September 3, 2004  


SPEAR3 Project Wins DOE Award for Excellence

By Keith Hodgson and Nina Stolar

On August 13, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham presented the Secretary’s Excellence in Acquisition Award to the SPEAR3 Management team in a ceremony at the DOE headquarters in Washington, DC. The Fourth Annual DOE Project Management Awards pay tribute to those teams or individuals who have achieved outstanding results through resourceful, innovative thinking and implementation.

The SPEAR3 Management Team and Hanley Lee (DOE Stanford Site Office) received the Secretary’s Excellence in Acquisition Award. Shown (l to r): Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, Hanley Lee, Richard Boyce, Bob He�el (ASD), Tom Elioff and Deputy Secretary of Energy Kyle McSlarrow. (Photo by Keith Hodgson)

The $58M, 3-GeV SPEAR3 accelerator—jointly funded by DOE and the National Institutes of Health (NIT)—is now providing 3rd generation light source capability for the SSRL user community.

Completed in November 2003, the SPEAR3 Upgrade Project replaced the original 30-year-old SPEAR storage ring with an entirely new low-emittance, high-current ring.

Following an intense 7-month shutdown period, the first electron beams circulated in the new SPEAR3 ring in mid-December 2003 and the first experiments began in mid-March. At the end of the first user run (July 31), the new accelerator had exceeded all expectations in performance—delivering 97.1 percent of the scheduled beam to users.

Tom Elioff, SPEAR3 Project Director, reflected on the evolution of the project and its aggressive installation schedule. He noted that at the beginning of the project, the SPEAR2 users and the SSRL Users’ Organization Executive Committee welcomed the possibility of the enhanced SPEAR3 performance but were not enthusiastic about a major interruption in their research programs.

Richard M. Boyce (ASD), responsible for acquisition and installation of the magnets and supports, said, “The entire SPEAR3 project team deserves credit for the successful culmination of four years of intense effort and dedication which resulted in the remarkable accomplishment of meeting the extremely tight installation schedule and exceeding our first beam-to-users goal.”

“SPEAR3 is a remarkable resource that will enable state-of-the-art science in numerous fields,” said SSRL Director Keith Hodgson. “The $58 million project was completed on time and on budget. I thank the people whose extraordinary teamwork made the project successful. In a remarkable accomplishment, the old accelerator was dismantled, a new tunnel floor poured, SPEAR3 installed and commissioned, and users back on-line—all within a mere 11 months.”

SPEAR3 incorporates the latest technology—much of it pioneered at SSRL and SLAC—to make it competitive with the best synchrotron sources in the world.

In late January Secretary Abraham observed, “This is the first time the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health have joined in funding an accelerator research facility. I expect this to be a long and productive collaboration whose impact will be truly far-reaching, generating new knowledge and benefits to humanity.”

For more information on the SPEAR3 award and the Upgrade Project, see:




The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Friday September 03, 2004 by Emily Ball