SPEAR3 Dedication January 29, 2004
Pat Dehmer's Talk:

Almost precisely se ven years ago, the Office of Basic Energy Sciences commissioned the first review of its four light sources. The review was headed by Bob Birgeneau, who was then the Dean of Science at MIT. The committee members were among the most distinguished researchers in the country. However, very deliberately, only a fraction of them knew about the light sources. Some of the others were skeptics. A few were hostile, primari ly because of the large budgets associated with construction and operation of the light sources.

We asked this committee ten questions. The first question, the most important question, was:

"What has been the scientific impact of synchrotron radiation based research during the past decade, and what is it expected to be during the next decade?"

Of the four light sources under review, two had been commissioned quite recently. They were shiny and new, but they had only the briefest history of operations behind them and, thus, they could not answer the first part of the question from their own experiences.

By contrast, at the time of the review, SSRL had been operating for more than 20 years. It had a stunning portfolio of scientific and technical accomplishments, and, moreover, it had assembled a prestigious faculty and cadre of users that together described the science impacts from SSRL research and articulated a grand vision of the future.

It is not an understatement to say that the conclusion of the review, which strongly endorsed synchrotron radiation research and recommended that the two older facilities be upgraded, is due in large part to the dazzling performance of the researchers and faculty at SSRL.

"The most straightforward and most important conclusion of this study is that over the past 20 years in the United States synchrotron radiation research has evolved from an esoteric endeavor practiced by a small number of scientists primarily from the fields of solid state physics and surface science to a mainstream activity which provides essential information in the materials and chemical sciences, the life sciences, molecular environmental science, the geosciences, nascent technology and defense-related research among other fields. The user community at U.S. synchrotron facilities continues to grow exponentially, having reached more than 4,000 on-site users annually in FY97. The research carried out at the four D.O.E. synchrotron sources is both very broad and often exceptionally deep."

At that time, SSRL proposed a sweeping upgrade, which would be carried out in less than a year and at a very modest cost. It seemed too good to be true. It was certainly too good to pass up. Rather quickly, DOE and NIH partnered to fund it.

Today, we are celebrating several things: (1) the successful completion of the upgrade. (2) the collaboration between DOE and NIH that made it happen, and (3) most of all, we are celebrating the hundreds of staff at SLAC and SSRL who first envisioned the upgrade and then worked to complete it on time and within budget.

Once our oldest light source, SSRL is now our newest and shiniest. And its future is bright indeed.

In addition to my congratulations, Ray Orbach, the Director of the Office of Science, and Spencer Abraham, the Secretary of Energy, also send to all of you their best wishes and congratulations on the completion of this project.

Last month, when the Department of Energy officially closed the books on the SPEAR3 upgrade project, I joked with the folks here that, at the dedication ceremony, I expected to see 100 mA of current circulating in the ring. That, of course, was an absurdly unrealistic goal, and we all had a good laugh. Well, it was achieved.

This brings me back again to the team that made it hap pen on time, within budget, and meeting all technical specs. All of the staff who were part of that team are the heros of this project. Keith will talk about many, but I would like to single out one. And that one is Tom Elioff, who served as project manager.

[Tom up on stage.]

Tom has been a leader in the design, construction, and operation of major accelerator facilities for very nearly half a century, first at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and most recently here at SLAC.

He has had leadership roles for the Bevatron; the Bevalac; PEP I; Berkeley's National Center for Advanced Materials (NCAM), which inclu ded the Advanced Light Source (ALS); the Superconducting Super Collider; PEP II; and now the SPEAR3 Upgrade project.

Tom Elioff has a remarkable ability to get good people to work with him and to inspire their very best efforts.

On behalf of the Secretary Abraham, I have the g reat honor to present you with the U.S. Department of Energy's Distinguished Associate Award "for your many accomplishments and leadership in the project management of major accelerator consruction for the Department of Energy. Especially noted are your contributions to the PEP I, SSC, PEP II, and SPEAR3 projects."

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Keith Hodgson's presentation
Pat Dehmer's talk
New Beam Lines for SPEAR3
DOE Top 10 List
SLAC and SSRL Personnel that Contributed to the Upgrade
Photos (on left side go to Special Events-2004 January-SPEAR3 Dedication)
SLAC Press Release
San Jose Mercury News
San Mateo County Times
The Argus


last updated: JAN 30, 2004 a.mueller