When I joined the Advanced Light Source 11 years ago, I came with limited understanding of ALS, but with great respect and admiration for both the facility and its staff from my time as a user. I wanted to learn and see how I could help, and it has been a wonderful experience. In January, I will return to the Berkeley campus and take on the presidency of the American Physical Society, and Steve Kevan, the current ALS science deputy, will serve as interim ALS director.
The Lab has begun the search for a permanent ALS director. It is a very attractive position, and I have no doubt that the Lab will be successful in its search, especially since ALS is in a very strong position going forward. Over the last few years, we developed many important new beamline projects, the last of which will be commissioned in the next year or two. We also expanded operations and improved the light source, with the most dramatic planned upgrade (ALS-U) receiving the first step in approval from the Department of Energy last year. Importantly, our recent triennial review by the DOE was extremely positive. In addition to providing several recommendations, the review noted ALS’s high productivity, continued growth, and leadership in many areas of science.
Of course, the people of ALS make all the difference, especially in partnering with, and enabling the scientific programs of, our thousands of creative users. Perhaps my most important contribution has been hiring capable and collegial people to continue our tradition of exceptional operations. When I became involved with ALS, the staff included such managers as Janos Kirz, Neville Smith, Liz Moxon, David Robin, Gary Krebs, Ben Feinberg, and Jerry Kekos, together with many, many others, including those who have continued to support ALS for years, such as Steve Rossi, Howard Padmore, and Zahid Hussain, and those who advised me, like Jim Krupnick and Pat Oddone. Of course, we inevitably need to replace ourselves, as well as give others the opportunity to work at ALS. With the subsequent hiring of leaders like Jim Floyd, Steve Kevan, Ashley White, Fernando Sannibale, Sue Bailey, Banda, Scott Taylor, Jeremy Coyne, and of course my amazing assistant Yeen Mankin—and also many great scientific, technical and administrative staff including those in our matrixed divisions—we have continued to support folks and renew ourselves by engaging terrific new colleagues.
I want to sincerely thank all of my friends at ALS for their dedication to our mission, their caring style, and their hard work. I greatly enjoyed my decade-plus at ALS, and will look forward to following the inevitable future successes of our community.