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New role, new title for Gunther Janeschitz

Gunther Janeschitz (Click to view larger version...)
Gunther Janeschitz
Until his formal appointment by the first ITER Council it was the Principal Deputy Director-General Nominee Norbert Holtkamp claiming to have the longest title within the ITER Organization. But times they are changing ... and so are the titles. And it looks like Gunther Janeschitz is leading the race: the well-known fusion scientist and coordinator of the ITER design review has been appointed ITER's Senior Scientist Advisor for Technical Integration, in ITER acronym language this is spelled SSATI.

Gunter Janeschitz was born in Klagenfurt, Austria. He started his fusion career in the spectroscopy group of ASDEX at IPP Garching, Germany. He then joined General Atomics in San Diego for one year, before returning to Europe to join the JET team. There, Janeschitz soon became task force leader of the world's biggest tokamak. When in 1994 he was asked to become a Group Leader within the ITER team that was building up at that time, he didn't hesitate.

In 2002 Gunter Janeschitz was appointed Head of the Fusion Programme at the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany. In 2006 he took on the role of coordinator of the ITER Design Review Process. Since 1 October 2008 he has become the SSATI. His main task will be the establishment and coordination of the new integrated product teams.

ITER is a highly integrated device with all major components provided in kind by the Domestic Agencies, generating a large number of interfaces. Managing these interfaces—coordinating their analysis, documentation up to technical integration, and finally their manufacturing—requires close cooperation between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies.

"With the introduction of integrated product teams, the design activities will become more decentralized," says Gunter Janeschitz. And this will only work if we act as one team. "From now on it is no longer them and us. It is us!"

The integrated product teams will be embedded in a new system structure aiming to forge ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies closer together. In its centre is the Product Management Board that is made up by the SSATI, Gunter Janeschitz, Team Leaders and the Domestic Agency Heads. The board reports to both ITER and Domestic Agency management, who will then take the information to the ITER Organization-Domestic Agency Project Board, the Director-General and finally to the Council.

While the execution of the integrated product teams still waits for approval by the ITER Management Advisory Committee (MAC), it was decided in the last coordination meeting held in Moscow to immediately form three pilot teams for the vacuum vessel, the blanket and pulsed power supplies.

After spending some time walking along the periphery of the ITER Project, Gunter Janeschitz is back. This time he sits right in the middle of it, in the heart of the matter.

return to Newsline #53