Kerry Loken is one of SNOLAB’s Project Managers and a professional engineer – she is also one of the 24 people taking part in the 2019 Project Leadership Institute run by the Department of Energy in the US. This prestigious Institute was developed by the DOE as a response to a pattern in the 1990s of large-scale science projects that were not being completed on time or on budget. In total, the Institute consists of 5 ‘away’ courses where participants meet together with instructors, an online course, and a final project. The DOE strives to have representation from each of its national labs (there are 17 of them) in each cohort, meaning that all participants have to be recommended by a director of one of the national labs.
It was SNOLAB’s close partnership with Fermilab, working on the SuperCDMS experiment that afforded Kerry this opportunity. Fermilab is developing much of the experiment’s infrastructure (electronics, cryogenics, etc.), and SuperCDMS will be hosted by SNOLAB while it operates. Kerry is a Level-2 manager on the project and has been working closely with Fermilab since she will be overseeing the installation of the project. They were impressed with her project management skill and chose to nominate her for the Institute.
The Project Leadership Institute encourages participants to take what they have learned back to their home institutions, and Kerry is doing a series of presentations at SNOLAB to share some of the project management information she has gained with colleagues here.