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A lot can happen in one year. 2007 has been a year of change—change at a
speed that this lab has probably never seen before.
The Fiscal Year 2008 Budget
The omnibus funding bill for the fiscal year 2008 budget is now public.
From the Director: Plan It Right or Don't Do It!
Over the past months, a dedicated group led by Karen Fant has been
developing new tools and training to improve the work planning and
control process (WPC) on the site. We need this. Good work planning is
essential for both quality and safety.
From the Director: Remarks Upon Being Named Director of SLAC
I did not plan for this outcome when I agreed to chair the Director search committee. However life often takes us in unusual and unexpected directions. Here we are and I am committed to and very excited about moving forward.
From the Director: Changes to the Safety Officer Program
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.
From the Director: The SLAC Improvement Initiative (SII)
We are embarked on a several-year voyage to put in place the management structures and processes at SLAC that will optimally enable the creativity and innovation that are the lifeblood of the lab.
From the Director: We Can Do This
The accident investigation board that sought the cause of the Sector 30 pipe explosion has completed their report.
From the Director: Changes in Staffing Levels
SLAC will be undergoing significant changes over the next few years. The initial focus of the laboratory was on the operations of the high-energy physics accelerator program.
From the PPA Director: Evolution of the U.S. High Energy Physics Program
Much like SLAC, the American high energy physics program is in a state of transition.
From the Director: M&O Improvement Agenda Update
As discussed in the October 5th edition of SLAC Today, we are now in the process of planning the strategy and starting to identify the resources needed for successful implementation of the management and operations improvement agenda for the lab.
From the Director: Safety
I chose yesterday for the Security and Safety Briefing deliberately. Three years ago to the day we had a terrible accident at this lab. Those of you who were here at that time will not forget the accident or the months after it. I know I won't. Three years later we can ask: Is the lab safer?
From the Director: One Lab
Pief Panofsky built a laboratory with a single purpose: to probe the fundamental structure of matter with the world’s largest electron accelerator. During his lifetime, the lab reinvented itself many times in order to stay on the frontiers of scientific discovery. Fields of science and the laboratory programs have advanced remarkably in 45 years, but the principles of outstanding science that Panofsky stood for have not changed.
As you read in yesterday's SLAC Today, I have been asked to serve as acting director of the laboratory until the next director is on board.
A Message from Jonathan
Consistent with my March 2007 announcement, I am ending today my eight-year tenure as SLAC Director.
SLAC and the Nation Take Lead on Science Education Initiatives
This time last year I wrote a column about the success of Kids Day at SLAC, and mentioned initiatives that were being discussed to improve science education for young people around the nation. A year later I am delighted to write about the same subject and report on the tremendous progress that has been made.
SSRL Annual Shutdown
Last Monday, August 6, marked the beginning of this year's fall shut down for SPEAR3 at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL).
The LCLS Forges Ahead
Over the last several months I've had the recurring privilege of sharing news of successes related to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).
The Next Steps
Thanks to everyone who attended the All Hands meeting a few weeks ago. It is always a pleasure to talk directly with all of you and, in this case, to discuss how we are taking ownership of improving the effectiveness and efficiency with which we perform the critical business practices, processes and support functions that underpin our scientific mission.
SLAC Summer Institute
The SLAC Summer Institute (SSI), which begins next week, is one of SLAC's great traditions and one of the laboratory's many innovative and effective educational activities.
Focus on Safety
Over the past ten years, we have done an exceptional job of reducing our accident rates by a factor of 5 and reducing the severity rate (an indicator of the number of days lost per 100 workers) by a factor of almost 3.
Wildland Fire Danger
The devastating power of a wildland fire was brought home to each of us recently when 254 homes were lost in Lake Tahoe’s Angora fire. Northern California has emerged from its driest winter in at least 20 years, and the wildland fire danger in and around SLAC will remain at high levels through at least October.
Accelerator science is a vibrant, burgeoning field, as demonstrated by this past week's Particle Accelerator Conference (PAC '07), held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"First Light" for
Recent months have brought us a steady drumbeat of successes from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) project.
2007 Stanford Commencement
For those interested in learning what goes on at SLAC, nothing comes close to the experience of visiting the lab. Seeing the tools of discovery close up and absorbing the enthusiasm of SLAC staff always leaves a lasting and positive impression on our visitors.
