Lab breaks record with new laser
First light for Jefferson Lab's new Free Electron Laser (FEL) was a record-breaking success last month as the laser delivered infrared light of 155 watts--15 times more powerful than any existing free electron laser.
The FEL, a major spin-off technology for the Lab, produced this world record on June 17--only two years after construction began on the new laser and the building that houses it.
Lab staff and FEL consortium members alike are delighted with the laser's first run. "My sincere congratulations! We are happy to receive the great news. Looking forward to the next history making news!" writes Joung Cook, FEL Contract Manager from the Naval Research Laboratory.
"Your success is so regularly phenomenal that people will start to expect miracles," comments Heidi Reis, Director of the Center for Materials Research at Norfolk State University and a member of the FEL consortium.
At a first light celebration held in the Applied Research Center June 18, Lab Director Hermann Grunder congratulated everyone who worked to bring the FEL to reality. He recognized the intense efforts of the core FEL team and the outstanding support provided across the lab. "The success we celebrate today belongs to the entire lab. Resources and people throughout the lab were needed to develop the FEL," he said.
FEL Program Manager Fred Dylla applauded everyone who worked on the project, "It was a difficult project and I thank everyone for their perseverance and support."
Congratulations came in from all over the world as news of the event traveled. The Director of the Office of Energy Research, Dr. Martha Krebs, sent a congratulatory message that read: "Once again...your colleagues have demonstrated...outstanding technical and management talents in this remarkable achievement."
Local reporters from the Daily Press, Richmond Times and Virginian Pilot were on hand to record the event for all of Virginia; while the Associated Press spread the story across the United States.
FEL staff and press witness record-making 155 watts
Development of this laser holds potential for scientific research, developing new manufacturing processes and creating new and improved consumer products, as well as defense applications. Once the FEL is fully developed, it could be a cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing tool capable of processing synthetic fibers, metals and advanced materials and be of use as a basic research tool.
For example: At low cost, the FEL could improve polyester--a major material on the world's fiber market. While polyester is durable and easy to clean, it lacks natural texture (or feel) and appearance. Laser light can be used to "micro-roughen" the fiber--leaving the polyester with a natural-fiber look and feel while keeping its other positive qualities.
Initial experimental users include DuPont (polymer processing) and Armco/Northrop-Grumman/Virginia Power (metals processing) who will conduct experiments in the next several months.
Even with first light behind them, the FEL team did not take a break. They are already pushing toward their next goal: to complete the installation and commissioning of components that will take the FEL from its current high of 155 watts to a new record of 1000 watts by this fall.
Neither heavy skies and cool temperatures nor a steady drizzle could dampen the excitement in the air during the Applied Research Center (ARC) dedication May 4. The ceremony marked a significant milestone in the development of the Jefferson Center for Research and Technology--a 200 acre technology business park at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Oyster Point Road.
The new facility brings together universities and industry, along with Jefferson Lab, to conduct research and develop new commercial applications around the science of the FEL.
Governor of Virginia, Jim Gilmore and Newport News Mayor Joe Frank lead the ARC Dedication ribbon cutting May 4. More than 20 people took part in the ribbon cutting. "Very few projects have had this many parents," the Governor noted.
More than 300 academic, business and elected officials from Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth attended the dedication. The Master of Ceremonies was Newport News Mayor, Joe S. Frank and guest speakers included Dr. Hermann Grunder, Jefferson Lab Director; the presidents of the four universities collaborating in the ARC and Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. Gilmore applauded the united effort that brought the facility to reality, saying, "These are great times in Virginia. We are prospering and capitalizing on technology as never before. Virginia's technology sector is growing at three times the rate of the overall economy.
Governor Gilmore spoke to more than 300 guests and visitors attending the dedication. He foresees the technology park and Jefferson Lab enhancing the Commonwealth's growing technology-based economy.
