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LCLS Construction Receives Secretary's Award of Excellence

(Photo - award ceremony)
From left: Secretary Chu presents the award to John Galayda, Mark Reichanadter, Hannibal Joma, and Hanley Lee as DOE dignitaries Daniel Lehman and Ingrid Kolb watch in approval. (Photo: DOE.)

The Linac Coherent Light Source construction project was awarded the Secretary's Award of Excellence at a ceremony in Alexandria, VA, last Wednesday during the annual Department of Energy Project Management Workshop. The award recognizes the overall management of the project, and the effort and expertise required to build the first hard X-ray laser on time and under budget—from the groundbreaking in October 2006 to the facility's first X-ray laser light in April 2009.

Accepting the award from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu were John Galayda and Mark Reichanadter, representing SLAC's part of the management effort, and Hanley Lee and Hannibal Joma of the DOE management team. Reichanadter was quick to point out that the teamwork did not stop there.

"This was definitely a team effort by SLAC, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore National Labs," Reichanadter said, "and we couldn't have done it without the unwavering support provided by Pat Dehmer and Harriet Kung [DOE Office of Basic Energy Science], and Dan Lehman [DOE Office of Project Assessment]." Lehman attended the ceremony along with Ingrid Kolb, director of the DOE Office of Management. "Persis, and Jonathan Dorfan before her, were also instrumental in aligning the lab behind the project," Reichanadter said.

Previously, Lee received individual recognition for his part as federal project director for LCLS construction, garnering the 2009 Federal Project Director of the Year Award. This award, though, is different."One person alone can't do all the things necessary for the lab to be recognized with this award," he said. "It takes a team of people."

"I'm always conscious of how lucky I am to represent the LCLS project," said Galayda, who is now project manager for the LCLS expansion project, LCLS-II. "It's a privilege for me, and it's certainly something for the whole lab to be proud of, to have brought in the LCLS project on time and under budget." Even more impressive than that, he said, was the way in which it was done. "The fact that we were lasing within two hours—that's something SLAC as a whole delivered. Everything had to be right—every last wire and line of code. It demonstrated an attention to detail and a care in commissioning that is astounding."

Galayda credits that diligence, along with early scientific results, as major factors in initial and continuing support for LCLS-II. Approval of Critical Decision 0 for LCLS-II—the first major step in any DOE project—came in the same hour that LCLS passed its final commissioning milestone of sending the X-ray beam into the Far Experimental Hall.

"The overall success of the LCLS was the result of the hard work of the entire lab," Galayda said, "and that's a big reason for LCLS-II, as well."

—Lori Ann White
SLAC Today, March 21, 2011