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In this issue:
U.S. Department of Energy Extends Stanford's Contract
Practical Sabbatical
New Issue of symmetry Now Online
STAP Funds to Expire August 31

SLAC Today

Friday - August 3, 2007

U.S. Department of Energy Extends Stanford's Contract

(Logos - DOE and Stanford)

In the November 27, 2006, Director's Column, I outlined my expectations for the evolution of the SLAC contract with the Department of Energy (DOE). The first element of that anticipated evolution has now been put in place: the current contract between the DOE and Stanford University, that will expire on September 30, 2007, has been extended by up to two years. The two year window provides the cushion to complete the process whereby the SLAC contract will be competed. It remains my expectation that the Request for Proposals for the contract competition will be issued within the next 6 to 9 months. The following DOE press release announces the contract extension.

             The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced yesterday afternoon that it will extend,
             for up to two years, the management and operating (M&O) contract for its Stanford Linear
             Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Menlo Park, California. The Board of Trustees for the Leland
             Stanford Junior University currently holds SLAC's M&O contract, set to expire
             September 30, 2007. The annual estimated value for this performance-based contract is
             $316 million.

             "The researchers at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center continue to make leading
             contributions to science," Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach said. "Through
             this contracting process, DOE is seeking the best possible management of this laboratory
             to sustain our nation's cutting-edge resources."

             SLAC's current contract with the Board of Trustees for the Leland Stanford Junior University
             was signed on March 29, 2004. SLAC has full- and part-time staff of approximately 1,546
             employees, while hosting more than 3,000 scientists annually for research in photon
             science and in particle physics and particle astrophysics.

       The full press release is available in its original context on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory website.

Practical Sabbatical

(Photo - airplane)
Tom Himel will catch a plane to DESY next week. (Click on image for larger version.)

Tom Himel doesn't know German, but he expects to have much to share and much to learn when he spends a year in the northern German city of Hamburg starting on Tuesday, August 7. A SLAC-based member of the Global Design Effort team that is planning the International Linear Collider (ILC), Himel has already collaborated with physicists at the Hamburg lab, called DESY.

During his sabbatical, he will work on complementary projects: the ILC and free electron lasers. DESY's ultraviolet free electron laser and forthcoming x-ray laser operate with the superconducting accelerator technology that will be used at the ILC. (SLAC will have the first x-ray wavelength laser; it uses normal conducting technology.)

"I'll get to know people better, and they'll get to know me better, and it will foster the collaboration," he said. "It's easier to work remotely with people you already know. It's a social fact."

Another advantage of being at DESY is the chance to participate in day to day operations of the FLASH accelerator to learn in detail how a superconducting linac performs. FLASH is an ultraviolet wavelength laser, but the accelerator started as the Tesla Test Facility, which was the test-bed for the superconducting technology that is a prototype for the ILC.

Himel's ILC research centers on reliability studies that help the designers make decisions about the best technology that will also keep the machine up and running as much of the time as possible.

In turn, he may do reliability studies for DESY's new free electron laser, the European XFEL, that will begin construction next year. As a bonus, it will make ILC's reliability design studies more realistic.

The sabbatical won't be all work. During vacations, Himel and his wife are eager to explore Germany with their daughter, who will be spending a semester abroad in Prague. "My wife and I are really looking forward to it," he said.

New Edition of symmetry Now Online

The newest edition of the joint SLAC-Fermilab publication symmetry magazine is now available online.

STAP Funds Expire August 31

Funds for the 2007 Staff Training Assistance Program (STAP), which provides all full-time lab employees with up to $800 for training activities each fiscal year, will expire on August 31. The funds do not carry over from year to year, so any unused portion will be lost. Funds for FY08 will become available on September 1.

STAP funds are available to all regular staff working 50% time or more, and can cover the costs of tuition, registration fees, and required textbooks related to approved courses. The full policy for this program is set forth in the Stanford Administrative Guide.

Several STAP-approved Health Improvement Program (HIP) classes begin soon and, if employees register before August 15, can be paid for with 2007 STAP funds. These courses include Wellness Coaching; the Behavior Change/Weight Management Program; Health Behavior Consultations, First Aid, Intuition for Productivity, Innovation, & Wellness, and Effective Time Management.

Detailed descriptions of all HIP courses are available on the HIP website.

STAP funds also cover Stanford Technology Training courses, Stanford Continuing Studies courses (although FY08 funds must be used for fall classes), and any other training activity either related directly to the employee's job or a career development effort undertaken with the knowledge and approval of his or her supervisor.

To check the balance of FY07 STAP funds, visit the SLAC Training Registration System website. Click "reports" and then "STAP Balance" (both near the top of the screen).

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