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Final Girder Tops CRT

Ceremony Marks the End of First Phase of Construction

December 6, 2013

Margie Wylie, mwylie@lbl.gov, +1 510.486.7421

The final steel girder of the Computational Research and Theory facility was hoisted into place today in a “topping off” ceremony. As tradition dictates, the beam was decorated with an evergreen and American flag and signed by both the builders and some of the eventual occupants, including Kathy Yelick, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences, and division directors Sudip Dosanjh (NERSC), David Brown (Computational Research), and Greg Bell (Scientific Networking).

Some wags included messages with their signatures. “Computer goes here,” wrote NERSC’s Shane Cannon with an arrow pointing down.  David Skinner, also of NERSC added, “MPI_FINALIZE,” an inside joke for supercomputer programmers.

Kathy Yelick, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences, signs the final gir

Kathy Yelick, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences, signs the final girder as part of the topping-off rite. (Photo: Margie Wylie)

Topping off—the roots of which are old, but obscure—marks the beginning of the end for the heavy construction phase carried out by the “raising crew.” When construction is complete in early 2015, the CRT facility will house all three divisions of Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences, as well as NERSC’s supercomputers in a state-of-the-art data center.

Construction crew and guests shared a dinner after the ceremony, also a custom of the building rite. 

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.