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Dale Knutson Returns to PNNL; Bob Hettel Becomes Acting ALD for Accelerator Directorate

(Photo - Dale Knutson and Bob Hettel)
Dale Knutson (left) and Bob Hettel. (Photos by Brad Plummer.)

SLAC Director Persis Drell has named Bob Hettel as acting associate laboratory director for the Accelerator Directorate. Hettel takes the reins from Dale Knutson, who has returned to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory after his two-year deployment to SLAC.

Hettel, who most recently served as deputy director for the Accelerator Directorate, first came to work at SLAC as a student in 1968. In the ensuing years, he helped design the first instrumentation for SPEAR and eventually became head of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Accelerator Systems Division. Hettel will serve as Knutson's replacement until the search for a permanent replacement is completed.

"Dale has done a remarkable job structuring the Accelerator Directorate. It's a monumental task that took real talent," said Hettel. "I have a lot of personal respect for what Dale did here and, although it will be a challenging task, I look forward to continuing the work that Dale started until a permanent ALD is found."

Drell said: "I want to express my admiration and appreciation for Dale and all that he's done. In his two years at SLAC, Dale provided the management stability needed to bring the Linac Coherent Light Source through commissioning and developed an Accelerator Directorate structure that will serve the lab well in the years to come."

Knutson joined the laboratory in April 2008 as Acting ALD for the LCLS. In this role, he oversaw the strategy to integrate the LCLS project into SLAC's scientific program. In June 2009, Knutson became Acting ALD for the new Accelerator Directorate. Over the next 11 months, he worked to form the directorate's structure and content, ensuring that SLAC's core capabilities in accelerators are managed for the benefit of the laboratory as a whole.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at SLAC and I already miss the people I work with at the lab," Knutson said. "Bob is a highly qualified replacement and a steady hand at the wheel."

—Kelen Tuttle
SLAC Today, May 3, 2010