New Concepts in Hamburg
The major annual meeting of the International Linear Collider (ILC) project has become a family reunion of sorts, as now-familiar faces gather together to advance the project.
Last April SLAC held an Ice Cream Social in celebration of first electrons from the newly installed Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) injector system. I vividly recall the sense of satisfaction and pride we all felt upon seeing the first detector-screen images. After years of preparation, the official start of commissioning of the LCLS had begun.
The SPEAR3 synchrotron storage ring at SSRL, now well into its third year of operation, is a world-class lightsource by any measure.
We are living through an information revolution, which has an important impact on how scientists disseminate their work, and gain access to their colleagues' research.
LCLS is Concrete
Planning for the LCLS has taken years of careful
work by hundreds of people. There have been countless meetings,
PowerPoint presentations, CAD drawings, budget spreadsheets, and safety
reviews but now the LCLS has transformed from something virtual, on
paper and on the screen, into something concrete – in fact 6,000 cubic
yards of concrete.
Keeping SLAC Green
SLAC's home in the hills of northern California is a place of exceptional natural beauty, one to be cherished and nurtured. SLAC employees share a deep commitment to the health of the environment in general, and to that of SLAC in particular. I am pleased to express my appreciation for and share with you some of our recent achievements to protect the beauty and health of the local environment.
One of the aspects of life at SLAC that I enjoy the most is the opportunity to learn from people with an enormously diverse range of skills, expertise and knowledge.
One of the fundamentals in preventing accidents is to increase awareness through communication and education. This week we are launching the SAFE '07 program to focus on the many individuals and groups at SLAC that have outstanding safety records.
First Electrons from the LCLS
Last week SLAC and LCLS collaborators took a major step toward making the world's first hard x-ray free electron laser a reality. After nearly a year of intensive preparations, the LCLS injector system generated its first pulse of electrons, marking the official beginning of commissioning for the LCLS.
SLUO Visits D.C.
Each year a team of high energy physicists who carry out their research at SLAC and Fermilab travels to Washington D.C. to build relationships with members of Congress and their staff, and to seek support for the DOE Office of Science programs, including particle physics.
What a Week!
What a week we just completed! SLAC bustled with a stream of important and influential visitors, most of whom were seeing SLAC for the first time.
Physics at its Best
Last Tuesday, the BaBar experiment announced a major result: for the first time ever, they had seen neutral D-mesons transition into anti-neutral D-mesons.
There is no easy way for me to say this—I will be stepping down this fall as Laboratory Director.
Update on the ILC
The release of the Reference Design Report (RDR) for the International Linear Collider (ILC) in Beijing at the beginning of February was a remarkable milestone in the evolution of the project.
"Rising Above the Gathering Storm," released by the National Academy of Sciences in Fall 2005, poignantly describes the challenges the U.S. faces for economic prosperity and national security in a fast-paced economy. Key recommendations are to "vastly improve K-12 science and math education" and "to strengthen the nation's commitment to long-term basic research."
It's Great to be Back!
It's great to be back! The break was very restful and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I am itching to get back to work. It is when you have the opportunity to stand back from the daily business of the lab and view it from outside, as I have over the last few weeks, that you realize what an extraordinary group of people work together here and what an exceptional and refreshingly broad scientific program we are pursuing. I am exhilarated to be re-immersing myself in the excitement of running one of the world’s greatest science laboratories
SPEAR3 Turns Three
and a Personal Note
Many of us remember the dedication ceremony for SPEAR3 on January 29, 2004. It was a joyful event celebrating a lot of planning, hard work and skillful execution. On SPEAR3's third birthday, it's good to take a few moments to reflect on the accomplishments since that beginning over three years ago.
The Role of Peer Review in Guiding Choices for our Future
At SLAC, peer review is an integral and fundamental aspect of almost everything we do.
Continuing Resolution Update
"What is the news on the continuing resolution?" This is a question on all our minds and, as I said in my
earlier article on this important topic, I want to make sure that you are all informed of developments as best we can understand them and in as timely a manner as possible.
Welcome back to SLAC and very best wishes for 2007! I hope you all had a very restful and enjoyable holiday.