Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory to hold virtual Industry Day on Oct. 27

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is hosting a virtual Industry Day from 1-4:30 p.m. Oct. 27 to inform business owners about a new research building and other planned large construction projects as PPPL expands its mission to become a multipurpose national laboratory.

“We are very excited to be hosting our first Industry Day at PPPL in many years. Our hope is to promote dialog between the laboratory and industry on acquisition-related topics as well as promote innovation, best practices, and competition,” Kristen Fischer, PPPL’s chief financial officer and head of business operations, said in a prepared statement. “We are delighted to welcome interested vendors, from both small and large companies in the area, to participate in the acquisition process and by offering a forum that encourages a wide variety of vendors to easily communicate with the laboratory.”

PPPL encourages contractors and small business owners to visit the Industry Day website where they can register and see the agenda.

The multimillion-dollar projects planned over the next decade will support PPPL’s strategic plan to broaden its mission. While continuing to serve as a world leader in plasma science and fusion energy with the goal of developing fusion energy as a clean, plentiful and inexpensive means of generating electrical power in the future, PPPL plans to focus on two related missions, according to the statement:

  • Developing the understanding of plasmas from nano- to astrophysical scales to understand plasma processes in astrophysics and space technologies.
  • Advancing the science of nanoscale fabrication for industries of the future, such as microelectronics and eventually quantum computing.

A new research facility

To accomplish these missions, PPPL will need additional laboratory space and infrastructure. It plans for a new building, the Princeton Plasma Innovation Center (PPIC), to support these research areas by providing modern laboratories and clean rooms for microelectronics research, as well as offices, meeting spaces and the Collaboration and Visualization Hub, which will provide remote collaboration and visualization space.

The three-story, 84,800-square-foot building is the first new building to be constructed at PPPL in decades, with construction costs estimated at about $60 million. It will replace two aging buildings adjacent to PPPL’s main building, the Lyman Spitzer Building.

A $71 million utility project

In addition to PPIC, Industry Day participants will also learn about the $71-million utility project that will support the new research facilities. The Critical Infrastructure Recovery & Renewal project is aimed at revitalizing PPPL’s utility and information technology infrastructure by installing electrical; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); chilled water generation, and underground utilities.

Participants will also learn about smaller capital projects at PPPL, including the Fusion Research Technology Hub (FuRTH), which will include laboratory space in the area once occupied by the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor and a new building with office space for collaborators.

PPPL requirements

Industry Day will introduce business owners to PPPL’s requirements as a national laboratory that is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and operated by Princeton University. The two major projects would be funded by the DOE’s Office of Science Science Laboratories Infrastructure program.

Hekima Qualls, head of Procurement, said in the statement that PPPL especially encourages small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, businesses owned by women, and businesses owned by veterans and service-disabled veterans to attend Industry Day and consider bidding for contracts.

“Our goal is to diversify our supplier base,” she said in the statement. “We’re seeking to expand our footprint. As we expand our footprint, we have to expand the suppliers that we use.”

“This is the opportunity to introduce PPPL to suppliers to support our infrastructure growth and renovation,” Michele Solaroli, the PPIC project manager, said in the statement. “They’ll meet our Procurement folks, learn what our expectations are, and can ask questions they might have.”

The event will begin with an overview of PPPL and the future of the laboratory by Craig Ferguson, PPPL’s deputy director for operations. That will be followed by a talk by Qualls on “How to do Business with the Laboratory.”

The participants will then go to breakout sessions on PPPL’s capital projects, research projects, architecture and engineering; facilities projects, and on PPPL’s requirements.

Other speakers will discuss various projects at PPPL, research projects, facilities and equipment, and unique PPPL requirements, and small business engagement.

Potential suppliers for PPPL must register through Princeton University’s supplier portal. Businesses selected by PPPL will be invited to complete a full profile.

More information is available on PPPL’s Procurement website under the “Doing Business with PPPL” and “Small Business Program” tabs.

PPPL, on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The laboratory is managed by the university for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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