"Today we mark not the arrival of a single company, but the birth of a new industry... . The ARC will serve as a nursery for what...will be the most robust and dynamic business of the coming millennium." The event marked realization of a long-held dream for Dr. Grunder. "We are a DOE lab. Our fundamental mission is basic research in nuclear physics," he said. "In doing so, we are developing a number of interesting technologies. One of my most profound wishes was for a fundamental research lab," he continued, "to have a an impact on the marketplace. To give back to our community we needed a forum to do so... . What better place than the ARC."
The Color Guard from the Newport News police and fire departments presented the flags to kick off the ceremony.
Technology transfer is one of the major reasons for the $18.4 million, seven-story, 122,000 square foot laboratory built by the City of Newport News and the city's Industrial Development Authority. In an interview with local media in the days leading up to the dedication, Fred Dylla, Free Electron Laser program manager, said that scientists and researchers need to work face-to-face and elbow-to-elbow. "When they get serious, they want to look you in the eye and kick the hardware," he said. "Real technology transfer is a contact sport."
The ARC laboratory facilities being built up this summer will allow FEL experimenters to analyze their experimental results using state-of-the-art equipment. In addition to the efforts in the laboratories, the universities have been busy writing a grant proposal to Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, that if funded, would allow the consortium to lend their expertise to small businesses and fund additional scientific research.
Congratulations! Jefferson Lab Director, Hermann Grunder, earns top state honor for 1998
|Guests Joe and Kathy Schulz and wife Lucienne at the black-tie dinner at the Science Museum of Virginia on March 23 admire the medallion Jefferson Lab Director Hermann Grunder received as Virginia's Outstanding Scientist of the Year.|
|Virginia's Governor Jim Gilmore congratulates Hermann Grunder on winning the prestigious award.|
|Hermann and his wife, Lucienne, smile for the camera at the formal dinner held at the Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond. Scientist and industrialist awards were presented at the event.|
Roy Whitney has officially been named Jefferson Lab's new Associate Director of Administration. He had served as interim Associate Director since last summer when his predecessor, Jim Coleman, retired.
As Associate Director of Administration, Whitney oversees business services, human resources, plant engineering, the Lab library, medical services, legal, security and several other areas. He also acts as the Contract Officer between the Southeastern Universities Research Association and Jefferson Lab.
Whitney's work at the lab stretches back to 1984. He was the 11th staff member hired at CEBAF. Prior to taking the reins of the Administration Department, Whitney served as the leader of the User Liaison Office for four years, and he managed the Computer Center for 13 years. He has also chaired many committees at the lab and contributed to physics experiments.
His experience at federally-funded laboratories spans 30 years. He has worked at Los Alamos, MIT-Bates, Stanford High Energy Lab and Saclay in France.
Prior to joining the Lab, Whitney taught physics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Springfield Technical College and the University of Virginia.
In announcing the SURA Board of Trustees' unanimous selection of Dr. Whitney to the ADA position, Lab Director Hermann Grunder said, "We are indeed fortunate to have someone with Roy's background and qualifications serve the laboratory in this capacity."
Karen Hokansson has assumed Whitney's former job managing the User Liaison Office and Ian Bird has assumed management of the Computer Center.
Well before Deborah Hyman, former communications officer in the public affairs office, left the Lab she wrote a press release about the historic kaon experiment completed by Hampton University scientists at the Lab in December 1996.
The press release recently won an Excel Award at the annual Echoes of Excellence Awards hosted by Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals.
In Hyman's acceptance speech she said, "I would like to thank Linda Ware, Donna Lewis and the Director's Office crew. It was a wonderful experience to be present for such a monumental event--the first experiment at the Lab, which was led by African-Americans."
The Echoes of Excellence has been an annual event for the past nine years. The ceremony was held at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk.
John Robb hitting the road:
John Robb, of the Physics Division, retired in March with 11 years service to the lab.
