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Berkeley Lab Currents

January 12, 1996


New awards program puts "spot"-light
on employees who go beyond the call of duty

By Ron Kolb

Keith Gershon received the call one day in early August. As the Laboratory's electrical safety engineer, he learned from Jim Ayers, an engineer in the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, that Ayers was experiencing some unusual voltage readings with one of his meters.

In certain circumstances, the meter would display a "zero" reading when measuring voltages above 500. If you removed the meter from one source to another, it still read "zero."

"Obviously, we were facing a great safety hazard," Gershon recalled. "If someone read a high-voltage source and it registered zero, then came in contact with it, he could get killed."

Gershon's rapid response--immediately notifying all potential laboratory users, contacting the manufacturer, and triggering an international recall effort--earned him one of the first "spot recognition" awards offered under a pilot program now under way at Berkeley Lab.

The Spot Recognition Awards Program rewards individuals and teams whose achievements support the lab's Total Quality Management (TQM) efforts. Divisions can award cash payments of $50, $100 or $150 to recognize noteworthy performances in cost reduction, customer service, programmatic effectiveness, or organizational effectiveness.

"The spot awards give supervisors a little bit of flexibility to say a special `thank-you' to someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty," said Engineering Division Director Ed Burgess, an early champion of the program. He has given out nine spot awards since authorization in early November. "We can recognize contributions of people who volunteer to do something extra or are asked to go beyond their job assignments for special duty."

Spot awards are an adjunct to the existing annual Outstanding Performance Awards (OPA) recognition program, which is designed to reward one-time achievements of an exceptional nature whose impacts are sustained over a longer period of time. Burgess said the new program allows more individuals to participate and be recognized than does the OPA, thus offering a broader base of incentives to employees.

The spot awards program will be evaluated at the end of this fiscal year for possible expansion in FY97.

Spot awards may be given for:

Gershon's efforts nicely matched the criteria, according to his supervisor, Jeffery Chung, head of Environmental Health and Safety Field Support.

"Keith's actions demonstrated an effort that significantly improved the safety of Lab activities," Chung said. "His proactive, customer-service role and technical contribution had a major beneficial impact across the operational and scientific divisions."

Gershon said about 25 meters developed by the Fluke company were in operation at Berkeley Lab when the incident occurred. Once he and Ayers determined the extent of the flaw, he immediately contacted all field purchasing agents on the Hill, posted a lab-wide electronic mail notice and various hard-copy cautions, and alerted all division safety coordinators. He even informed Department of Energy colleagues via his own safety bulletin board on the Internet-- a communication that found its way to concerned meter readers in Australia, Thailand, Japan and elsewhere. Fluke followed with its own international recall effort.

Gershon said he appreciated receiving the spot award, "not because of the financial incentive, but because people tend to underestimate the power of simply recognizing good work. It is helpful to positively and quickly reinforce progress."

Up to 30 percent of eligible employees within a division could receive $50 awards. No employee can receive more than three awards or $150 in a fiscal year. Supervisors forward their nominations to division directors, who approve them and request the cash from CFO/Accounts Payable.

CAPTION: Electrical safety engineer Keith Gershon corrected a problem with faulty voltage meters.


Director forms Research Roundtable advisory group

Members represent major scientific areas

By Ron Kolb

Laboratory Director Charles Shank has invited 14 representatives of the Berkeley Lab and campus communities to advise him on key issues affecting the Lab's scientific directions. They will serve as members of the newly formed Director's Research Roundtable.

Shank said he hopes the quarterly exchanges of the Roundtable will provide him with "the insights and ideas that will help us all to reach our common goal of producing the highest quality science." Specific areas in which he will seek their counsel include new scientific directions, quality of the work environment, promotion of the highest quality science, and campus relations.

The group is composed of representatives of the Laboratory's major scientific areas--biosciences, computational sciences, energy sciences, and general sciences. They will hold their inaugural session this month. Shank said he also hopes that, beyond the formal meeting times, members will confer independently to pursue issues that might be addressed by the full group.

