Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Project Management

MaRIE is an experimental facility for time-dependent control of dynamic properties of materials for national security science missions. It is capable of developing qualified, certifiable, flexible, and low-cost product-based solutions to many materials problems.

Background

For more than 70 years, DOE and its predecessor agencies have conceived, designed, built, and operated major research and production facilities.  The investments by the Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have yielded a wealth of dividends, including new intellectual capital, significant technological innovations, increased national security, enhanced economic competiveness, and improved quality of life for the American people.  Starting with the Manhattan Project, DOE and its predecessors have also expected disciplined management of these construction projects.  The codification of these expectations is DOE Order 413.3B, “Program and Project Management for the Acquisition of Capital Assets.” 

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Within the DOE, the Office of Science (DOE-SC) Program has demonstrated the ability to successfully deliver complex accelerator based science facilities that support enhanced research capabilities in many areas.  Some of the most important lessons learned that contributed to SC Projects include upfront planning with clear, understandable, well-articulated objectives; top-down support from Laboratory management; a strong project team with state-of-the-art project management tools; early risk identification and mitigation; adequate contingency (budget and schedule); and regular technical and project management reviews.  All of these factors are proactively being adopted into the planning for the proposed Matter Radiation Interactions in Extremes (MaRIE) project to enable its successful completion for the NNSA.

MaRIE Project Management Approach: 

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The MaRIE project planning begins with a well-developed work breakdown structure that captures all of the expected work scope for the facility.  This structure and methodology emulate Office of Science best practices and draws heavily on successfully completed projects of similar scope such as the Spallation Neutron Source, Linac Coherent Light Source, and the National Synchrotron Light Source II. 

The WBS has been developed to a sufficient level of detail, beyond the requirements of CD-0, to enable reasonably detailed planning which lend confidence to the cost and schedule estimates.  Moreover, it will also facilitate value engineering and scope phasing analysis during later phases of the project lifecycle.  Building on our WBS, we have developed a technically driven schedule and performed a Class 4 estimate of its costs (as defined by Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineers, AACE).  Importantly, this schedule preserves LANSCE operations throughout the entire MaRIE construction. Consistent with best practices, the DOE Cost Estimating Model (see Figure 3), the cost estimate is fully burdened, includes Technology Readiness Level-driven and element-specific contingency, and escalation.  Technical risks associated with MaRIE realization have been analyzed, and the team is planning to reduce risk/uncertainty and capitalize on opportunities during the design phase.

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Finally, our acquisition strategy for MaRIE is to establish collaboration among other DOE national laboratories and an industrial construction partner to design, construct and operate the world’s most powerful hard x-ray source for world-class materials research.  


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