In June 1987, Robb, an accomplished Fermi Lab technician, traveled to Newport News in hopes of becoming involved with building the new lab. He was hired by the Physics Group and loaned to the Superconducting Radio Frequency (SRF) team. He became supervisor of cryounit installation and successfully completed the task in three years. He gathered the team that built the cryounits and developed the cryounit installation method. In the process, he coined what has become known as the "traveler method"--the process used to move the cryounits and install them in their respective locations in the accelerator.
Robb was also an important player on the Hall B team, where he was responsible for the installation of all equipment. He developed all installation plans, equipment requirements and schedules pertaining to Hall B. Robb also served as chief consultant for Hall B coordinators, obtaining the necessary resources to make this vision a reality. According to Bernhard Mecking, Hall B leader, "He told us what was feasible and when we were exceeding state-of-the-art."
After decades of pursuing physics and the development of cutting-edge experimental equipment, Robb now plans to pursue another passion: travel. He plans to be on the road 6--8 months each year. When asked what he will miss most about the lab, Robb said, "I'll miss the friendships and camaraderie and," he added, "I always enjoyed the challenges presented to me while working here."
Good-bye Anne Stewart
An institution at Jefferson Lab has retired. Anne Stewart, administrative assistant to Associate Director of Administration Roy Whitney, bid Jefferson Lab farewell June 30.
Anne has more longevity on site than possibly any other person. Anne predates Jefferson Lab, CEBAF, the Virginia Associated Research Campus, and the Space Radiation Effects Laboratory. Her tenure began here in 1975 with Special Programs for William & Mary.
Anne's history with the site, and her competence will be missed, says Roy Whitney. But Anne already has a new goal in sight: "Whipping her retired husband into shape." Look out Garland!
CHL, Cryo Group go the distance
Early this year, the Lab's Central Helium Liquefier (CHL) was shut down for extended maintenance and equipment upgrades. It was the first prolonged hiatus since CHL operations began in 1991.
Over the past seven years, the CHL's record of availability stands at 98%--a singular accomplishment when compared to industry standards that peg optimal performance to a two-year servicing schedule.
Aerial view of the Central Helium Liquifier on the accelerator site.
After a one-month shutdown, the CHL was back on-line by February 5. By the time work was completed, a new standardized control system was added and technicians had upgraded the CHL's helium-distribution piping. Additional piping to gas storage tanks and the liquefier's charcoal adsorbers were also installed. The charcoal adsorbers purify helium at 80 degrees Kelvin or -320 degrees Fahrenheit. Standby compressors were cross-connected to the existing compressor system. Valves were inspected and repaired as needed, and various strainers and filters inspected and cleaned.
During the outage, the CHL's standby refrigerator kept the accelerator chilled to approximately 4 degrees K. Normal operating temperature is 2 degrees K (-456 degrees F), or 2 degrees above absolute zero.
"This was the big shutdown. And we're happy; it went well," says Claus H. Rode, Accelerator Division deputy division leader. "The next time we do the maintenance it will be easier. We'll already have gone through the learning curve."
The $16 million CHL is thought to be the largest cooling plant of its kind in the world, producing 10 times more superfluid helium than all other superfluid helium refrigeration facilities combined. And it is vital. Without a helium liquefier, superconducting-based physics research at the Laboratory would come to an abrupt halt, idling dozens of experimenters.
"Other systems are more forgiving. Turn off one component and you can work around it," points out Accelerator Division Associate Director Christoph Leemann. "This one cannot hide. Turn off the CHL and it's instant death for beam operation."
Claus Rode gives a full measure of credit for the CHL's extraordinary availability record to Cryogenic Group leader, William C. Chronis, and those who work with him.
"Bill Chronis and his crew have done a fabulous job of achieving excellent availability," Rode says. "CHL operation has been so reliable that I can almost forget about it." He describes the near flawless running of the CHL over the past several years as a testament to the efforts of the Cryogenic Group.
Chronis says the Cryo Group's constant challenge is keeping contamination, i.e., water vapor, air gases or any foreign material, from harming any CHL component. He explains that, at the liquefier's ultra-low operational temperatures, even a small droplet of frozen water allowed to migrate from a heat exchanger to a turbine's gas bearing can "destroy a turbine in a millisecond."