Roundtable members include: Susan Anderson, Energy and Environment; Judith Campisi, Life Sciences; Marvin Cohen, Materials Sciences; Kevin Einsweiler and James Sethian, Physics; Sally Floyd, Information and Computing Sciences; Martin Head-Gordon, Chemical Sciences; Chris Martin, Human Genome Center; Howard Padmore, Advanced Light Source; Carolyn Rossington, Engineering; Peter Schultz, Structural Biology; James Symons, Nuclear Science; Tetsu K. Tokunaga, Earth Sciences; and William Turner, Accelerator and Fusion Research.


Adams taking a shot at something new

By Mike Wooldridge

He's been face-to-lens with thousands of Berkeley Lab employees over the years, and has probably been in every research lab on the Hill at one time or another. But photographer Steve Adams is taking his final shots this month.

He is leaving the Lab to pursue his real passion--illustration--as an animation artist in the multimedia industry. His last day will be Jan. 16.

"It will be an interesting transition," Adams said. "I'm trading a job in an incredibly diverse community for a monk's life in front of a computer and a drawing board. I'm sure I will miss it up here."

Adams, who has an English degree from UC Berkeley, has captured much of the Lab's history on film since coming to the Lab in 1978, including the last days of the Bevatron and the first beams out of the Advanced Light Source.

Scientific greats such as Stephen Hawking and many of the Lab's Nobel Laureates have been in front of his camera over the years, as well as the heads of state of China and Germany. His work has been featured on the covers of science magazines such as Physics Today and Scientific American.

Some of the most memorable times at the Lab, Adams said, were with his subjects. "I remember [former Lab Director and researcher] Ed McMillan explaining to me in detail about how he'd made some of the electronic devices back in the 1930s that we were shooting that day." Adams said. "I enjoyed times like those."

Thanks to the Lab's extensive photo archives, his presence may never completely leave the Lab. "It's nice to know that part of me will remain here," he said.

Adams will take a job at the ImaginEngine company in San Francisco, where he will specialize in creating backgrounds and layout. "My main interests have always been illustration and storytelling," he said. "The new job will to let me pursue them 100 percent of the time."

CAPTION: Veteran Lab photographer Steve Adams sets up a final shot from one of his favorite viewpoints overlooking the Lab. Photo by Don Fike


Mailroom working hard to keep up with office moves

Several hundred people are in the process of moving at Berkeley Lab, which involves not only changing offices but also changing mailstops. While these moves are being recorded and changes are being made to the Lab Directory, no automatic changing is done for most of the mail that circulates each day.

The mailroom is doing its best to keep up with the changes. However, interoffice and incoming mail still arrives with outdated mailstops, some of them two to three years old. Much of that mail is returned to the mailroom, where an individual search must be made for the correct mailstop, delaying delivery.

Most of the computer-generated information (reports, deposit advice, notices of one kind or another, and some mailing labels) at the Lab is NOT linked with the lab directory, and thus will not be automatically updated.

You can help the mailroom ensure timely delivery by taking the following steps:


N e w s W i r e


Swapan Chattopadhyay of AFRD has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his outstanding contributions to physics. He was cited specifically for "his pioneering studies of fluctuations, coherence and phase-space cooling and his contributions to the accelerator physics foundation of PEP II, an asymmetric B-factory collider for CP-violation studies."

Gareth Thomas of the Materials Sciences Division, and civil engineering doctoral candidate David Trejo have received one of 100 "Best of What's New" awards from Popular Science magazine. The award was granted for their development of a low-carbon steel called FERMAR(TM), which is extremely resistant to corrosion in concrete.


Martha Krebs, DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy Research, authored an article in which she reflects upon the "budget battles over the FY96 programs." Entitled "Looking Ahead: It's Time to Defend All of Scientific Research," it appears in the Jan. 4 issue of The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News. The following is an excerpt:

"So what do we make of all this? What can we expect next year? What should we do? As a member of President Clinton's administration, I believe that we have made a strong commitment to federal investments in science and technology that should both drive the economy and protect the environment. These investments must also sustain our leadership in world-class science, math and engineering based on peer review. Having said this, we face a period where the federal science investment is not likely to grow with inflation. This is in spite of good words from the Republican Congressional leadership. The budget agreement between Congress and the President will put more pressure on the discretionary parts of the Federal budget.

