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In this issue:
People: David MacNair Keeps the Power On
SASS Turns 50
SLAC Summer Student Programs 2009
Around SLAC: A Bike for Earth Day

SLAC Today

Wednesday - April 29, 2009

People: David MacNair Keeps the Power On

(Photo - David MacNair)
Dave MacNair with his prototype of a next-generation redundant power supply. (Photo courtesy of Dave MacNair.)

When Dave MacNair reached out for a handshake the other day, he apologized for his stained palms and fingers.

"I was gluing wood together, and I got it all over my hands," explained MacNair, who has been a fixture in SLAC's Power Conversion Department for 20 years. The electrical engineer said he had been building a gazebo for his backyard over the weekend, one of many home improvement projects he's tackled, besides tiling his kitchen and landscaping his yard.

"I'm happier being hands-on," MacNair said, this time referring to his role as an electronics designer and engineer at SLAC. He bought his first electronics kit when he was twelve years old, and still has the voltmeter he built with it. Since then, he has been designing and building electronics.

"I like to have the ability to do a design on a blank sheet of paper, rather than building off of something that already exists," MacNair said. Although he said it's been a challenge keeping up with rapidly evolving circuit boards and programming languages, he has stayed at the forefront of accelerator engineering, from his initial work with the Stanford Linear Collider, or SLC, to his current project designing power supplies for future accelerators.  Read more...

(Photo - a SASS presentation)
SASS presents weekly talks by graduate students from across the lab's many research areas. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman.)

SASS Turns 50

Calling all graduate students: grab your lunch, pull up a chair and help yourself to a free cookie. The SLAC Association for Student Seminars celebrates its 50th talk today with Nick Breznay presenting "Beyond Zero Resistance: Phenomenology of Superconductivity" at 12:30 p.m. in the Kavli Building's third floor conference room.

Since January 2008, SASS has featured graduate students giving short seminars on a range of physics-related topics, from the Copernican Revolution to supersymmetry to gamma-ray bursts. Whether you're a first year or wrapping up your thesis, the Wednesday gatherings are a great opportunity to meet other physicists-to-be and broaden your knowledge of contemporary physics.

Graduate student Wells Wulsin founded the club with fellow BaBarian Manuel Franco Sevilla as a stress-free venue for students to practice presenting their research. Meanwhile, he said, the casual environment encourages questions and discussion.

"It's hard for a speaker to go through two or three slides without being interrupted with a question or comment, sometimes a corny joke," Wulsin said. "It's a lively crowd."

Current SASS czars Daniel Ratner and Steve Herrin are seeking two new organizers to take over July 1. Interested students should come to a talk or e-mail Ratner. For more information about SASS and a list of upcoming talks, see the SASS Web site.

SLAC Summer Student Programs 2009

So you have work that needs to be done this summer and limited resources to get it done. What are your options? How about hiring an up-and-coming scientist or engineer for the summer? Approximately 1600 students have benefited over the years from their experiences working alongside SLAC professionals, who have opened the way for them to see life in a scientific environment.

Employment Services is now accepting Employment Requisitions for summer students. Please see the 2009 Summer Student "Hiring Tool-Kit" for details on the programs and requirements. This year there is one notable change: all students must be 18 years of age or older to participate as regular summer students or in one of the special programs (see below).

Please direct any questions to this year's summer student program co-managers, Corrine Purcell and Diedre Webb.

We look forward to a safe and rewarding summer program!

Special Student Programs for the Summer and Beyond

Every summer, in addition to regular summer students, SLAC hosts and mentors approximately 40 students in a variety of special programs. Participants include recent high school graduates, through the Youth Opportunity Program. Summer programs for college students and graduates have already been filled for summer 2009, via the Stanford Undergraduate Laboratory Internship or Graduate Engineering for Minorities program. SLAC staff who have a unit of work that can be done within 8-10 weeks are encouraged to consider hosting a Youth Opportunity Program student over the summer.

The lab also offers a few one-year, fixed term internships for those departments that foresee a longer-term need, are looking for a job-ready applicant at the undergraduate, graduate or PhD level, and can cover 50 percent of salary costs.

A full description of these programs can be found on the Diversity Office Educational and Employment Programs page. Please direct questions to SueVon Gee or Vivian Lee.

(Photo - Elaine Beidatsch)
(Photo by Kirk Stoddard.)

Around SLAC:
A Bike for Earth Day

Elaine Beidatsch came home from last week's Earth Day event at SLAC with new ideas for conservation, and a new bicycle. The bike was donated by the Stanford Campus Bike Shop and an anonymous group of local bicycle advocates.

"I'm not sure who I should thank... but thank you all for the beautiful Fuji cruising bike," said Beidatsch, who works in the International Services Office of the SLAC Human Resources Department. "I love it, and look forward to spending many hours of good exercise and delightful fun."

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