More than 140 engineers and scientists from 23 countries convened in Newport News for a workshop presented by Jefferson Lab on how to keep their operation running smoothly.
Ken Baggett, Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering Systems at Jefferson Lab, said the engineers came from countries such as Germany, Japan, Sweden Australia and Spain.
Jefferson Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy Office Science national laboratory. Scientists from all over the world use the lab’s one-of-a-kind particle accelerator, the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, to research the most basic building blocks of matter. This helps them to better to understand the particles and the forces that bind them.
“This is a world-class physics facility that is fiscally responsible,” he said
The workshop focused on how to maintain such machines to keep them running. A workshop format was chosen over a conference format so that participants could exchange ideas, said Baggett.
The three focus points were artificial intelligence/machine learning, predictive failure and how to increase reliability in harsh environments.
Baggett said there are over 10-thousand components in Jefferson Lab’s accelerator that need to be maintained.
There were discussions on how to handle supply chain issues and the rising cost of parts due to inflation, Bagget added.
The location of the Marriott at City Center was chosen because engineers from Europe and other countries are used to walking to restaurants. Though their schedule was packed with workshops, the group visited Colonial Williamsburg, the James River County Club and attended the A Scientist Walks Into A Bar event at Tradition Brewing that was open to the public for discussions with the engineers.
When asked how the German delegation like American beer, Baggett replied “they complain about it, but they drink it.”
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