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From the Director of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

(Photo - David MacFarlane)

The reorganization announced today represents a significant change for the Particle Physics and Astrophysics Directorate. Accelerator research is a foundation for future high-energy physics facilities that will enable our science, and therefore a key element of the Department or Energy Office of High Energy Physics program here at SLAC. However, I believe that the creation of the Accelerator Directorate brings many advantages and opportunities both for our HEP program and the long-term health of the laboratory. In particular, it brings all the advantages of a more integrated, optimized and consolidated accelerator operations core capability, addressing the full suite of onsite user and research facilities. The new organization also ties the research community more closely to operations, while creating an environment where accelerator researchers can more seamlessly respond to the twin challenges of optimizing performance of existing facilities and fostering the innovation underlying future electron-based accelerators.

The laboratory's existing portfolio of near-, mid- and far-term OHEP-sponsored accelerator research is envisioned to continue as a central driver for the Accelerator Research Division within the new Accelerator Directorate. However, we now have the freedom to organize and prioritize activities more seamlessly by function within the Accelerator Research Division, including near-term or mid-term research sponsored by OHEP, Basic Energy Science/SSRL and BES/LCLS. We will also be able to support long-term research, anticipating a broader audience for these activities as OHEP takes on a stewardship role for far-field R&D within the Office of Science.

The OHEP accelerator research portfolio will be managed through PPA as before, as will the development of strategic planning and long-range direction. For this purpose, the OHEP-sponsored research projects, construction projects and operations activities will be reflected directly in the PPA organization chart. I believe this will allow us to more crisply articulate programs and goals, which should also help us make the case for future funding based on achievements.

To make such a matrixed organization work requires that key managers have dual reports to the associate lab directors for both the Accelerator Directorate and PPA. This means that these individuals will be essential members of the PPA senior management team, providing me with their best advice in formulating the future direction for the HEP program at SLAC. It also requires financial transparency and a common budgeting basis going forward. These are all common goals underlying the creation of the Accelerator Directorate, and I am committed to making the new structure function for both OHEP investments at SLAC and the laboratory as a whole.

óDavid MacFarlane
  
SLAC Today, July 29, 2009