Skip to main content

Bob O Hettel



Robert Hettel brings his extensive experience in the design, installation and commissioning of storage-ring light sources to his role as Advisor to the Associate Lab Director (ALD) for Photon Sciences and Director of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne. Hettel offers guidance to the Photon Sciences ALD on the designs for the upgraded APS and the transition to future operation of the facility.

From 2017 to 2021, Hettel served as the Project Director of the APS Upgrade (APS-U), overseeing the planning, construction, and implementation of the project. Under his guidance, the project achieved CD-3 status from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and construction began on several important components, including the Long Beamline Building that will house two of the newly built feature beamlines.

The APS is a DOE Office of Science user facility. The $815 million APS Upgrade project will be among the world’s most advanced next generation storage-ring based X-ray light sources enabling researchers to view and manipulate matter at the atomic level to solve complex science problems across multiple disciplines.

Hettel has served in numerous accelerator design and leadership roles, helping to develop technologies to advance light source performance.

He is a veteran accelerator designer and expert on storage-ring light sources, coming to Argonne in November 2017 from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Laboratory that includes the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source (SSRL), a DOE Office of Science user facility.

Hettel served as Deputy Associate Lab Director for Accelerators at SLAC. In 2013, he became the acting Head of the Accelerator Research Division, a division that pursues research and development in beam physics and technology for free electron lasers, colliders, storage ring and compact light sources, and advanced-technique accelerators. In this role, Hettel helped launch the ultra-fast electron diffraction and microscopy program that is now underway at SLAC.

Hettel earned his B.S. in physics with departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. He has benefited from decades of training in accelerator science and technology from many distinguished mentors at SLAC and elsewhere. In 2010, Hettel was promoted to the Distinguished Staff at SLAC.