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In this issue:
From the Director: No Project is an Island
Past Successes, Future Endeavors Discussed at Fermi/LAT Collaboration Meeting
Special Payment Requests Simplified
Water Outage This Weekend
Word of the Week: Active Galactic Nuclei

SLAC Today

Friday - September 3, 2010

From the Director: No Project is an Island

(Photo - Persis Drell)
 (Photo by Linda Cicero.)

What do the successful Facility for Advanced aCcelerator Experimental Tests (FACET) CD2/3 review, project completion of Linac Coherent Light Source on time and under budget, CD-0 for LCLS-II, good progress on the Research Support Building project, and CD-0 for the new Science and User Support Building (SUSB) have in common? The success of each has contributed to the success of the others. It is a great illustration of what it means to be "One Lab."

When I worked on GLAST (now the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope), I had a vague realization that if the project wasn’t successful, it would not just be bad for Particle Physics and Astrophysics. It would be bad for SLAC. Now I understand it explicitly. If one project fails, it is a failure for the entire lab. It will impact every other project we are doing. And it will damage every future project we might want to do. And so none of us can afford to let any project fail. And we don’t and we won’t. It is why Craig Ferguson jumped into lead the CT-101 cooling project, and why Nan Phinney jumped in to lead FACET. It is why Mark Reichanadter runs the Project Management Oversight Group and Liz Dahlen leads the Project Management Office statusing all the projects at the lab on a monthly basis. They all understand that even a bad stumble in those projects could put the entire lab at risk and would certainly make it harder for us to get new projects in the future. Read more...

Past Successes, Future Endeavors Discussed at Fermi/LAT Collaboration Meeting

Collaboration attendees enjoy coffee and conversation on the Kavli Building patio. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

Today is the final day of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope–Large Area Telescope Collaboration Meeting, during which over 180 members of the collaboration from all over the U.S. and the world met to celebrate two years of nearly flawless operation. More importantly, they met to ponder their—and the telescope's—future course.

On Monday morning, Persis Drell welcomed everyone to SLAC, first in her role as a member of the collaboration, then in her role as lab director. "It's been a spectacular two years for Fermi," she said. "The performance of the LAT has been a highlight of our science program."  Read more...

Special Payment Requests Simplified

People at SLAC who process local travel requests or order safety shoes are about to become a little bit happier. Thanks to an Office of the Chief Information Officer team led by Suchitra Kandhi and Karen Kalinski, staffed by Office of the Chief Financial Officer members, and with a terrific testing partnership from across the lab, a new online PeopleSoft-based Special Payment Request is now available.

"The Special Pay reimbursement process has been greatly re-engineered with the end-users' needs in mind," said Laurie Escudero, OCFO lead. "The form is completely online and will mimic the electronic workflow used by eProcurement for approval. People will be able to go online to track payment status instead of making multiple phone calls."

Stephanie Carlson, chair of the OCFO Sub Council, added: "This clarity on approval routing is going to be great. Not having to push paper around and having everything online is a huge benefit."

Directorate financial planners and administrators contributing testing time, feedback and ideas include Natalie Cramar, Regina Franco, Adrienne Higashi, Debbie Tryforos and Yo Wackerman. The team included Niyati Dadhich, Alan Kong, Chuck Taniguchi and Toni Tran from OCFO, and Kimberly Swanson from OCIO. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this lab-wide improvement initiative.

The new Special Payment Request can be found on the Budget Office Web site under Forms.

Water Outage This Weekend

This weekend, water meters will be installed in several key buildings; this will allow us to monitor and reduce domestic water usage. The following buildings will experience a domestic water outage of approximately 2 hours over the holiday weekend: B005, B015, B024, B026, B034, B035, B040, B042, B043, B048, B050, B051, B081, B084, B120, B137 and B280. The outage will be coordinated with each building manager. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Liam Robinson.  

Word of the Week: Active Galactic Nuclei

(Image - FGST sky map)
Unprecedented flares from the blazar 3C 454.3, a type of AGN, (lower left circle) make it the brightest persistent gamma-ray source in these all-sky images, which record the numbers of high-energy gamma-rays captured by Fermi's Large Area Telescope. (Image: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration.)

Active galactic nuclei (AGN for short) are compact regions at the centers of galaxies that radiate so much energy they outshine the galaxies in which they're found. The engines powering this incredible outpouring of energy are now generally believed to be the super-massive black holes found at the galaxies' hearts, pulling in dust and gas. This material heats up as it spirals in until it pours out electromagnetic radiation, generally across the entire spectrum.

The Large Area Telescope, one of two primary science instruments on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, is one of the premier detectors of AGN. In January of this year, the Fermi team released a catalog of the 709 AGN detected by the LAT in only 11 months of observations.

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