SLAC Today logo

From the Director: What a Difference in a Year!

(Photo - Persis Drell)

On January 7, 2008, I had to announce the largest layoff in the history of the lab. This week I had the joy of announcing that SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will receive $68.3M in stimulus funding from President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. I can assure you that this second announcement was a lot more fun than the first!

What is most important is what these funds will allow the lab to do. As you will have read in the press release, we will be able to accelerate the schedule for the Linac Coherent Light Source Scientific Instruments project and deliver LCLS science to the users sooner. Also, an accelerator research project called FACET, that uses the first two-thirds of the Linac to study plasma wakefield acceleration, will move forward. These two projects are of tremendous strategic importance to the lab. We are also going to be able to complete seismic upgrades that have been long in the planning, thereby enhancing site infrastructure and safety.

New job openings that these funds are creating already are being posted to our Web site. A dedicated team led by Mark Reichanadter is working to ensure that procurement, Human Resources, finance and project management are all in place so that the lab can initiate these projects as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I will be holding work group meetings throughout the laboratory starting April 6. The meetings will provide opportunity for stakeholders to talk face-to-face about the stimulus, the budget, the lab programs and anything else that is on your minds. I always look forward to those sessions, but I confess that I look forward to this set with very special pleasure. I feel that I've been the bearer of hard news a lot over the past year and a half. It will be really fun to talk about the good news!

—Persis Drell
SLAC Today, March 27, 2009