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In this issue:
New SLAC Lease Signed
SLACers at SciFoo
Travel Support Rules: Rethought, Revamped and Ready for Your Input

SLAC Today

Thursday - August 5, 2010

New SLAC Lease Signed

Leslie Hume and Paul Golan sign the new lease. (Photo by Lauren Rugani.)

Representatives from Stanford University and the Department of Energy signed an agreement yesterday that will allow SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to continue to operate on university-owned land for the next 33 years. The new lease is an extension of the original contract, first signed in 1962.

"This lease extends and strengthens a partnership between Stanford and the Department of Energy that has led to trailblazing research and discovery," said Leslie Hume, chair of Stanford's Board of Trustees.

At a time when the results of the first user experiments at the Linac Coherent Light Source are being published, and the next phases of SLAC science, such as the Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests, are taking shape, renewing the partnership will ensure another generation of cutting-edge science at the laboratory, officials say.

"SLAC is a tremendous resource for Stanford, and over the next 33 years, I anticipate that the research facilitated by SLAC will have a transformative impact on our society," said Hume, who signed the lease along with Paul Golan, the DOE SLAC site office manager.

SLAC Director Persis Drell added that she is "thrilled to have reached an agreement that pleases both the DOE and Stanford. My thanks to the many people who worked to make this happen." 

(Photo - SciFoo attendees gathered at Google headquarters)
More than 200 people from around the world gathered at Google headquarters last weekend for the fifth annual Science Foo Camp. (Image courtesy Steve Hsu.)

SLACers at SciFoo

A three-day science extravaganza, dubbed Science Foo Camp, brought several hundred scientists and science enthusiasts to the Bay Area July 30–August 1 for a weekend of unbridled ideas, discussions and debates. There in the mix were two of SLAC's finest: Eva Silverstein, theoretical physics professor at SLAC and Stanford; and Hari Manoharan, associate professor of physics at Stanford and SLAC's Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences.

"It was fantastic," said Manoharan. "I have no idea why I was invited to this thing, nor did anyone else I talked to there. But it was really fun. There were so many brilliant people from all different fields, with science as the uniting element."

The weekend began with the 200-plus attendees introducing themselves with three words describing their interests. For Manoharan, who builds nano-devices from single-atom building blocks, "very small physics" did it. Silverstein, whose work focuses on the theory behind high-energy physics, gravity and string theory, stretched her three words to "cosmology, very-short-distance-physics, very-long-distance-physics."

Read more...

Travel Support Rules: Rethought, Revamped and Ready for Your Input

SLAC's Travel team, working with many of the lab's administrative associates, has been conducting a significant study of its processes and rules, continually asking "what are we doing that makes work harder without adding value to the customer or to our sponsoring agency the DOE?" Some improvements have been made, more are coming up soon, and a deeper analysis is planned for next week. We need your help in this analysis.

There is a unique opportunity to significantly improve travel support processes scheduled for August 9 through 11. Building on recent Voice-of-the-Customer sessions, this "deep dive" will use advanced process improvement techniques to evaluate our end-to-end travel processes. If you are interested in participating or learning more please contact Lori Zscherpel.

Improvements-to-date:

  • Revamped the travel expense report review process to speed reimbursement processing: average time for a check is now less than two weeks.
  • Simplified combined business and personal travel: you may now add personal travel as long as you prove in advance the airfare is equal or less than the cost without personal travel.
  • Implemented automatic approval of first checked bag expense.
  • Implemented the use of a single exchange rate when actual exchange rates are not available.
  • Enhanced visitor, foreign, and domestic systems: Added per diems for common domestic locations and pull-down menus for account numbers.
  • Reduced car rental contract rates significantly.

Coming soon:

  • New travel policy: clearer, more specific instructions; $75 receipt level; LBNL and LLNL treated as local travel.
  • New Web site—easier to use.
  • Reimbursement by direct deposit (planned for 2011).

These changes and more will be coming soon!

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