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Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility Upgrades

Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility Upgrades

Los Alamos National Laboratory


The scope of this project was to upgrade and modernize a 50-year-old nuclear laboratory. The Chemistry, Metallurgy, and Research (CMR) facility provides laboratory space for research on plutonium and other actinide materials — an activity that is critical to LANL's nuclear stockpile program. The 550,000-sq-ft laboratory needed targeted renovations to extend its service life until a replacement facility could come on line. In 1997, project management concerns prompted suspension of the project. A new management team, with SMSI personnel selected for lead roles, was recruited to re-assess the mission need, project objectives, scope, organization, and performance baselines.


$174 million


1997 — 2002


Through a series of contracts, SMSI provided expert program management and controls support to reinvigorate the project. These services included (1) guiding the establishment of processes, procedures, and systems; (2) preparing and maintaining baselines for all facility upgrades; (3) monitoring and reporting on project status and performance; and (4) training project staff on processes, procedures, and software. We also supported the integration of project activities and subcontractors with maintenance and research operations. This included integrating the new architect-engineers (Bechtel National and Lockwood Greene) with the LANL project team and existing construction contractors.

SMSI's contributions established a sound management basis that allowed mission-critical research to continue, brought the project in under budget and on schedule, and regained the Department of Energy's (DOE's) confidence. The DOE Deputy Secretary selected the team for an Excellence in Acquisition award — DOE's premiere award for project management — and specifically identified SMSI employees as contributors to success.

"The success of the CMRU project is directly linked to the sound project management consulting provided by SMSI, from establishment of a project baseline through our successful execution of the subprojects."
— Dennis Basile, LANL Project Manager, 2002

The Chemistry, Metallurgy, and Research (CMR) facility, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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