clean site consistent with its reuse
  • Transition the Mound site to a private-business enterprise.

With input from the community, a vision for Mound was created:

The Mound Advanced Technology Center will be a thriving scientific technology and business park widely recognized as a center of innovation and commercialization for emerging, energy, advanced manufacturing, materials processing applications and information systems markets.

Environmental cleanup completed

At the same time, the Department of Energy undertook an environmental cleanup program to restore the Mound site to a condition suitable for commercial and industrial reuse. A total of $1 billion has been invested in carrying out the cleanup effort, which was completed in 2010. With environmental cleanup finished, the Department of Energy will transfer ownership of the balance of the property to the Mound Development Corporation.

Mound Development Corporation drives redevelopment

The Mound Development Corporation has driven the redevelopment and reuse effort at Mound. In addition to planning and implementing a site improvement plan, the organization has recruited companies to locate at the site and provided business assistance services to help them succeed.

Today Mound is home to 14 businesses (five are Ph.D.-owned) with 310 employees. A number of them have been tapped to use their innovation skills to address critical national priorities in markets such as alternative and renewable energy technologies, medical, aerospace and defense.

The Mound site is well on its way to a new future as the Dayton region’s world-class research, technology and business park and a powerful resource for solving global concerns through innovation and discovery.

With their technological advancements and breakthrough inventions, Mound companies are making history every day. Contact us to learn how you can be part of the Mound’s exciting future.