Hasan Padamsee takes over as head of Technical Division

Hasan Padamsee

Many Fermilab researchers may recognize Hasan Padamsee’s name from the cover of one of their former textbooks. Now, the man who literally wrote the book on superconducting radio-frequency technology is leading Fermilab’s Technical Division and the laboratory’s SRF program. He began in his new role as Technical Division head on Monday, June 2. He takes over from David Harding, who has served as acting Technical Division head since December 2013.

“David’s fantastic leadership has left the division in a great position. He is in command of many areas and is invaluable to me,” Padamsee said. “I have asked him to continue to help me make this transition.”

As part of his new role, Padamsee will also take on the position of SRF program manager, responsible for managing and coordinating the laboratory’s SRF activities. Bob Kephart, who led Fermilab’s SRF program for the last seven years, will focus his attention on the Illinois Accelerator Research Center program.

Padamsee came to Fermilab after 40 years at Cornell University, where he led the superconducting RF group for more than two decades. In his long and distinguished career, Padamsee published three books on SRF technology and held several appointments with other institutions, including CERN, DOE and Beijing University. He received several accolades and awards, including being elected fellow of the American Physical Society in 1993.

It was a natural decision to take the position, Padamsee explained. He had begun a phased retirement at Cornell and was consulting for Fermilab during the last five years, a position that helped him get to know key researchers in the laboratory’s SRF area. He is excited by the challenges of building the accelerators required for future experiments, and he hopes that through his role, he can help the division reach new heights.

“The division is full of very talented, skillful, hardworking people,” Padamsee said. “They have a high level of expertise in two major technical areas that are important to accelerators around the world — magnets and cavities — and both have room for growth and room for application.”

As TD head, Padamsee has several goals, including improving communication between the division’s different suborganizations. He plans to work with each department head to learn about and help solve the department’s day-to-day challenges.

“I am going to focus on trying to inspire the experts here to push the technology forward and enable the accelerators that we want to build for the mission of the laboratory,” Padamsee said.

Sergei Nagaitsev, acting associate laboratory director for the Accelerator Sector, feels that Padamsee’s selection for the role highlights the importance of the Technical Division’s work.

“When a person of this stature becomes the leader of the division, it tells a great deal,” Nagaitsev said. “I am looking forward to working with him. I think he is an asset for our laboratory.”

Rhianna Wisniewski