PNNL team honored for management

April 6, 2012 

The project management team for the new Physical Sciences Facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has won the Energy Secretary's Award of Excellence in Project Management.

The seven-year project was led by Chad Henderson, project director for the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest Site Office. The team included PNNL and DOE officials.

As environmental cleanup continues at Hanford, facilities there used by PNNL in Richland needed to be replaced.

The project team not only completed the new Physical Sciences Facility, but refurbished the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory at Hanford, which PNNL plans to use for 20 more years.

"The project's management team overcame extraordinary management challenges," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement.

Completed in 2011, the Physical Sciences Facility was the largest construction project in PNNL's history. The complex of new buildings on Horn Rapids Road cost about $224 million.

It includes a Materials Science and Technology Laboratory used to develop and test high-performance materials for new energy, construction and transportation technologies and systems. It also includes Radiation Detection Laboratory and Ultra-Trace Laboratory to develop radiation detection methods needed for identifying weapons of mass destruction and terrorist activities.

In addition, a Large Detector Laboratory and outdoor test track are being used to develop and test radiation detection technologies designed for U.S. border entry points. An Underground Lab supports homeland and national security research.

The project was completed ahead of schedule and the management team's planning led to a smooth transition of researchers and equipment to the new laboratories, according to the Pacific Northwest Site Office.

The team also kept the project within budget, despite the global construction boom, which increased labor and material cost, according to the office.

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