Washington, D.C. - Hugh E. Montgomery, a highly regarded nuclear physicist with an extensive research portfolio and broad international experience, today was named director of the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.
Montgomery's appointment as the lab's third director was announced by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, which manages and operates Jefferson Lab for DOE.
Montgomery, the associate director for research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory since 2002, will begin his new duties at Jefferson Lab on Sept. 2. Fermilab, located in Batavia, Ill., also is a DOE research facility.
"Hugh Montgomery is a superb choice for the Laboratory," said Raymond Orbach, undersecretary for science at DOE. "As director, he will lead a world-class center that can enable scientists to probe the innermost secrets of the atomic nucleus. I am confident that under Dr. Montgomery, Jefferson Lab will continue its outstanding scientific leadership."
"After almost 25 years at Fermilab, this move certainly represents a major change in my life," Montgomery said. "The new position will be an enormous challenge for me, but also an enormous opportunity to which I am looking forward. The provision of research facilities for a broad international community of physicists is something at which both Fermilab and Jefferson Lab excel."
In addition to serving as JLab director, Montgomery also will serve as president of Jefferson Science Associates. JSA is a joint venture between the Southeastern Universities Research Association and CSC Applied Technologies.
"Jefferson Lab and DOE are fortunate to have Dr. Montgomery coming on board as the new director," said John T. Casteen, president of the University of Virginia and chair of the JSA board of directors. "He is both a distinguished scientist and an experienced leader and manager within the laboratory system."
Montgomery succeeds Christoph Leemann, who has served as the lab's director since 2000. Leemann, who joined the lab in 1985, announced his retirement in 2007. That announcement set off an international search for a new director.
"I am absolutely delighted about this outcome," Leemann said. "The job of lab director is multi-facetted and there are many expectations that must be met: scientific leadership and vision, team building, skill and experience in directing a complex enterprise, interfacing effectively with the Department of Energy, and representation of the lab and the scientific enterprise to a broad range of decision makers and stakeholders. With his distinguished career and, in particular, his experience as associate director for research at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Hugh Montgomery brings these qualifications in rich measure."
Montgomery's work focuses on particle physics, which seeks to understand the fundamental components of our universe and how they interact. Montgomery was involved with muon scattering experiments at CERN in Geneva and Fermilab, and in the DZero Experiment on the Fermilab Tevatron Collider at the time of the observation of the top quark.
Montgomery completed his undergraduate work at Manchester University in 1969 and received his Ph.D. in physics from the same British institution in 1972. He then served on the scientific staff of Britain's Daresbury Nuclear Physics Laboratory and Rutherford High Energy Laboratory until 1978.
From 1978 to 1983, he was a staff member at CERN, the world's largest particle accelerator located on the French-Swiss border. He joined Fermilab in 1983 and, after holding a variety of increasingly important positions, was named associate director in 2002. As associate director, he oversees the particle physics and particle astrophysics research programs at the laboratory.
"We are all delighted that Hugh Montgomery has agreed to take on the leadership of Jefferson Laboratory at this critical time in its history," said Thomas Appelquist, a physics professor at Yale University and JSA board member who chaired the search committee.
Jefferson Lab, a basic nuclear physics research laboratory located in Newport News, is a user facility for scientists worldwide. Its primary mission is to conduct basic research of the atom's nucleus at the quark level. Partnering with industry, universities and defense agencies, Jefferson Lab also pursues applied research with its free-electron laser and medical imaging programs. As a center for both basic and applied research, Jefferson Lab reaches out to help educate the next generation in science and technology.
Published News Stories
- New Director Named to Lead U.S. Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab
(April 3, 2008, Interactions News Wire)
- Energy Department appoints new director for Jefferson accelerator in Newport News
(April 3, 2008, The Virginian-Pilot)
- New director of Jefferson Lab named
(April 3, 2008, Daily Press)