STONY BROOK, NY, November 2, 2020 – In recognition of project management excellence, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the U.S. ATLAS Phase I Detector Upgrade team, led jointly by Stony Brook University and DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, with the Secretary’s Achievement Award. The upgrade is one of only three to be honored with a DOE project management award this year.
Completed in August 2019, the U.S. ATLAS Phase I Detector Upgrade was an initial step towards a larger upgrade now in-progress for the Large Hadron Collider—the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) project. The overarching goal is to substantially increase the LHC’s luminosity, enabling scientists to collect 10 times more data from particle collisions, observe very rare processes, and make new discoveries about the building blocks of matter and how the universe works.
The U.S. ATLAS Phase I Detector Upgrade was a $44 million effort, jointly supported by DOE and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to build modern and more efficient electronics for ATLAS, providing the experiment with new and improved functionalities such as higher data collection rates. Specifically, the project focused on three components of ATLAS: the trigger/data acquisition system, the liquid argon calorimeter, and the forward muon detector (known as the New Small Wheel).
“The project team successfully navigated unique difficulties related to the highly international nature of the project, for which the lessons learned have been documented for the benefit of future projects,” said Project Manager Chris Bee, PhD, Principal Research Scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University.
“The very strong support we received from Brookhaven Lab, our DOE and NSF program offices, the Brookhaven Site Office, and the Stony Brook Office of Sponsored Programs and on-campus project office personnel was essential to this success.”
“The completion of this upgrade allows ATLAS to maintain our scientific goals in an era when the LHC accelerator performance exceeds the original design targets,” added John Hobbs, PhD, Principal Investigator and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook.
Twelve U.S. universities and DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory collaborated with Brookhaven Lab and Stony Brook University to complete the U.S. ATLAS Phase I Detector Upgrade on time and within budget, earning the Secretary’s Achievement Award for the team.
“The U.S. ATLAS Upgrade project team is commended for completing the project on budget and schedule, and for delivering equipment that will enable new discoveries in science for years to come,” said DOE in the award citation.
“The successful completion of this construction project is a testament to the dedication and teamwork of the many scientists, engineers, technicians, students, and administrators that were involved,” said Deputy Project Manager Marc-André Pleier, a physicist at Brookhaven Lab.
The insight and experience gained in Phase I is now benefiting the HL-LHC U.S. ATLAS project which is being led and managed jointly by Brookhaven Lab and Columbia University, and the U.S. ATLAS Operations Program which is managed jointly by Stony Brook and Brookhaven Lab.
The U.S. ATLAS Phase I Detector Upgrade was jointly supported by DOE ($33 million) and the NSF ($11 million).