Rudy Alforque

Rodal Intl.
South Setauket, NY 11720, U.S.A.
Tel: (631) 612-1206
email: click here to send email


The following is a brief chronological glance at my career from my present position at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), to the pre-BNL years here in the U.S.A., and to those good ol' days back in the Philippines.

  1. My Career At BNL

    1. National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II):
    2. (November, 2006 - December 30, 2010)

      A new opportunity for me to be involved in another exciting project came knocking on my door when the $900 million NSLS II project became a reality. When completed in 2013, NSLS II will be a leading-edge, state-of-the-art 3rd-generation Light Source and will allow Brookhaven National Laboratory to reclaim it's global lead in this field.

      I decided, however, to retire effective December 30, 2010. The job turned out to be different from what I expected, and the excitement slowly faded away. It was time to seek something more fulfilling, and leave the task of completing the NSLS II project to my able and competent colleagues.

      All in all, despite a few downs, I had a satisfying career at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Looking back, I wish to thank Gene Jablonski who hired me way back in 1979 - he was my first supervisor and was so helpful and generous in helping me build my career. To Hank Hsieh for his guidance and good engineering ethics, to Dr. Derek Lowenstein and Dr. Satoshi Ozaki (RIP) for being so supportive, and, of course, to the many others I encountered along the way. Thank you all!

    3. Collider Accelerator Department:
    4. (April, 1992 - October, 2006)

      After the construction of RHIC in 1999, it became a part of the Collider Accelerator Department (C-AD); consequently, I became a member of C-AD. I provided engineering support wherever and whenever my services were needed.

      For a quick look at some of my work more recently, please visit my CyberCabinet by clicking here.


      1. Atlas Barrel Cryostat:

        In 1998 when RHIC was almost complete and the work involved was generally routine construction, I was drafted into a small group of scientists, engineers, & designers to work on the design and construction of the Atlas Barrel Cryostat. We were charged to design and build the cryostat that will house the Electromagnetic Calorimeter for the Atlas Detector of the Large Hadron Collider at Cern. It is a huge pressure vessel that must be made out of aluminum, and must be designed with the least material mass possible in order to achieve good Physics, but at the same time, it must be structurally sound enough to withstand several bar of hydrostatic pressure from liquid Argon. This is, of course, a physically-conflicting requirement considering that the thinner the skin of vessel is, the weaker it becomes; This called for heavy numerical calculations on my part using the Finite Element Method in order to determine the best geometry that will satisfy both the Physics and the structural requirements. After a few months of tedious work, the final design was approved in Geneva. Soon after that, an international bidding was initiated.

        The barrel cryostat was built at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe, Japan. During the construction phase, I made several trips to Japan with my colleagues in the scientific and technical staff who were involved in the project. It was particularly good for me since it brought back fond memories of my stay in Japan during my graduate studies at Kyoto University. In fact, in one of those trips, I went to visit my former advisor, Prof. Hideaki Nishihara, and my "sempai", Dr. Isao Kataoka, now a professor at Osaka University.

        The barrel cryostat was delivered to CERN in Geneva in year 2000. It is now installed in the Large Hadron Collider, and together with all the other massive components constitute one of the biggest detectors at the largest accelerator of the world.

      2. Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) Project:

        In 1992, I joined the Collider Ring Division (CRD) of RHIC as the Design Safety Engineer. In this capacity, I provided, on request, the necessary technical assistance to the engineers, and designers in our division to ensure that their projects are safe and sound from the standpoint of structural and thermal integrity. In addition, having been assigned as the cognizant engineer, I designed, procured, and initiated the installation of more than 1700 magnet stands in the Rhic tunnel. Also, I designed, procured, and implemented most of the transport and installation system of the Rhic magnets.

        And, on top of doing engineering design and analysis, I also installed a Collider Ring Division Webserver; I designed, programmed, and published various WWWeb pages for our Division. This was also the beginning of a web-based system that included among other things the almost automatic generation of the proper "traveller" sheets for the installation of hundreds of Rhic magnets.

    5. National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS):
    6. (September, 1983 - March, 1992)

      After being assigned as the cognizant mechanical engineer for the Laser Electron Gamma Source (LEGS) line, I designed, and procured various components for this beamline, most significantly the Septum, and Tagging magnets. Aside from this responsibility, I also engineered various instrumentation components for the X-ray, and Vacuum-Ultra-Violet (VUV) rings, such as beam profile monitors, beam scrapers, and electrostatic kickers. Furthermore, I also designed and procured the support system for the prototype Synchrotron Lithography Source (SLS), and was the engineer-in-charge in the installation of the SLS ring. Before I left NSLS to join the RHIC project, I was the deputy to Dr. Sushil Sharma who was then the chief engineer of the Synchrotron X-Ray Lithography Source (SXLS) project after our former chief engineer, Hank Hsieh, left NSLS to join another project in Italy. I went on to join the RHIC project hoping to contribute a little bit to the construction, and eventual realization of one of the last Big Machines to be built here in the U.S.A.