"There is no way that the science budgets will not be more deeply scrutinized than they already have been by both Congress and the Administration. The NSF and the National Institute of Health will undoubtedly receive favored treatment, but growth will be harder and harder to come by. The basic research programs in DOE, NASA, and the Department of Defense will continue to be squeezed, and defending the important benefits received from these investments must receive the attention of professional societies, not just divisions representing subfields. Funding that leaves programs like fusion will not go to other areas of science. Funding that leaves national laboratories will not go to other areas of science. Funding cut from applied research will not be added to basic science.

"This is a time for defending all of science, not particular fields and institutions. This is a time for articulating the benefits our nation has received from its investments in science and scientists. It is a time for speaking to all of our public representatives, federal and local, and especially when they are not based in Washington, D.C. This is a long-term job that will not take place in D.C., nor will it be finished once we know the final determination for the budget for FY 1997."


Currents ONLINE edition

The full text of each edition of Currents is published on the Lab's home page on the World Wide Web. View it at under "Research News and Publications." To set up your computer to access the World Wide Web, call the Mac and PC Support Group at X6858.


Retirement fete

The Mechanical Engineering groups are hosting a retirement luncheon for Gerd Behrsing, Bob Caylor and Bill Pope on Friday, Jan. 26. The three, who have collectively given more than a century of work to the Lab, officially retired on Dec. 31.

The luncheon will begin at noon at H's Lordships Restaurant, Berkeley Marina, with no-host cocktails at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $20. For reservations, contact Barbara Skelly at X4029.


Wanted: Science Fair judges

Once again the West Contra Science Fair is looking for members of the scientific community to volunteer for judging projects at this annual fair for secondary school students. Here is your chance to help budding young scientists from high schools and junior high schools in West Contra Costa Unified and John Swett school districts. Winners from this competition will go on to compete in the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair in March. If you can help, please contact Amy Black (642-8960; or Irene Katsumoto (642-8232;


Blood drive

The next Berkeley Lab blood drive is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 18. All employees are encouraged to stop by the Bldg. 70A main conference room (70A-3377) between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to donate blood.


Weight Watchers

A Weight Watchers Open House will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Bldg. 26-109 between noon and 1 p.m. Interested employees can learn about Weight Watchers: The At Work Program, an on-site program with new sessions beginning this month.

The potential starting date is Tuesday, Jan. 23, and features weekly meetings at the Lab. Contact Judy Kody at X6266 for more information or to sign up.


Calendar of Events Jan. 15-26

Calendar of Events at Berkeley Lab


The Berkeley Lab Calendar is published biweekly here on the World Wide Web and in Currents by the Public Information Department. Employees can list a meeting, class, or event in the Calendar by using this submission form. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Monday in the week that Currents is published.

In addition to the events listed below, Berkeley Lab's Washington, D.C. Projects office is hosting a Science and Technology Seminars series. 

Scientific Conferences


Monday, Jan. 15


Tuesday, Jan. 16


Noon-1 p.m., Bldg. 26


Radiation Protection - Fundamentals (EHS 400) will take place from 2:30 - 5 p.m. in Bldg. 51-201.


"Proton, Photon and Pomeron Structure at HERA" will be presented by Mark Lancaster of Oxford University at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 50A-5132; refreshments, 3:40 p.m.


"New Accelerator Initiatives at IUCF" will be presented by Dennis Friesel of the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility, at 4 p.m. in the Bldg. 71 Conference Room.

Wednesday, Jan. 17


Crane/Hoist - Level 1 (EHS 211) at 8 a.m. - noon in Bldg. 70A-3377

Recertification for Crane/Hoist - Level 1 (EHS 216) at 8-10 a.m. in Bldg. 70A-3377


12:10-1 p.m., Bldg. 2-100.

Thursday, Jan. 18


7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Bldg. 70A-3377.


Intro to Environment, Health & Safety (EHS 010) at 9-11:30 a.m. in Bldg. 51-201


"Semiconductor Nanocrystals: Opportunities to Create New Materials Through Control of Size" will presented by Paul Alivisatos of LBL/UCB at 1:30 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 Auditorium.


"`Gene Titration' in Mice to Study Quantitative Genetic Diseases" will be presented by Oliver Smithies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at 4 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 Auditorium.


"Search for Right-Handed W Bosons in pp- Collisions at ˆs- = 1.8 TeV" will be presented by Azriel Goldschmidt of LBL/UCB at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 50B-4205; refreshments, 3:40 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 19


Laser Safety (EHS 280) at 9:30 a.m. - noon in Bldg. 51-201

Radiation Protection - Lab Safety (EHS 432) at 2-5 p.m. in Bldg. 51-201

Monday, Jan. 22


7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., near Bldg. 77.


