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In this issue:
LCLS Construction Update
People Today: The Three Houseketeers
McCallum-Turner Focuses on IT
Energy Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - September 5, 2007

LCLS Construction Update

Workers install utilities and air ducts inside the Near Experimental Hall.
(Click on image for more photos.)

Construction on the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) has reached a dizzying pace over the last few weeks.

A notable up-tick in tunneling activity occurred at the end of August as construction teams opened a third tunnel port behind the Collider Hall adjacent to the original Access Tunnel. Originally, only two tunnel ports were planned—the Access Tunnel and the Research Yard side of the Undulator Hall—but a third port was recently added to shorten the excavation schedule and save money. The new tunnel port will allow crews to simultaneously dig the connecting shaft between the Far Experimental Hall (FEH) and the Near Experimental Hall (NEH) while underground excavation for the FEH continues.

In August the NEH was declared a free-standing structure, marking the completion of a major milestone. Crews have now moved inside and are installing utilities. The process of backfilling around the NEH has also begun—once complete, the NEH will be only partially visible above ground.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

The Three Houseketeers

Toni Campos, Ute Hayes, and Barbara Mason of the SLAC Housing Office.

Between the 1,650 regular staff and 3,000 annual users who visit SLAC, the lab generates considerable and steady demand for nearby housing. But when traveling to Menlo Park from out of state, or even out of country, it can be difficult to find the right place to live. Add in stays that aren't lease-friendly, family concerns, and price considerations, and the process can become downright scary. That's why many SLAC employees turn to Ute Hayes, Toni Campos and Barbara Mason, the caring and capable employees who make up the SLAC Housing Office, a service area of the SLAC Human Resources Department, located in the corner of the second floor of Building 41.

The housing liaisons are often out in the community meeting and counseling landlords, visiting and photographing housing, or showing a place to a prospective renter. In fact, it can be difficult to find all three women in the same place at the same time. But they always manage to communicate and work together.

"We make a great team," said Hayes. "We really love working with each other, the people at SLAC and the community."

Part of what makes the trio so valuable is the time the three spends in the community. Many lessors in the area rent to SLAC employees and visitors on a regular basis. Others are first-time landlords who are referred to the housing team. And according to Hayes, when several people are battling each other to secure an apartment, the landlord will often choose the SLAC renter based on the Housing Office's reputation.

"We spend a significant amount of time out in the community," said Hayes. "It's crucial to making the job work because it's difficult to recommend a place if you haven't been there yourself. So we're always out there looking for the best apartments."

McCallum-Turner Focuses on IT

In a dedicated effort to improve SLAC's management and operations (M&O) systems, the lab has hired McCallum-Turner, Inc., to analyze 11 of its M&O areas. As lab employees and users possess a strong sense of what works and what needs improvement, McCallum-Turner has in turn asked for comments and suggestions on each of these topics. This article, the first in a series of 11, describes the Information Technology (IT) focus area in order to give employees and users the background they need to offer input.

The main purpose of IT at SLAC is to service the lab's computing hardware and software needs while effectively and efficiently supporting the lab's scientific mission. Scientific Computing and Computing Services is currently conducting internal brainstorming sessions on how the department can become more effective in providing actual IT services and solutions to the lab community, rather than just an aggregation of skills.

"We expect a set of high-level recommendations that will make us more services oriented," said Michael Gordon, McCallum-Turner's IT point of contact. Gordon says he is trying not to set any expectations or influence the analysis process that would drive McCallum-Turner's investigation. Instead, he hopes the recommendations from McCallum-Turner will augment the internal SCCS investigation creating a useful plan for the future from both.

"The big questions will be how to structure the lab's IT functions to ensure we are meeting the needs of the scientific mission, cyber security requirements, IT best practices for efficient and effective delivery of services, and do that in a way that is quantifiable so we have metrics we can use to assess our performance and set goals for improvement," said Gordon.

McCallum-Turner can by contacted with any ideas, comments or suggestions on IT or any of the other focus areas via email at or by phone at 926-6200.

Energy Tip of the Week

Turn off monitors when not in use; the SLAC computing webpage offers instructions on how and when to shutdown your CPU. If available and feasible, use laptop computers, as they use up to 90 percent less energy than desktop computers.

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