The EN Department has a new leader

Roberto Saban takes over as new Engineering Department leader on 1 July 2010, at a time when the LHC is entering a stable operation phase. Roberto Saban presents his plans and vision.

Roberto Saban, new leader of the EN Department.

The CERN Engineering (EN) Department's main areas of activity are technical coordination, the design and operation with beam of accelerator components and experimental facilities, the associated infrastructure systems, such as electrical distribution, cooling, ventilation and transport, and finally the design and construction of mechanical elements for the facilities. “I do not plan to change the internal structure of the Department because it works well but, with the LHC entering a phase of stable functioning, the Department will shift its focus to operation and maintenance. In this new situation, our role is not limited to supporting LHC operation but, on the contrary, we fully take part in it thanks to the synergy with the BE and TE Departments inside the Accelerator and Technology Sector ”, explains Roberto Saban, the newly appointed EN Department leader. The only change in this management transition is the move of the Design of Electronic Modules section to the Technology (TE) Department.

In Saban’s vision, being part of LHC operations means ensuring the robustness of the technical infrastructures needed to operate the CERN accelerator complex and the associated experiments. “The infrastructure systems must become so reliable that they become invisible! Our goal is to make sure they never negatively impact on the performance of the facilities”, he says.

Saban holds a weekly meeting of the Technical Infrastructure Operation Committee, which monitors the performance of all the systems supporting the LHC: cryogenics, safety systems, electricity distribution, cooling, ventilation, vacuum, power converters, computer communication networks, access control, transport, controls, etc. “This exercise aims at identifying the actions and consolidation programmes needed to minimize the disruption caused by these systems”, he explains.

The Department is participating in a number of projects like the design and construction of the new LHC collimators, the construction of the LINAC 4 and the consolidation work for the LHC planned for 2012. “The consolidation programme will also concern the power distribution network (renovation of substations, cables, UPS devices, etc.), as well as the cooling and ventilation systems (controls, spare components, maintenance planning, etc.)”.

The EN Department can count on the contribution of hundreds of very motivated and skilled people. The Department is ready to tackle the very ambitious and challenging plans ahead.

Roberto Saban’s CV

Having graduated with a degree in informatics from Pisa University in Italy, Roberto Saban went on to earn a Master’s degree at Edinburgh University (UK). He arrived as a fellow at CERN in 1976 to work on the controls for the experimental areas at the SPS. During the LEP era he worked on the software for the beam instrumentation and then, with the creation of the Accelerator Technologies (AT) Department in 1990, he participated in the setting-up of the new Industrial Controls group. In the following years he became responsible for the controls and data acquisition of LHC String 1 and then coordinated the construction and operation of LHC String 2, where the final technical systems (cryogenics, vacuum, quench protection, power converters, etc.) of the LHC were validated. He was one of the pioneer users of the LHC Documentation project (EDMS). From 2003 until 2008, he was head of the team in charge of the commissioning of the LHC. In 2009 he was appointed deputy EN Department leader and head of the Industrial Controls and Electronics Group.




by CERN Bulletin