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European Spallation Source AB: James H. Yeck to Become New CEO of the European Spallation Source Project

STOCKHOLM--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- James H. Yeck has been selected to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the European Spallation Source project. In March 2013, James Yeck will take over from Colin Carlile, the founding CEO, in time for the launch of the construction of the ESS facility. Colin Carlile, the current CEO, was responsible for winning the bid to locate the ESS in Lund, and will complete his contract at the end of February 2013.

James Yeck is currently the Director of the IceCube neutrino telescope project, an international project under construction at the South Pole, and based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. James Yeck will start at ESS on 1 January, and will become CEO on 1 March.

When completed, the ESS will be the world-leading centre for materials research and life science with neutrons, and one of the world’s largest research facilities. When the ESS project in early 2013 will move from Pre-Construction to Construction Phase, the project will change in character. James Yeck has been recruited to lead the Construction of ESS to the planned inauguration in 2019. He has a long experience of leading the construction of similar large-scale research projects.

- I am very pleased to have been able to attract such a respected person as James H. Yeck to the ESS project, said says Sven Landelius, the Chair of the ESS AB Board, when making the announcement. His proven ability to manage large-scale science projects and lead in a complex environment, will be a great asset for ESS.

- Colin Carlile has been the crucial driving force behind the realisation of ESS as a concrete project on the global science arena. He lead the successful establishment of the ESS project and the building up of a solid foundation, and with James Yeck continuity will be assured.

Colin Carlile has been leading the ESS project since 2007, as Director-General and CEO for ESS AB, and earlier as Director for ESS Scandinavia. Together with Allan Larsson, former Swedish Finance Minister and Lund University Board Chairman, he led the campaign to bring the ESS to Lund. That bid led Europe’s Research Ministers to choose Lund as the location for ESS. Colin Carlile has built up the ESS organisation from a small secretariat to a large project team with close to 150 staff, 60 Partner Laboratories around the world, and partnered by 17 European countries.

- I am very satisfied with how far we have brought the ESS project from modest but ambitious beginnings. We have got to the point where it is natural to change leadership, says Colin Carlile, ESS Director-General and CEO. James Yeck is the right person to take this project forward into Construction, and I warmly welcome him to ESS.

- I am proud over having received the confidence to head this world-leading, but challenging, project to completion. We have a great journey in front of us, and I am very much looking forward to embarking upon it together with the talented team of the people working in the project right now, says James H. Yeck.

Besides leading the construction of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory since 2003, James Yeck also worked from 2006-2009 to help launch construction of the National Synchrotron Light Source II project at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, USA, serving as Deputy Project Director during this critical phase of the project. Earlier in his career he served as Project Director for the U.S. contribution to the CERN Large Hadron Collider construction project, managing the delivery of 531 million dollars of accelerator and detector hardware. His career in project management started as the US Department of Energy’s Project Manager for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. James Yeck has a B.S. in engineering and an M.S. in mechanical and nuclear engineering, and studied risk assessment for large science projects as part of graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania.

James Yeck has received several prestigious awards for good project management, including the prestigious Project Manager of the Year from the U.S. Department of Energy. The awards have cited his talent for managing large-scale projects and his ability to combine good judgment with leadership and people skills.


The European Spallation Source – the next generation facility for materials research and life science

The European Spallation Source (ESS) will be a multi-disciplinary research laboratory based on the world’s most powerful neutron source. ESS can be likened to a large microscope, where neutrons are used instead of light to study materials – ranging from polymers and pharmaceuticals to membranes and molecules – to gain knowledge about their structure and function. ESS will be around 30 times better than existing facilities, opening up new possibilities for researchers in for example health, environment, climate, energy, transport sciences and cultural heritage.

ESS is an intergovernmental research infrastructure project, and it will be built in Lund in southern Scandinavia. Currently 17 European countries are Partners in the ESS project, and will take part in the construction, financing and operation of the ESS. Sweden and Denmark will co-host the ESS and cover 50 percent of the 1,4 B€ investment costs and 20 percent of the operating costs together with the Nordic and Baltic states.

The European Spallation Source ESS AB is a public limited company, today owned by the Swedish and the Danish states. ESS AB is currently working on finalizing the ESS technical design, planning the future research at ESS, preparing for construction, and planning the future international ESS organisation. This is done in collaboration with a large number of research institutes, universities and laboratories around the world. Construction is expected to start in 2013, the first neutrons to be produced in 2019 and the facility to be fully operational around 2025.

ESS is expected to support a user community of at least 5000 European researchers and will have great strategic importance for the development of the European Research Area. Near by there will be complementary laboratories, such as the synchrotron MAX IV in Lund and XFEL and PETRAIII in Hamburg.

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Marianne Ekdahl
Communications Officer Press & Public Affairs
46 (0)46 - 888 30 66

Source: European Spallation Source AB