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From the Chief Scientist: SLAC Energy Task Force Town Hall Meeting February 4

In the fall, SLAC Director Persis Drell asked me, in my role as chief scientist, to develop a plan for expansion of SLAC's research program by establishing new strategic directions in energy-related research. We agreed that this could include the integration of separate projects into a larger coordinated effort with defined goals and stronger and sustained support, a major expansion of existing research, creation of entirely new research in areas of strategic importance, and we should also consider options for partnering with other national labs and industry, as well as for research infrastructure development.

To accomplish this task I set up a task force of the following members:

Z-X Shen (task force chair, SLAC chief scientist and director of SIMES, SLAC)
Yi Cui (associate professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford)
Steve Eglash (executive director, Energy and Environment Affiliates Program, Stanford)
Tom Himel (professor, Particle Physics and Astrophysics, SLAC)
Chi-Chang Kao (director, SSRL, SLAC)
Ingolf Lindau (professor emeritus, Photon Science, SLAC)
Jens Norskov (director, SUNCAT, SLAC)
Alfred Spormann (professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford)
Mike Toney (senior staff scientist, SSRL, SLAC)

The task force started its work in November 2010, and individual task force members have already reached out to many stakeholders at SLAC and Stanford. Many potential topics have been evaluated. The following questions have been asked for each potential area of emphasis:

Why is this area of research important?
What will be our scientific approach to this research?
What critical components are required to be successful?

On February 4 from 10 a.m. to noon, the task force will hold a town hall meeting in Kavli Auditorium to report preliminary findings and seek input from the broader SLAC/Stanford research community. Additional feedback will also be sought through an online survey, to be announced in SLAC Today next week.

Based on the findings and recommendations of the task force, Persis intends to present SLACís energy strategy to Department of Energy Office of Science in spring 2011 as part of the laboratory business plan presentation. We also expect the results of this task force to guide future LDRD investments and lead to the development of specific funding proposals in the future.

óZ-X Shen
SLAC Today, January 21, 2011