Putnam recognized for outstanding service

JUNE 18, 2007

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Rick Putnam with some de-energized spare APS storage ring magnets.

Cedric “Rick” Putnam of the APS Engineering and Support Division (AES) Mechanical Operations and Maintenance Group is one of four Argonne employees to be presented with The University of Chicago Board of Governors for Argonne Outstanding Service Award for 2007.  

Putnam began his employment at Argonne 43 years ago as a technician with the Argonne Zero Gradient Synchrotron (ZGS). There, he developed extensive expertise in the finer points of the large magnets that are used in particle accelerators, including cooling-water flow, and hydrostatic and electrical testing of magnet coils. Many of the procedures used for the epoxy vacuum impregnation of magnet coils were developed and perfected at the ZGS with Putnam's assistance, and are used today at other facilities.

When the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source at Argonne was in its early stages, Rick fabricated magnets using the same techniques. His technical expertise was sought for all the electronic instrumentation and interlocks used for operation of the ALEX and FELIX magnets, constructed for liquid-metal flow experiments and fusion reactor first-wall blanket material experiments at Argonne, respectively.

After joining the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Accelerator Systems Division Magnet Group in 1989, Rick developed and managed a quality control program that was used for all electrical, hydrostatic, and flow tests on over 2,000 electromagnets in the APS accelerator complex. “These magnets have been operating for 13 years with very few problems,” said Bill Ruzicka, AES Director, “helping to maintain APS storage ring beam reliability at 95% and better. Rick has earned the respect of everyone who works with him. His knowledge and experience continue to have a positive impact on the APS.”

Murray Gibson, Argonne Associate Laboratory Director for Scientific User Facilities and APS Director, said "Rick is a gem and he's not the only one. Without an array of experts on the specialized technical components needed to make complex accelerators and x-ray beamlines perform, the APS would not be here today. I congratulate Rick on his long service and thank him and other unsung heroes on behalf of the APS user community".

The Outstanding Service Awards were established in 1983 by The University of Chicago Board of Governors to complement the Distinguished Performance Awards. The Outstanding Service Award recognizes employees in support positions whose exemplary service over an extended period has furthered the goals and missions of the Laboratory. An employee may be nominated for a consistent history of innovative ideas, suggestions, or inventions; for sustained leadership, reliability and dependability; or because of some special act of heroism or courage during an emergency. Other 2007 winners are Richard Konecny (HEP), Joyce Leggett (EQO), and Cynthia Wilkinson (CPA).

Argonne is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC