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In this issue:
DOE Announces $60 Million in Advanced Computing Projects
SLAC Welcomes New Employees
Science Begets Art
Panofsky Fellowship Nominations Sought

SLAC Today

Friday - September 8, 2006

DOE Announces $60 Million in Advanced Computing Projects

One of SLAC's many server rooms. (Courtesy of Peter Ginter. Click on image for larger version.)

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science announced approximately $60 million in new awards annually for 30 computational science projects over the next three to five years. The projects are aimed at accelerating research in designing new materials, developing future energy sources, studying global climate change, improving environmental cleanup methods and understanding physics from the tiniest particles to the massive explosions of supernovae.

SLAC is involved in two of these projects: one to follow stars and the explosive phenomena they produce, especially supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and x-ray bursts, and one to sustain and extend the Open Science Grid, a national distributed computational facility. (Click here to learn more.)

"Advanced computing is a critical element of President Bush's American Competitiveness Initiative and these projects represent an important path to scientific discovery," said DOE Under Secretary for Science Raymond Orbach. "We anticipate that they will develop and improve software for simulating scientific problems and help reduce the time-to-market for new technologies."   Read the full DOE press release...

SLAC Welcomes
New Employees

(Photo - New employees)
(Click on image for larger version.)

SLAC welcomed ten new employees last week at orientation. From left to right, they are: Frank Lago, Roger Chen, Steven Spector, Timothy Carnes, Thomas Serefini, James Murphy, Barbara Valdez, Noemi Jenkins, Kathy Restaino and Edgar Estebanez.

Science Begets Art

(Photo - K. Carr)
Catherine Carr smiles in front of a chalkboard drawing she created in 1994. (Click for larger version.)

As a Mechanical Designer, Catherine Carr's first big undertaking at SLAC was the Stanford Linear Collider Polarized Electron Gun loadlock project, a vacuum transporter system that let operators install electron cathodes, under vacuum, into the injector gun. The previous system of exposing the gun to air in order to replace the cathode required shutting down the beam for long periods. By eliminating the need to expose the cathode gun to air, the loadlock instrument increased the uptime of the accelerator and improved its most important characteristic, high electron polarization.

Over the course of the project, Carr would frequently leave her office in Building 214 to visit her team members in Building 40. Each time, she spent a few minutes adding to a cartoon drawing on a chalkboard located outside Room G137.

"It was a way to channel lots of nervous energy!" she says.

The chalk and pastel work remains today. In it, project supervisor Bob Kirby and machining supervisor Jerry Collet are driving a caravan to the edge of contemporary knowledge, with the magician's rabbit—and SLC Injector project manager—Lowell Klaisner along for the ride. A young woman peeks out of a window below. "I'm running away with the circus, and I'm pretty happy," says Carr.

Carr created several other cartoons over the course of the project. Click here to see one of them.

Panofsky Fellowship Nominations Sought

(Photo - Pief)
In 1989 the Physics Faculty of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) created a Fellowship to honor Wolfgang K.H. Panofsky, founder and first Director of SLAC. Throughout his career, Panofsky has demonstrated creativity, insight and exceptional achievement both as a researcher and as an administrator of fundamental research.

The Panofsky Fellowship committee is presently seeking nominations for candidates for the 2006/2007 Fellowship program.

Panofsky Fellowships are awarded annually by the Director of SLAC following selection by the full faculty. The Fellowship carries a five year term with salary and benefits comparable to an Assistant Professorship at SLAC. Nominees for the Fellowship should be early in their postdoctoral careers yet widely recognized as having exhibited the potential for exceptional scholarship, breadth, innovation and leadership within their discipline. Previous Panofsky Fellows have gone on to play prominent roles in their fields.

Last year the Fellowship program was restructured to include candidates who research particle astrophysics and/or cosmology as well as the more traditional fields of experimental and theoretical particle physics and accelerator/beam physics. The pool of nominees in 2005/2006 was extremely strong and resulted in the award of two Fellowships: one in experimental particle physics and one in cosmology (see SLAC Today article).

You are strongly encouraged to consider the nomination of potential candidates within your discipline. This year the closing date for nominations is October 1, 2006. It would also be appreciated if you would inform your colleagues about the program.

Further information on the Panofsky Fellowship and details of the nomination procedure can be found online.

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