    7. Department of Advanced Technology (DAT):
    8. (May, 1982 - August, 1983)

      I served as research engineer at the Structural Analysis Division of the Department of Nuclear Energy which later became the Department of Advanced Technology; nowadays, it is called the Nuclear Science & Technology (NST) Dep't. I was mostly involved there in the dynamic analysis of nuclear piping systems using the finite element method. Also, I worked on the dynamic qualification of various nuclear power plant components, and was a member of the seismic qualification review team that occasionally represented the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during nuclear power plant audits. I left this department to join a new and exciting field of user-oriented electron accelerator system, commonly known as synchrotron light source.

    9. Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS):
    10. (August, 1979 - April, 1982)

      In 1979, I was hired by Gene Jablonski, then AGS Chief Engineer, as a Development Engineer for the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS). I gradually learned to apply my engineering background to design and build systems for the AGS through the mentorship of Gene Jablonski, and Dr. Howard Weisberg. Through their guidance, I designed and built various AGS ring components such the electrostatic wire septum and kicker, pick-up electrodes (PUE), segmented-wire ionization chamber(SWIC), etc. Then, later on, I was assigned to be the cognizant mechanical engineer of the linear accelerator, or Linac. It was also during this time that I started to learn the Finite Element Method as an engineering tool. This turned out to be a very powerful analytical tool, especially nowadays that this kind of technology has already matured, and computer hardware has become more powerful (and cheaper!) than ever.

      In addition, although I was officially an AGS engineer, I was also assigned to be part of the injection group of the ertswhile Isabelle project under Dr. Horst Foelsche. In this group, I was the cognizant engineer in the procurement of the injection line quadrupoles which were designed and fabricated at the Stanford Linear Accelerator facilities in California. And although Isabelle was eventually discontinued, it is refreshing to note that these quads are now being used for the injection line of the RHIC project. Furthermore, I did some structural analysis work for Carl Goodzeit during the design phase of the Colliding Beam Accelerator (CBA) superconducting dipole. Similarly, I did the same type of analysis for the window-frame superconducting magnet under Dr. Gordon Danby.

      I left the AGS department to join the Structural Analysis Division of the Department of Nuclear Energy to become more proficient in the art of Finite Element Analysis.

  2. My Career In The U.S. Before BNL

    1. Courter and Co.
      Shoreham Nuclear Power Station
      Wading River, New York

    2. From July, 1978 to July, 1979, I was Area Engineer in the Turbine Area for Courter, & Co. at the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station. Part of my responsibility then was the field installation of various piping components, as well as identify and analyze problems encountered along the way and then generate re-design proposals. These modifications, of course, must conform with the applicable code or standards such as the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, ANSI B31.1, AISC specs,or the AWS welding specifications, etc. I left this job when I received an offer to join Brookhaven National Laboratory.
    3. Herbert Products Inc.
      Westbury, New York

    4. From May, 1977 to July, 1978, I worked as a mechanical designer at Herbert Products in Westbury, New York. The company was involved in the design and fabrication of infrared dryers, and air moving equipment for the printing industry. In this job, I performed actual drawing board layout, details, and assembly drawings of various structures, mechanisms, and sheetmetal enclosures. I left to join the construction project of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station in order to gain more experience in field engineering.
    5. Lubow Machine Co.
      Copiague, New York

    6. In late July, 1976, I came to New York after a 3-year stay in Japan. In September, 1976, I got my first job in the United States: Numerical Control Programmer/Machinist for Lubow Machine Co. in Copiague, New York. The company was in the business of designing and building automatic wire welding equipment. In addition, the company also fabricated assorted components for outside customers. My job was to methodize the machining process; I wrote, prepared, and tested the necessary computer programs for N/C machining. In this job, I learned the art of numerically-controlled machining, at a time when computers were not as smart as they are today! I left this job in May, 1977 in order to rehash my engineering design skills.

  3. My Career Back In The Philippines

    1. University of the Visayas
      Cebu City, Philippines
    2. In 1972, after having been a member of the Faculty of Engineering for three years, I was appointed as chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of the Visayas in Cebu City, Philippines. In addition, aside from teaching basic curriculum courses, I also taught review classes for the national board exams in mechanical engineering. I handled subjects in Power Plant Engineering, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Machine Design, Engineering Economics, and Mathematics. I left this position when I obtained a scholarship for further studies in Japan.

    3. Cebu Institute of Technology
      Cebu City, Philippines
    4. In 1968, I accepted the offer to join the Faculty of Engineering at my college Alma Mater, Cebu Institute of Technology, after I shared top honors in the national board examinations for mechanical engineers. Also, in conjunction, I accepted a similar position in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the Visayas where I finished high school. In 1972, however, I had to leave Cebu Institute of Technology in order to devote full time as chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of the Visayas.

    5. OTHERS:
    6. To help support my college education, at one time or another, I worked as high school instructor in Mathematics and Physics at the following private catholic institutions: