After 30 years at the Lab, John Corlett, Project Management Officer, is retiring effective Aug. 30. He leaves behind a long and distinguished list of research projects that have made lasting contributions to scientific discovery. Just as importantly, his stewardship of the Project Management Office has further developed and strengthened this critical Lab function.
John came to the Lab from the United Kingdom in 1991 for two years to work as an accelerator physicist on the construction of the Advanced Light Source, which achieved first light on Oct. 5, 1993. Finding the Lab an exciting place to work, John stayed and made significant contributions to our scientific and capital projects and the broader scientific community.
Over the course of his career at the Lab, John perfected the art of collaboration with other scientific institutions. His many successful collaborations included his work at the SLAC B Factory, a particle accelerator that produced B mesons — sub-atomic particles — to study the imbalance between matter and antimatter to help answer the question of why matter dominates the universe. He lent his formidable talents to national and international collaborations for Linear Colliders and Muon Colliders for high energy physics energy and intensity frontiers and for light source technology development. His most recent partnership with SLAC and other labs is the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS-II); LBNL provided the high-repetition-rate electron gun and the undulators.
John has led the Lab’s Project Management Office (PMO) for the last four years. In addition to managing the PMO team, John shepherded and assisted a range of complex and critically important projects including CMB-S4, ALS-U, ESnet 6, and BioEPIC. For CMB-S4, John served as Interim Project Director during a key initial period for the project. He was a critical part of the effort to develop and hone the Lab’s project management capabilities, including two Project Management Advisory Boards (PMAB), which provided assurance and assistance to major mission-critical science and infrastructure projects. Last year, John and his team hired two deputies: Emil Nassar for Science and Engineering projects and Piper Kujac for Construction and Infrastructure projects.
Next week we will begin a nationwide search for a new Laboratory Project Management Officer. Effective September 1, 2022, Ellen Ford, the Lab’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer, will act as the interim PMO during the search for John’s replacement.
We will miss John professionally and personally, along with his keen insights and deft project management. He has made a tremendous impact at the Lab, setting a new bar for excellence in team science. Please join us in thanking him for his significant contributions to the Lab and wishing him well in his next adventure.