Laurent Hardy

Engineer

I often think of my job in the Operation group as oiling the mechanics. You can have a high tech car with the best components, if there is no oil, it will seize up. That’s what we do in the Operation group, we identify the problems, ring the alarm bells and liaise between the different specialists to make the whole set-up work harmoniously. The most interesting time is the restart of the machine after several weeks of shutdown: that is when the challenges appear, but also when we all learn most. I’ve worked in accelerator operation since the early 1990s and my job has evolved enormously over that time. From a mainly technical debut in accelerator tuning with a lot of hands-on, trial-and-error experiments to push the equipment and take it to new limits, my work now relies a lot on a good memory of the machine and the hundreds of experiences and hitches that we’ve encountered along the way to making the machine so reliable. Recently, we have been recruiting a lot of young people for the EBS project; their endless energy and enthusiasm are contagious. The prospect of becoming the first synchrotron in the world with such a small beam is extremely motivating for all of us. Personally, I’m really excited about tackling the teething problems and learning how this new machine will live and breathe.”

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