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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 provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials, and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world, and our universe.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

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