James Fast Selected as Jefferson Lab EIC Project Manager

  • James Fast

Fast takes on leadership of the Jefferson Lab Electron-Ion Collider project team, with responsibility for all aspects of the lab’s commitments to the EIC Project

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory partnered early on to take on the design and construction of the Electron-Ion Collider. To keep the project moving forward, Jefferson Lab tapped members of its experienced leadership team to ensure project success. Now, Jefferson Lab is proud to announce it has appointed a dedicated EIC project manager: James Fast will lead the lab’s EIC project team and honor the lab’s project commitments going forward.

“The EIC project is central to the future of nuclear physics research. Our partnership with Brookhaven Lab is bringing the extensive capabilities of both labs together to ensure the success of the project and, ultimately, the realization of the EIC’s ambitious scientific goals,” said Jefferson Lab Director Stuart Henderson. “Jim is an experienced leader with deep familiarity of Department of Energy construction projects. The EIC Project is now in an excellent position, moving forward at a brisk pace to the next phase with a strong, integrated team.”

The Electron-Ion Collider, to be built at Brookhaven, is led by EIC Project Director Jim Yeck and EIC Project Manager Luisella Lari. It is in the beginning phases of project execution, with current work focused on design of its major components and development of performance baselines for the project.

“One of the things I have cherished in my career is being able to learn new things and explore new areas of research,” Fast said. “The EIC is a central pillar for the future of the nuclear physics research community for the next few decades, and being part of making that a success is very exciting.”

The EIC is being designed as a 2.4-mile-circumference particle collider. It will collide together beams of high-energy polarized electrons with beams of polarized protons and atomic nuclei to produce precision 3-D snapshots of those particles’ internal structures. Experiments at the EIC will help scientists unlock the secrets of the strongest force in nature and explore how tiny particles called quarks and gluons build up the mass, spin, and other properties of all visible matter.

Fast has a wealth of experience leading Department of Energy construction projects. Most recently, he has been serving as Jefferson Lab’s MOLLER project manager, where he has successfully led that project team through the early planning phases. MOLLER will probe the electrons inside matter to make a precise measurement of the electron’s weak charge. This measurement will determine how much influence the weak force exerts on the electron.

From 2005 until he joined Jefferson Lab in 2020, Fast was a senior scientist and ultimately a laboratory fellow in the Radiation Detection & Nuclear Sciences Group at Pacific Northwest National Lab, where he was active in nuclear nonproliferation and treaty verification applications of radiation detection. He also worked in nuclear and high energy physics at PNNL, including serving as the project manager for the U.S. Belle II MIE project; the BELLE II experiment is currently taking data to study rare decays of heavy quarks at the KEK laboratory in Japan.

Prior to his time at PNNL, Fast worked at Fermilab, where he led the engineering group in the Silicon Detector Facility (SiDET) and conducted research in B-physics on the D0 experiment. Earlier, he had also worked as a postdoc at Purdue University on the CLEO experiment at Cornell studying rare B-meson decays.

Fast received his B.A. in physics and mathematics from Colby College in Maine, and he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Irvine.

Further Reading
Electron-Ion Collider Receives Critical Decision 1 Approval

Experiment to Precisely Measure Electrons Moves Forward
Particle Physicist Takes the Lead on Groundbreaking Electron Measurement

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, kcarter@jlab.org


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