Revamping infrastructure to improve lab operations; delivering significant project savings four months ahead of schedule.
NEWPORT NEWS, VA –The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), a Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Laboratory, has been awarded the DOE Project Management Achievement Award for the recent Utilities Infrastructure Modernization Project. The UIM Project provided several critical systems upgrades and allowed for increased capacity to support research in the areas of nuclear physics, accelerator science and advanced instrumentation, without interfering with usual Jefferson Lab operations.
“The project was incredibly beneficial and helpful to the lab’s core mission,” says Rick Korynta, federal project director for the Thomas Jefferson Site Office. “It significantly increased the capacity and efficiency of the lab. The Science Laboratory Infrastructure Program, coupled with the project team, deserve a great deal of recognition.”
The UIM Project replaced and upgraded the accelerator site electrical distribution feeders, replaced the cooling towers serving accelerator operations, provided additional cooling and uninterruptable power for the Data Center, upgraded the Cryogenic Test Facility to support cryomodule development and testing, and improved site communications infrastructure. The project not only extended the life of existing utilities infrastructure and provided additional capacity to meet the lab’s science mission, it also resulted in greater flexibility to handle future mission needs.
Built in the late 1980s, the lab required a number of improvements to its aging infrastructure to maintain and improve productivity. In the mid 2000s, lab officials determined it was time to modernize and began project design and planning in 2009, with funding initiated in 2010. The project co-leaders, Logistics Manager Rusty Sprouse and Project Manager Michele Solaroli, began tackling the two primary barriers to completing the project: upgrading the electrical distribution cables during a maintenance period to keep the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility operational and majorly overhauling the Data Center without turning off the computers to continue regular lab operations.
“The team worked outside of regular business hours during the week and a lot on weekends to upgrade the system in phases. By executing the project this way, we were able to save time and spending while increasing capacity for the project,” Sprouse says.
“By effectively managing and anticipating unknown costs throughout all utility projects within the UIM, we were able to add $8 million worth of value to the project,” Solaroli says.
“The challenge for the team was executing the work with minimal impact to operations. This was critical for both replacement of the accelerator site electrical distribution feeders and upgrading the Data Center,” Sprouse adds. After the upgrade was completed, DOE also recognized the Data Center with a Federal Energy Management Program Lab and Data Center award.
Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.