SLAC Today logo

People: Ian Evans Champions User Safety

Ian Evans. (Photo by Lauren Knoche.)

He's back! Environment, Safety & Health Program Manager Ian Evans has returned to SLAC after three years developing the user safety program at the Spallation Neutron Science and High Flux Isotope Reactor research facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Prior to working at Oak Ridge, Evans managed the ES&H program at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource for 16 years. His duties at his new position will include continuing to develop a user safety program at the Linac Coherent Light Source, updating SSRL's user program, and integrating the two.

"SSRL is an established, mature facility, whereas LCLS is young and in the process of developing a program from a user's standpoint," Evans said. "The end goal is that, from the user perspective, the systems you see would be equitable at SSRL and LCLS."

To help SLAC offer world-class user programs in addition to world-class facilities, Evans will work to combine safety and operations programs so that users will see congruency between the two user facilities. Users will see consistency between SSRL and LCLS programs during the proposal review process, throughout a unified training program, and when interacting with support staff who will have similar roles and responsibilities at each facility. These commonalities will enable smoother transition for users who may have worked at SSRL in the past and are starting experiments at LCLS.

Creating a sense of cohesion between the two facilities will benefit SLAC as well. Applying similar policies and processes enables staffing flexibility, a stronger team approach and streamlining of resources. Sharing resources and materials between SSRL and LCLS will make SLAC's processes simpler and help reduce currently duplicated efforts.

"The question is 'How can we optimize and do things better?'" Evans said. "There has been big change, a positive change in culture and outlook [since 2006], but there is still a ways to go. Our goal is to ensure a good balance of performing science that is designed, planned and conducted safely."

Experience from his time at Oak Ridge should help Evans in tackling this feat. During his three years there, he worked to define, develop and implement user safety programs. News that LCLS needed similar help with its new user program and a chance to get out of the rain—average annual rainfall in Oak Ridge is about 20 inches higher than Seattle—brought Evans back to SLAC. The avid outdoorsman hopes that sunnier skies will give him more time to run and bike when he's not trying to keep up with the constant flow of users at SLAC.

—Lauren Knoche
SLAC Today, November 18, 2009