"Contamination is our biggest fear," Chronis says. "Our standards are higher than the ones for sterile air in some hospitals. For water and nitrogen we're talking less than one part per million: micrograms per cubic meter."
Ironically, the CHL's rocky installation by the subcontractor seems to have served as a prelude to its smooth-running present. After repeated project delays and difficulty in meeting strict liquefier design specifications, the Lab was forced to take over CHL construction from the original contractor.
"The construction phase was ... well, let's just call it a real adventure, a cliffhanger," Leemann recalls. "There were moments when I really lost sleep worrying. Until we took over the contract."
More CHL upgrades are scheduled. Chronis and his crew are building a backup two-degree-Kelvin cold box in case of catastrophic failure of the CHL's primary cryogenic compressors. The cold box is scheduled to be commissioned during the January 1999 shutdown. The Cryo Group will modify the CHL system to accommodate the additional cold box.
The Lab is planning to raise the accelerator energy to 6 billion electron volts by late 1999. Such an increase in energy will raise the heat load to the cryogenics plant--and the demand for additional cooling capacity.
In the aftermath of the successful maintenance, Chronis seems satisfied with the pace and scope of liquefier improvements.
But he believes that even better performance can be coaxed from the CHL in the coming months and years. "We think we have a more reliable CHL," he says. "We'd like to be at 100 percent every day. That's obviously an impossible goal. But 99 percent-plus availability is possible."
|"Beauty queen" Don Seeley is escorted by Todd Jones. Plant Engineering, during the Golf Cart Parade. They were beat out by the EH&S department entry, Hay Day.|
|The User Liaison Office won the T-shirt contest, and the Administration Division took both the Spirit Award (highest participation) and Director's Award (most winners).|
|It was perfect weather for the race. Carmenza Reese, Admin., took top female honors; and Chris Keith, Physics, won top male honors. Participation hit a new high for the annual event.|
JLab community prefers face-to-face communication
It's a jungle out there! In a time when the typical organizational pyramid is flattening into horizontal information clusters, candid, pragmatic communication flows are more vital to success than ever before.
Traditionally, most communication that takes place within organizations has moved in one direction: downward. In a system that is dependent only on downward communication, little, if any, interaction takes place between employees and management.
Face-to-face communication is an opportunity for interactive dialogue between employee and supervisor where two can exchange information and get immediate feedback from one another. It can be as simple as a one-minute discussion between a supervisor and a few employees and Users at the start of a seminar or lab mixer, or as complicated as a State-of-the-Lab address.
Better communication involves the movement of information in two directions: upward from the employees to management and back down, from management to employees.
People who work at the lab are housed throughout the site, and Users come from across the country and around the world. As such, the lab community uses several methods of communication. These methods cover all aspects of information movement: traditional, face-to-face and upward. However, the latest communications survey tells us that face-to-face communication is the preferred method of communication by the lab's staff.
A common thread revealed in the survey data is the desire for exchanges of "live" information. Face-to-face communication with sender(s) and receiver(s) permits participation in or reaction to the process as it moves along. For example, many at the Lab have a preferred method for receiving particular types of information. Here is a summary of the top methods for receiving different types of information at the Lab:
|1) Flyers and Bulletin Boards||2) E-mail|
|1) E-mail||2) Person-to-Person|
|1) WWW||2) 8am Meeting Notes|
|1) Person-to-Person||2) E-mail|
With the exception of flyers and bulletin boards, all of the methods listed above involve the exchange of live information.
If you are left out of the loop, if you are not aware of the big picture issues (new lab initiatives, long-term lab plans, etc.), or your best source of information is the lab's rumor mill, perhaps you need to ask yourself if it's time to add another communication method to your arsenal. Strap on that bulletproof vest and venture into the jungle.
Just be aware. Once you step into the jungle, you may be surprised at the amount of information available just for the asking.
--Karen Hokansson, ICT Chair