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Thu, 03/09/2017 - 16:32

   One hundred and three months
       March 9, 2017

When, in January 2016, I told Secretary Moniz that I would be standing down, he pointed out that he had done 100 months as director of Bates Laboratory at MIT and that I should at least match that. Coincidentally that would have also taken me to the end of Moniz’s term as Secretary of Energy. In fact, when I step down at the end of March it will have been 103 months at the helm, a very exciting period of my life.

I started my term as Director of Jefferson Lab on September 2, 2008.

In the period from 2008 to 2012, the 6 GeV program was in full swing. The Hall A program saw the BigBite spectrometer operate followed by a series of parity violation experiments and then some Deep Virtual Compton Scattering (DVCS) measurements.

The Hall B program also had a strong DVCS component as well as some polarized target work culminating in the operation of the HDice target with a photon beam and a test with the electron beam. In Hall C, there was a run of the hypernuclear HKS/HES program.

But the tension in the system concerned the preparation for the QWeak experiment in Hall C, where several subsystems were having difficulty maintaining schedule. So we instigated a regular meeting with the Directorate involved, and tried to work the issues. As a result of everyone’s efforts a very successful run of two years of data taking, with the accelerator providing the precise “parity quality” parameters at very high intensity, typically 180 microamps, was achieved.

Infrastructure provides the base on which we conduct our work at Jefferson Lab. Before I arrived the Directorate had managed to get the lab placed first in line for the new Science Laboratories Infrastructure program. Our project was the $70M Technology, Engineering and Development Facility (TEDF). The construction of this facility enhanced considerably the engineering and fabrication facilities, particularly for the Superconducting Radiofrequency Institute. It also led to the transformation of the site, changing the way we accessed the accelerator site and creating a distinctly more campus-like layout. America Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding provided additional enhancements and recently the Utilities Infrastructure Modernization ($30M) project is providing further enhancements. Along the way, the TEDF project received two, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Gold awards. Our strategy for the facilities and infrastructure funding is one of the areas that has benefited greatly from help from the Thomas Jefferson Site Office.

People change; the Secretary of Energy has been successively Sam Bodman, Steven Chu, Ernie Moniz, and since a short time, Rick Perry. Among the national labs, the only Lab Director there in Fall 2008, who is still in office, was Thom Mason of Oak Ridge National Lab who will step down (or up) this coming summer. Closer to home, our own Directorate has seen Tony Thomas and Mike Dallas leave, Bob McKeown and most recently Allison Lung and Mike Maier join. Mike Pennington became Head of Theory and now Jianwei Qiu has taken over. Larry Cardman was head of Experimental Physics and he stepped down with Rolf Ent taking his position. We recruited Glenn Young, Fulvia Pilat, Patrizia Rossi, Thia Keppel and Rik Yoshida into key positions in our science management.

If you ask in ten years time “What happened when Montgomery was Director?” I believe the two word answer will be “The upgrade”. That is the 12 GeV CEBAF Upgrade Project. The investment by the DOE was nearly $340M, and approximately $10M by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The project received CD-3, start of construction approval, in late September, 2008, a few weeks after I joined the lab. As a result of lots of excellent work, the accelerator, including the doubling of the refrigeration capacity of the Central Helium Liquefier, has been completed and we achieved CD- 4A, “ready for operations” for the accelerator in 2014.

A major technical challenge has been provided by the eight superconducting magnets required for the experimental apparatus. The refurbished Solenoid, originally used for the LASS experiment at SLAC in the 1970s, is now at the heart of GlueX. The Hall D complex including the GlueX experiment is fully operational. A completely new Super High Momentum Spectrometer with five magnets, one from the US, one from a UK vendor, and three from a French vendor. In the past week or so the last three have satisfied the contractual requirements for operation and Hall C, their home, is preparing to run beam and establish their components of the project Key Performance Parameter (KPP). In Hall B, there will be two very large magnets. The first is a Torus with some similarity to its predecessor. The fabrication of this magnet involved the winding of the coils at Fermilab and the fabrication of the cryostats and cryogenic feeds here at Jefferson Lab. The magnet is too big to pass down the entry ramp, so was assembled in the hall. With this equipment Hall B established its part of the upgrade KPP early in February. The solenoid is in final assembly in Pennsylvania and will be commissioned during the summer.

Completion of the project will be a big achievement for the project leaders Claus Rode and Allison Lung and for the large number of people who worked on the project. I retained the biweekly reports showing the numbers of people working on the project. At its peak we were at approximately 200 FTE, which represents even larger number of individuals. Overall the project has involved everyone at the lab.

Beyond the 12 GeV Upgrade equipment, we anticipate the installation of the Super BigBite Spectrometer, the construction and operation of the Moller and SoLID experiments. These projects are all associated with 12 GeV operation of CEBAF, which, based on user interest has a long and productive future.

However, looking forward, our sights have also been set much higher. We have put considerable effort into the development of the physics program for an Electron Ion Collider. It was strongly featured as a future pillar of nuclear physics in the world in the 2015 NSAC Long Range Plan. We have developed a specifically Jefferson Lab design helped by some funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia. This design has been well received in the various DOE-commissioned reviews of cost on the one hand and risk and R&D on the other hand.   I believe that our teams in the physics, the detector design and the accelerator design have raised the Jefferson Lab brand to a new level.

More broadly, we have developed our role as partner in the Office of Science laboratory network. In particular, we have been a strong participant in the construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University, and in the Linac Coherent Light Source II (LCLSII) project at SLAC. In both cases our cryogenic and superconducting radiofrequency expertise has been at play. LCLSII has also benefitted from the infrastructure improvement made by the TEDF project.

These notes are far from a comprehensive discussion of all that has happened in the past eight and a half years, but the message is that, thanks to the efforts of many, Jefferson Lab is thriving.

My term will end on April 2, 2017; I would like to thank all of the Jefferson Lab, Thomas Jefferson Site Office, and Jefferson Science Associates staff and laboratory users for a phenomenal experience and to wish you great success in the future.