Christoph Leeman becomes Jefferson Lab's first Deputy Director

Christoph W. Leemann is Jefferson Lab's first Deputy Director. Lab Director Hermann Grunder recently announced Leemann's appointment to the new position at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

As Deputy Director, Leemann will oversee the day-to-day operations of Jefferson Lab, located in Newport News, Va. His priorities include maintaining and improving an environment where high quality physics research and its prerequisite technology developments can thrive, success of the Lab's role in DOE's Spallation Neutron Source, and achieving a high quality and funded user-driven program for the Lab's Free Electron Laser.

Leemann joined the Lab (then called the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility) in 1985.

While a search is being conducted to dill his former position as the Associate Director for the Accelerator Division, Leemann continues to serve in that role in an acting capacity. As Accelerator Division leader, Leemann has been responsible for all aspects of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility's accelerator design, R&D, prototyping, construction, commissioning, operation, and further development. To this end, he has over the years hired a top-notch cadre to lead and manage a multi-disciplinary team of more than 250 scientists, engineers, software specialists and technicians. He considers the team of his closest collaborators his greatest contribution to the Lab.

Leemann's career started as a research associate at the Universitat Basel in Switzerland, after earning his Ph.D. there in Experimental Nuclear Physics. He focused on researching spin polarization phenomena in few nucleon systems, and refining optical pumping techniques for producing nuclear spin polarization on helium3.

In 1970, he went to Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California to continue polarization studies as an experimenter at the 88" cyclotron; and in 1972 joined LBL's accelerator team (now the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, operating the Bevatron/Bevalac). There he contributed to the development of the conversion of the Bevatron to heavy ion operation, wrote the seminal studies establishing the feasibility of relativistic heavy ion colliders with reasonable luminosity, and participated in the start-up of stochastic cooling studies at LBL. From 1980-81, he was on leave from LBL to work on the CERN Antiproton Accumulator, where he participated in a team led by Simon van der Meer and the late Roy Billinge — in providing the antiproton beams for the discovery of the W Particle.

Upon returning to LBL, Leemann led a team to produce the design and proposal of a future high-performance heavy-ion accelerator complex (Tevalac). He also led a team to explore SuperHILAC performance upgrade possibilities, and in the framework of an interlab collaborative effort made key contributions to the conceptual design and development of stochastic cooling systems for the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Antiproton Source (Tevatron I). In his later years at LBL, he served as Deputy Leader of the Advanced Accelerator Studies Group and contributed to the development of the Superconducting Super Collider Reference Designs Study and later the Central Design Group.

A Search Committee has been named to identify and interview candidates for Jefferson Lab's position of Associate Director for the Accelerator Division.


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE Applied Technologies, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit