The first joint meeting under the new partnership between East Tennessee Project Management Institute (ETPMI) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Project Management Office (PMO) was a huge success. More than 50 people listened intently as John Clayton gave an interesting and informative presentation entitled: “Project Controls for Megaprojects Benchmarking Study”. John shared his observations and the insights he gained as a member of the benchmarking team conducting the study.


The focus of John’s presentation was that multi‐billion dollar construction projects – also referred to as ‘megaprojects’ – have a history of disappointing cost and schedule performance, sometimes overrunning approved project cost estimates by a factor of two or more. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has embarked on the design and construction of its own megaproject ‐ the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Oak Ridge. The UPF is being built to replace a Manhattan Project era facility that is almost 70 years old, does not meet today’s codes and standards, and is technologically obsolete. To better equip the NNSA UPF Project Office in its oversight of UPF engineering, procurement, and construction, the UPF NNSA Project Controls team engaged in a benchmarking effort to interface with other owners/customers overseeing megaprojects. The benchmarking focused on identifying best practices and cautionary practices in the field of Project Controls oversight.

NNSA personnel interviewed owner/customer teams for ten multi‐billion dollar construction projects, consisting of nuclear and non‐nuclear projects, and commercial and governmental projects, located coast to coast.

The presenter, John Clayton, serves as manager of Business Management and Federal Project Director Support for the Uranium Processing Facility Federal Project Office (UPO). UPO is a Project Management Office within the NNSA Office of Acquisition and Project Management responsible for the federal oversight of all post CD-1 projects in the Y-12 portfolio. John supports UPO through Strata-G. Prior to John’s six years in federal oversight, he worked five years in the private sector as Project Controls Manager for the United States Enrichment Corporation’s American Centrifuge Project, and 20 years in the DOE contracting community as a project controls manager for Lockheed Martin and Bechtel Jacobs.

The meeting was held at the ORNL Bredesen Training Center on November 15, 2018. The slides John shared, along with an accompanying white paper, are available on the Event Presentations section in the ETMI website.