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The Role of the Federal Project Director: Lessons from the National Ignition Facility

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) Facility is home of the world’s largest laser.  With 192 laser beams that can deliver more than 60 times the energy of any previous laser system, NIF represents a significant step in enabling the study of high-energy density science, and should demonstrate fusion ignition and burn in the laboratory for the first time.  The design and construction of this unique, highly complex facility posed management challenges that the project team overseeing its development could not foresee.  (September 2010)