Basic Electrical Hazard Awareness (EHS 260) at 9-11 a.m. in Bldg. 51-201

Wednesday, Jan. 24


Crane/Hoist - Supplemental (EHS 212) at 8 a.m. - noon in Bldg. 70A-3377

CPR (EHS 123) at 9 a.m. - noon in Bldg. 48-109

Recertification for Crane/Hoist - Sup. (EHS 213) at 1-3 p.m. in Bldg. 70A-3377

Thursday, Jan. 25


"Medical and Societal Consequences of the Human Genome Project" will be presented by Francis S. Collins of the National Center for Human Genome Research at 1 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 Auditorium.


"Self-Assembled Monolayers of Alkylthiols on Gold: Structure vs. Coverage, Chemical Substitution and Symmetry of the Substrate" will presented by Giacinto Scoles of Princeton University at 1:30 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 Auditorium.



F l e a M a r k e t

Flea Market ads may be sent via e-mail to, Fax to X6641, or Lab mail to Bldg. 65B. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.


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'90 VW Jetta GL, 4-dr, orig. owner, 5-spd, pullout stereo, sunroof, low mi., garaged, exc. cond., $7K. John, 531-1739 (eve.)

'91 MAZDA 323 hatchbk, 45K mi., a/t, a/c, AM/FM, gd gas mi., $4800/b.o. 658-5503

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'91 NISSAN pickup, 38K mi., 5-spd, AM/FM tape, bedliner, exc. cond., $6200/b.o. 658-5503

'91 TOYOTA Previa mini-van, 58K mi., a/t, 7-passengers, silver-blue, 6 CD changer, last-tuned 10/95, warranted til
6/96, registered til 1/97, exc.cond., $14.5K (negot.). Miki, 642-3823, 664-2985

'94 PLYMOUTH, 40K mi., a/c, cruise ctrl, AM/FM cass., seats 5 adults, great cond., take over mo. payments, no down, warranty. X7831

MOTORCYCLE, '82 Yamaha Seca 650, exc. cond., $1800. Judy, X6540

BIKE CARRIER, fits to any car, carries 3-4 bikes, $15. Miki, 642-3823, 664-2985

CARPET KIT, blue, storage spaces on both sides, fits on Toyota long bed pickup truck, $25. John, 531-1739 (eve.)

SPOKE WHEELS for truck, 8 lug, white, $75/b.o. Marek, X5029, 582-5867


CAR/VANPOOL wanted from Modesto, Tracy or Livermore area, flex hrs 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., or
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Sharon, X5461

CARPOOL from Vacaville/Fairfield area, rider needed,
4-persons, share driving, Mon. - Fri. 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Mark, X4671, (707) 448-7979

VANPOOL, riders wanted from Rohnert Park, stopping at Petaluma & Novato, ending at Berkeley BART, Commuter Checks accepted. Shirley, X4521


SINGERS, come sing madrigals with us, Sun. eve. at a Berkeley home, for fun. Peter, X4574, Patricia, 525-4941, Bob, 536-3174


COMPUTER, PC-AT 286, 10MHz, 640K, 32MB HD, 5.25" floppy, 2400baud modem, amber monochrome EGA monitor, $150/b.o. D. Merrill, X5063, 549-0914

DAYBED w/mattress, $125. Peter, X5983, 687-1827

DINETTE SETS (2), rattan, ea. w/glass tops, 4 chairs w/cushions, $150 & $250. Troy, X7927, 777-9320

DISHWASHER, GE, built-in, works well on all cycles, $50/b.o.; 13" color video monitor, audio & video, in & out, works well w/VCR, $50/b.o.; audio/video rack style cabinet, 6' tall, 30" wide, 12" deep, 4 adj. height shelves, 2 glass, wood finish, 2 units avail., $60 ea./b.o. Philip, X6583

FUTON, black frame sofa, queen sz., $80; desk, white, 25X70 in., $30; kitchen table, wood + 4 folding chairs, $80, leaving country. Andres, X7780, 549-1621

