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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


Steelworkers attach the final or "top" beam of the Computational Research and Theory building. (Photo: Margie Wylie)

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

Kathy Yelick, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences, signs the final girder. (Photo: Margie Wylie)

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 an American flag and the beam was 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.

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.

»See more photos from the event.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Computing Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) 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 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities. NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (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.

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