Jefferson Lab Dedicates Upgraded CEBAF

  • U.S. DOE Under Secretary for Science, Paul Dabbar
  • Dedication Ceremony
  • DOE Leadership and U.S. Reps Scott and Taylor
  • Dedication Ceremony
  • 12 GeV team members and DOE staff members

           May 31, 2018

Distinguished guests, staff members, Users and members of the media attend ceremony dedicating the recently upgraded facility.

The Department of Energy and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility ushered in a new era of science with a dedication ceremony for the 12 GeV CEBAF Upgrade project on May 2.

“Today marks not only the completion of the construction project, but the beginning of a new era of scientific discovery at Jefferson Lab, a new era of discovery for the scientific community, as well as the nation,” declared Stuart Henderson, Jefferson Lab Director, to the crowd of attendees.

The Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, is the world's most advanced particle accelerator for investigating the quark structure of the atom's nucleus. Completed on time and on budget, the $338 million upgrade tripled CEBAF's original operating energy and commissioned a new experimental area dedicated to providing insight into one of the universe’s great mysteries: why the fundamental constituents of matter, quarks, may never be found in isolation.

The upgrade, which was more than two decades in the making, was completed in September 2017.

“It produced an upgrade that will extend the life and the science of this lab for a generation,” said Virginia Deputy Secretary of Education, Fran Bradford.

Among many notable guests were also two U.S. Representatives, who spoke on behalf of their constituents in the 2nd and 3rd Districts.

“I’ve been at this so long, I knew when [CEBAF] was going to be the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Research Facility, but they took out research because the acronym was CEBARF,” joked U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, who represents Virginia’s 3rd District in Congress. “I commend all of you here for your hard work over the years getting this project across the line. The breakthroughs that you will make here will no doubt be felt all over the world.”

“No doubt, those of you have worked, continue to work and will work will change the future in nuclear physics, science and national security for our community, for our country and for our world,” said U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, who represents Virginia’s 2nd District in Congress.

Also present were representatives from the City of Newport News, which is home to Jefferson Lab. Newport News City Manager, Cindy Rohlf, spoke on behalf of the city and Councilwoman Pat Woodbury.

“We know how fortunate we are to have a prestigious national lab located right in our community, from the researchers the lab attracts to Newport News, to the scientific insights that are gained, to the students who benefit at our local universities and to the technologies that are being developed by the very brilliant people who come work here every day, Jefferson Lab is a tremendous asset for Newport News, for Virginia, and for our nation,” said Rohlf.

During the ceremony, the 12 GeV CEBAF Upgrade Project was recognized by the DOE for project management excellence. Michael Epps, Federal Project Director, presented the 2017 DOE Project Management Achievement Award to Allison Lung, Jefferson Lab’s Chief Planning Officer and Director of the 12 GeV CEBAF Upgrade Project. According to the citation, the project demonstrated project management excellence while significantly contributing to the mission, goals and objectives of the DOE.

“The upgrade has required the talent and dedication of hundreds of individuals working for more than a decade to realize this exciting new science capability,” said Lung as she accepted the award on behalf of the 12 GeV Upgrade team.

Eager to capitalize on the new research capability is the laboratory’s nearly 1,600-member community of scientists who come here from 36 countries to conduct their research. The Jefferson Lab Users Organization encompasses this community, and two members spoke on behalf of their colleagues.

“The JLab Users are bursting with ideas on how to use these new facilities to further our studies. Despite a very competitive selection process, we already have nine years of planned experiments approved,” said Jefferson Lab Users Group Chair-Elect, Julie Roche. “The JLab Users have proposed new experiments, we have built new detectors, and of course, we have been here present since day one, helping JLab staff commission the new beam.”

Now that research has begun in the 12 GeV era, Jefferson Lab’s Users are focused not only on conducting the highest quality research available to them, but also on using the facilities to help train the next generation of nuclear physicists.

“I grew up as a scientist right here at Jefferson Lab. I did my thesis experiment in Hall C as a graduate student at the University of Virginia. And now, I am a spokesperson on experiments here with students of my own,” said Nadia Fomin, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee.

The Honorable Paul M. Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science, delivered the keynote for the dedication event upon his introduction by Jerry Draayer, President and CEO of the Southeastern Universities Research Association.

“Here at Jefferson Lab, we’re dedicating the CEBAF Upgrade for the study of the basic building blocks of the universe and of matter and the forces that keep it together and ultimately bind all of us together,” Dabbar said.

He spoke about the project and the many technical accomplishments that made it possible. He also commented on the project’s successful completion and the science it enables, and how that science brings people together.

“Like the forces that we study, here today at Jefferson Lab, there are strong forces here in this room that bind us together – the department, Congress and the Hill, the state, the community who supports nuclear physics and all across the lab complex, as well as the local community here in Newport News. We appreciate all the strong forces that are brought together here for the dedication of the 12 GeV Upgrade.”

Dabbar also spent time discussing the many advances that have spun off from basic research like that conducted here at Jefferson Lab.

“We expect that the same sort of research that is done here today, don’t know exactly where it’s going to go, but you know it’s going to go someplace important.”

Following the first portion of the program, Hugh Montgomery, former Jefferson Lab Director, emceed presentations by key 12 GeV Upgrade team members that describe in detail the new capabilities provided by the upgrade.

The full event can be viewed online here.

You can also view photos from the event on flickr.

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, 757-269-7263,

Further Reading

Jefferson Lab Completes 12 GeV Upgrade (Oct. 5, 2017)


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

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