LIFT TICKET VOUCHERS, Alpine Meadows, $38; Squaw Valley, $39; skis, K2 5500, 195, $125; ski boots, Nordica, sz. 11, $125; mountain bike, Cannondale V700, new over $1400, $860; water filters, NSA, model 50C & 100C. Marek, X5029, 582-5967

PCs, several, 1950s-70s era elec. test equip., gd cond., complete w/cables, manuals, $400 for all. X7757

PERSIAN RUG, antique, 60 yrs. in the family, perfect cond., hand-knotted Hammedanm 5'x7', predominately red/multi., $800/b.o. 883-1652

MAC CLASSIC 2/40, keyboard, mouse, Intel 2400EX modem, $250. Allan, X4210

MOVING SALE, washer, GE, 2 cycles, w/mini-basket for delicates, avail. 2/10, $65; refrigerator, 2 doors, frost free, exc., avail. 2/10, $90; 2 single beds, one can be folded under another, or they can be combined to form a queen sz. bed, $10 ea.; queen sz. bed, $30. Hong, X7039, 527-7956

MTB BIKE PARTS, MAG-20, just rebuilt, 1-1/4 dia., 15 cm threaded, XT front derailler, 1-1/2 dia., Tange Evolution fork, 1-1/4 dia., 16 cm threaded, Control Tech aluminum alloy seat post, 1-1/4 dia., best offer. Tim, X5304

PIANO, upright grand, Cadillac, w/bench, 30 yr. old, gd cond., $250/b.o. 233-0734

REFRACTING TELESCOPE PARTS, 80mm Jaeger's objective lens in aluminum cell & matching 4' long tube, never used, $250 new, $140/b.o.; 4.25" F-10 Newtonian reflector telescope, homemade w/Coulter optics, simple pipe-thread altazimuth mounting, needs to be attached to a tripod, needs eyepiece, $60/b.o. Jon, X5974, 841-9638

SKIS, K-2, 180cm w/Tyrolia bindings. John, X6710, 798-4021

TELEVISION, 25", you pick up, $50. 235-3983

X-COUNTRY SKIS, wooden, poles & boots, women's sz. 8-1/2 M, Norwegian-made, bought in Maine, very gd cond., $45; kneepads (for rollerblading, etc.), gd cond., $5. Jon, X6913


ALBANY, unfurn. 2 master bdrm condo, sec. garage, nr BART & E.C. shopping plaza, no pets, no smoking, avail. 2/1, $1030/mo. Mrs. Kim, 524-4199

BERKELEY, Elmwood area off College Ave., 1 bdrm in 6-bdrm house, no smoking, no pets, washer/dryer, kitchen privs., nr BART & shops, avail. 1/15, $450/mo., utils. incl. Jane, 644-2892

BERKELEY HILLS, nr Tilden Park, new, lg. studio, furn., TV, kitchen, bth, patio, off-st. parking, 10 min. from Lab, avail. mid Jan., $550/mo. incl. utils. 524-9655

CASTRO VALLEY, roommate for home, bdrm w/pvt. bth, laundry rm, 25 min. from Lab, price negot. Marek, X5029, 582-5867

WANTED: furn. 1-bdrm apt in Berkeley for visiting scientist from Canada, for 4 mo. starting 3/1, will also share a bigger apt/house for reasonable rent. (604) 493-7365, (604) 493-0028 (FAX)

WANTED: single room for visiting English scholar, male, 2/15- 3/31, nr UCB. Mark, X5021

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PUPPIES, Staffordshire/Lab mix, 3 puppies remaining, 1 brindle, 2 black, fully weaned. Ted, X4203, Bob, 540-5859


Currents/The View and the Communications Department Staff

Published once a month by the Communications Department for the employees and retirees of Berkeley Lab.

Reid Edwards, Public Affairs Department head
Ron Kolb, Communications Department head

Pamela Patterson, 486-4045,
Associate editor
Lyn Hunter, 486-4698,

Dan Krotz, 486-4019
Paul Preuss, 486-6249
Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

Ucilia Wang, 495-2402
Allan Chen, 486-4210
David Gilbert, (925) 296-5643

Caitlin Youngquist, 486-4020
Creative Services Office

Berkeley Lab
Communications Department
MS 65, One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720
(510) 486-5771
Fax: (510) 486-6641

Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Flea Market is now online at


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