In his new role as ALS Engineering Lead, Ken Chow has taken on a consolidated role that was previously split between mechanical and electrical. As of August, a reorganization of ALS engineering has Chow overseeing all engineering tasks at the ALS, which includes magnetic and vacuum systems, mechanical engineering and technology, and electrical and controls engineering.
Chow has only been in his new role for about a month, but he already has a vision of greater communication. “I’m planning to meet regularly with engineering leads at the ALS,” he says. “I really see an important part of my job as helping to communicate engineering-related matters within ALS, to engineering staff, scientists and management, but also between ALS Division and Engineering Division.”
Chow is anticipating that a new engineering systems program being developed in the Engineering Division by Engineering Systems Lead Daniela Leitner will be rolled out to all engineering staff soon. “Here at the ALS I see us using a version that is tailored to our specific needs,” says Chow. “We’ll be doing the same work but I think an improved structure will add clarity to our engineering practices and also yield greater consistency between different projects.”
Another primary focus in his new role will be ALS-U. “It’s going to be a big challenge to keep current ALS projects going and to also try to get ALS-U off the ground at the same time,” he says. “ALS-U is going to be a really exciting upgrade.”
Prior to his new role, Chow’s work was mainly focused on beamlines and endstations—he was involved in larger beamline projects such as MAESTRO and COSMIC, providing engineering management and support.
“It’s a great time to be here; there are a lot of great projects going on and the prospect of ALS-U is very exciting,” Chow says. “It’s always fun to be involved with something like this.”