Keeping track of the thousands of components needed to upgrade the APS

As the APS Upgrade’s supply chain coordinator, Aleksander Stankovik conducts detailed planning and forecasting to ensure all the materials are in place.

By Marguerite Huber

The Advanced Photon Source (APS) is shutting down for a year to undergo a complex and extensive upgrade. It’s a major investment in the future of science, as well as a significant investment in the APS, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Behind the scenes of the upgrade, Aleksander Stankovik keeps track of the tens of thousands of components and materials needed for the project. As supply chain coordinator, Stankovik uses a component database, which includes approximately 30,000 entries, to manage all the inventory and assembly data.

“We cannot spend time searching for something,” explained Stankovik.” All the components we are using, you cannot go to a local store and buy them. You need to know at any given time where something is and how to get it. That’s a non-negotiable for this project.”

Stankovik joined Argonne and the APS in 2020 after spending years in logistics and supply chain management, helping to build energy facilities, chemical plants and refineries around the world as a government contractor. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, a project he was working on was put on hold and Stankovik looked for another position. He was inspired by the challenge of the APS Upgrade.

“I knew that this was a different industry, but I was confident that my knowledge and experience would be of great value to the project team,” said Stankovik. “I was hoping that if I could join Argonne, I would be able to share my knowledge, learn new things, make a few more friends, and help to successfully complete the project.”

Read more on the APS website

Image: Aleksander Stankovik, supply chain coordinator for the Advanced Photon Source Upgrade.

Meet Greg Fries, NSLS-II Accelerator Division Deputy Director for Projects

Fries plays a key role at NSLS-II, straddling the line between management and workers ‘in the field’ to ensure projects run smoothly and safely

Greg Fries is the deputy director for projects in the accelerator division at National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. At NSLS-II, electrons are accelerated to nearly the speed of light and directed into a “storage ring,” where they emit x-rays as they circulate. The x-rays are used to study a huge range of materials and samples, from batteries to potential new pharmaceuticals.

What do you do at NSLS-II?

In this role, I wear many hats. I’m responsible for planning and coordinating the installation and major maintenance activities related to the accelerator. I work closely with the engineers and technicians, as to how to best manage the time that we have during machine shutdowns. I’m also involved in the construction of new beamlines; for example, right now I am responsible for the accelerator infrastructure for the building of the High Energy Engineering X-ray Scattering (HEX) beamline and the NSLS-II Experimental Tools II (NEXT-II) projects. Ultimately, I work with the accelerator division staff to deliver the insertion devices, front ends, and other beamline systems. In addition, I manage the overall staffing plan and budget for the accelerator division.

I am also the work control manager for NSLS-II, supporting both the accelerator and photon divisions. In this role, I help implement work planning and control processes, and train new work control coordinators. A lot of what I do is coordination among groups to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Right now, I’m also working on the Advanced Light Source upgrade (ALS-U) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. I manage the budget and schedule for their power supplies and am fully integrated into their team. I’ve also been able to visit many of the other labs, particularly those who are going through upgrades, and be part of those processes. I’ve learned many lessons by being involved in the construction and maintenance of NSLS-II that I’ve been able to share with projects at other labs.

Read more on the BNL website

Image: Greg Fries stands in front of the main entrance of NSLS-II

Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory