Director's Corner

3 May 2007

Barry Barish

Thanks, Gerry...welcome, Mike

It is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael Harrison of Brookhaven National Laboratory as the new GDE Regional Director for the Americas, succeeding Professor Gerry Dugan of Cornell University as of 1 May 2007.

Michael Harrison
of Brookhaven National Laboratory, new Regional Director for the Americas.
Gerry Dugan
of Cornell is stepping down as the Americas Regional Director

The very first appointments I made when I became GDE Director were the three Regional Directors: Brian Foster for Europe, Fumihiko Takasaki for Asia and Gerry Dugan for the Americas. Their primary responsibility is to coordinate the ILC R&D programmes within Europe, Asia and the Americas, to ensure that they are as consistent as possible with the GDE priorities. A year ago, one of our Regional Directors, Fumihiko Takasaki, was promoted to become Director of the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies at KEK Laboratory, and Mitsuaki Nozaki replaced him as the GDE Asian Regional Director. This month, Gerry Dugan will start his phased retirement and step down as the Americas Regional Director.

In the Americas, Gerry deferred his planned phased retirement at Cornell to take on the job as Regional Director. At the time, we agreed he would only serve until we produced the ILC Reference Design Report, which we released in February. Gerry has been a key person in the GDE successfully meeting its first two major milestones -- developing a globally conceived “baseline configuration” in 2005, followed by the “reference design” in 2006. He and the other Regional Directors have insured that our processes are truly global, while respecting and supporting regional interests.

As regional coordinator for the Americas, Gerry Dugan has played many roles. He is a highly regarded accelerator physicist and played a strong intellectual role in the developing of our actual design for the ILC. As coordinator of the US R&D programme, Gerry has had to balance the priorities of the GDE with the regional interests as established by the Americas Regional Team (ART), as well as the interests of the large laboratories and the university community. Gerry has done a terrific job of carrying out this balancing act, while developing, coordinating and prioritising the Americas regional programme. In addition, Gerry has been an invaluable member of the GDE Executive Committee, our top level decision making and policy committee. Despite the fact that we value and rely so heavily on Gerry, and despite his huge impact on our work, he is determined to carry out his retirement plan. Of course, we must accept his decision. On behalf of the entire GDE, I congratulate Gerry on a job very well done and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. At the same time, I hope Gerry will continue to be involved in our effort in selective but significant ways.

The new Americas Regional Director will be Michael Harrison, who is also a prominent accelerator physicist. Mike served as Associate Project Director of the RHIC Project during its formative years and his major contributions to that successful project are well known. In fact, along with Satoshi Ozaki, Mike will be honoured this June at the biennial Particle Accelerator Conference (PAC07) where they will receive the IEEE NPSS Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award for “leadership in the successful design and construction of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

The GDE has changed a lot during our short lifetime, and we are presently reorganising to be better able to enter into the engineering design phase. Therefore, we are also evolving the role of the Regional Directors and hence defining Mike's job somewhat differently from Gerry's role. In particular, we expect Mike to assume a larger role in representing the GDE in Washington DC and to work to align the Americas' regional programme with the ILC R&D and EDR plans. In addition, Mike's fundamental responsibility to coordinate the Americas R&D programme will be done in close coordination with the Project Office we are currently setting up and the set of GDE work packages we will develop.

I enthusiastically welcome Mike Harrison to the GDE, and we all look forward to his joining our adventure.

-- Barry Barish