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Tunnel VisionsThe Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider$
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Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson, and Adrienne W. Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226294797

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226305837.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 November 2019

Settling in Texas, 1989–91

Settling in Texas, 1989–91

Chapter:
(p.121) Chapter Four Settling in Texas, 1989–91
Source:
Tunnel Visions
Author(s):

Michael Riordan

Lillian Hoddeson

Adrienne W. Kolb

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226305837.003.0004

Establishing the SSC Laboratory near Dallas, Texas, proved much more difficult than anticipated. As Central Design Group leaders did not participate in construction, SSC Director Roy Schwitters turned increasingly to engineers from the US military-industrial complex to fill key posts, leading to clashes with high-energy physicists. A major SSC redesign resulted in cost overruns greater than $2 billion, as the estimated cost grew from $5.9 billion to $8.25 billion. This major cost increase soured relations with DOE officials, especially Secretary James D. Watkins, who began installing trusted lieutenants into SSC leadership positions, such as Edward Siskin as General Manager; it abetted perceptions of an alien, military-industrial culture at the lab. This cost overrun provided ammunition for Congressional SSC opponents, who began accusing the DOE and physicists of project mismanagement. These claims were partly valid, for SSC managers had been laggard in establishing and validating the required computerized project-management control system.

Keywords:   SSC Laboratory, supercollider, Waxahachie, Texas, Roy Schwitters, cost overrun, high-energy physicists, military-industrial engineers, Department of Energy, large project management, particle detectors

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