SLAC Today is available online at:
In this issue:
SLAC Improvement Initiative: Unfolding the Road Map
From the Director: Changes to the Safety Officer Program
Lab Hosts ATLAS Computing Conference
Physics Word of the Week: "Flavor"

SLAC Today

Friday - November 30, 2007

SLAC Improvement Initiative: Unfolding the Road Map

Our operations review consultants, McCallum-Turner, released their recommendations this week. These recommendations, based on information we provided and the observations, experience and expertise of the review teams, ranged from defining lab-wide management principles to specific suggestions for selected focus areas. The document is available on the M&0 Review website.

What comes next in this journey we call the SLAC Improvement Initiative (SII)? We will select and adapt consultant recommendations in areas we have known need improvement, whether customer service or efficiency, and generate a road map that will guide us to our desired "One Lab" destination. This road map will include a list of objectives agreed upon by the lab's Senior Management with a schedule for completion, measurable milestones, tangible outcomes and the necessary resources to make it happen while we maintain our daily work. Each objective will have a responsible owner. Laboratory management will receive regular updates on progress, providing support and leadership. Mechanisms will be in place to make sure we stay on schedule and on budget, with the ability to reassess course as necessary.  Read more...

From the Director: Changes to the Safety Officer Program

From left to right, top to bottom: Sayed Rokni, Ralph Kerwin, Ted Fieguth, Fred Jones, Richard F. Boyce and Perry Anthony.

As we continue to improve the performance of the mission support functions, one important area of focus is the way that the Environmental Safety & Health (ES&H) division integrates with laboratory management. As the Acting Laboratory Director, I ultimately hold the responsibility for safety and compliance with ES&H requirements. To assist in this important task, I have created a new role within the Director's Council, that of Chief Safety Officer (CSO). This person, who also serves as the Director of the ES&H Division, has the primary responsibility and decision making authority for the implementation of laboratory ES&H policies and requirements. In addition, the CSO may designate qualified individuals as Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) or Safety Officers (SO) where appropriate in certain ES&H disciplines. Until a permanent CSO is selected, I have asked Sayed Rokni to serve as the Acting Chief Safety Officer. I am deeply grateful that Sayed has accepted this additional responsibility.

The creation of the CSO position is just one step that will aid in our shift to a truly safety-based culture at SLAC. It will only be effective if it is accompanied by real ownership and involvement throughout the line organization of a vigorous safety-first culture along with well-focused, clear management responsibility and accountability to get it right.

Under the Integrated Safety and Environmental Management System (ISEMS) principles, we emphasize that responsibility for the implementation of the safety programs belongs in the line organizations. The ES&H functions support the line in accomplishing this. The Safety Officers, who will now report to the Chief Safety Officer, are critical elements of the support to the line organization. SOs must be qualified professionals in their respective fields and have demonstrated experience in building partnerships and influencing directions across various levels of the organization in a facilitative manner. At the same time, they must have the ability to recognize and control hazards and prevent or stop unsafe or unauthorized work in their areas of responsibility.

Lab Hosts ATLAS Computing Conference

Attendees of this week's ATLAS Tier 2 and Tier 3 Workshop. (Photo courtesy of Diana Rogers. Click on image for larger version.)

This week, SLAC hosted fifty computing gurus for the winter ATLAS Tier 2 and Tier 3 Computing Workshop. In a brightly-lit conference room in the Research Office Building, attendees discussed how they will undertake data analysis once the A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS (ATLAS) experiment, part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, comes online next year.

"The data analysis for ATLAS will be different from any that came before," said Wei Yang, the principal technical contact of ATLAS computing at SLAC. "ATLAS will use a grid-based technology that will allow data analysis to be done all over the world, not just at CERN."

The three day workshop included discussions of management and data transfer. Once data is taken at CERN, where it will also undergo the first round of reconstruction analysis, it will be transferred to 10 Tier 1 institutions around the world. After multiple rounds of further refinement at Tier 1s and Tier 2s, the Tier 1 institutions will store the data on disk, giving users access to all stages of reconstruction. Tier 2 computing centers—including SLAC—will also provide researchers with resources to analyze data. Scientists can also use their own computers at their respective research groups, labs and universities, as the third tier of the hierarchy.

"Although there has been much progress, we still have many issues to address about the data transfer model," said Yang. "The workshop has been very useful, and we are moving forward."

ATLAS is one of four detectors currently being built at the LHC. ATLAS is designed to detect particles including the Higgs boson, which may be the source of mass for all matter. Findings may also offer insight into new theories of physics and improve our understanding of the origin of the universe.

Word of the Week:

"Flavor" is a quantum number associated with elementary particles which relates to their weak interactions, but it is a term with two different uses. It is used independently to characterize the six types of quarks (up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top), as well as the three types of charged leptons and their corresponding neutrinos (electron, muon and tau).

Events (see all | submit)

Access (see all)

(see all | submit)

Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board

News (see all | submit)

dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at