|March 23, 2001|
By Ron Kolb
Klaus Berkner’s personal recollections over his past 37 years at Berkeley Lab would make some fascinating reading and could probably fill a couple of journal volumes.
But the Cliff’s Notes version of Berkner’s accomplishments, reflected by the man himself as he heads for retirement on April 1 after 10 years as Deputy Director for Operations, would include these elements:
The Laboratory looks and functions better than it did before he took over as its top operations officer. That includes improved business systems, consolidation of administrative services, and a significant reduction in deferred maintenance projects – paint, roofs, signage, and various infrastructure improvements.
Partnering between the Laboratory and the Department of Energy is excellent.
The operations management team has learned the true meaning of the term "customer service." (He adds, "To paraphrase a former president, ‘It’s the researcher, stupid’.")
Of course, there’s much more. As his boss for the past decade, Lab Director Charles Shank puts it: "If there’s anything Klaus has accomplished, it’s been moving us a major step toward making the lab the location of choice for scientific programs. This has meant major improvements in how the lab functions and what it takes to do work here."
Ask Berkner, and he describes his desired legacy this way: "As an honest broker who took to heart (physicist) Dave Jackson’s cartoon of the Lab’s organization chart and tried to make ‘an LBNL that works’…for researchers and for those who support the research."
That early-‘90s drawing he’s referring to (see pg. 4) depicts Laboratory administration as the castle high on the hill, walled off from the royal subjects below, and Operations as a factory fortress. Scientific divisions are mere appendages. Berkner’s modern vision, modeled graphically by Cynthia Coolahan of Human Resources, depicts the inside of a computer, complete with interconnecting circuits and integrated programs that link support services directly to scientific divisions. "Administration" is invisible.
But perhaps the most visible symbol of the Berkner years, which he did not mention, is an off-again on-again project that he willed through to completion after years of talk and delay. He even named the place in honor of the experience: "Perseverance Hall," the Laboratory’s conference center. Nothing better epitomizes Berkner’s bulldog resolve and his creative approach to getting things done.
Of course, even a person of Berkner’s considerable talents and powers couldn’t get it all done. There’s the unending challenge of finding enough space for programs ("Many years ago, Roy Kerth likened our space problems to playing Chinese Checkers with a marble in every hole…I wasn’t able to make a dent," he says, choosing to ignore the off-site solutions he was able to engineer for some of his units and for the supercomputing center). And there’s the Bevatron, whose decommissioned footprint holds the greatest hope for site expansion, and the greatest expense for demolition and decontamination.
"The lab is functional, but it’s old," he says. "It will take steady effort to try to modernize it."
Berkner is a modest man. No going-away parties, no fuss, he insists. He speaks of his management roles since 1982 – as
Division Director for Accelerator and Fusion Research, Associate Laboratory Director, and Deputy Director – with quiet pride, in the matter-of-fact manner of a father reciting the achievements of his favorite child.
But get him talking about those early days at Berkeley Lab, when he was a graduate student and then scientist in plasma and atomic physics, and he positively lights up. Berkner’s dad, a mechanical engineer, told him to become a physicist, "because they can do everything. I later found out we can’t do it as well, and it takes longer," he laughs.
It was in 1960, as a 22-year-old out of MIT, that he first set foot on Berkeley soil. He got accepted into UC Berkeley’s grad program with the help of Nobelist Luis Alvarez, a friend of one of his MIT mentors. "It never occurred to me to go to graduate school," Berkner says, "but all of my friends were doing it. As an East Coaster, I also thought it would be a good way to learn what California was like."
He found out quickly what the Laboratory was like. "I was intimidated coming up here from campus," he recalls, starting in 1962 with physicist Robert Pyle of the fusion group. "Bob worked in a cramped office in Building 30, where all the walls were covered with aerial photos of California. We all thought we would get the next big accelerator here."
It was a time during which the Bevatron was king, and high energy and nuclear physics ruled the roost. Berkner did his thesis work on the Heavy Ion Linear Acclerator (HILAC), which had been instrumental in discovering many of the transuranic elements on the periodic table. Except for a year away on a post-doc fellowship at England’s Culham Laboratory, he became part of the distinguished accelerator heritage that Ernest O. Lawrence began.
That meant an almost fanatical dedication to team science. Berkner can remember 14-hour days designing and building fuel injectors and heaters for confined plasmas, at powers never before achieved. "We lived out of vending machines," he says, "and we’d stay late and eat beans out of a can." His pride and joy were two neutral beam test facilities in the early 1980s, for which he was operations physicist and project manager, which became essential prototypes for Princeton’s Plasma Physics Laboratory and its Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR).
"It was an exciting time," he recalls. "We had to design it, build it, and demonstrate its importance, and it was up to us to deliver or the whole (TFTR) experiment wouldn’t work. It was a real group effort, and I was interested in organizing the operation. I was fully immersed in the work and didn’t know anything about divisions, DACs, or anything about the Lab’s management."
Success placed him on an inevitable management learning curve, and from his initial appointment as Deputy Director for AFRD in 1982, including a stint as Acting Director, his fate was sealed.
"Klaus has been a force of high expectations for all of us," Shank says. "He has had an indelible impact on the Laboratory, and is widely perceived throughout the laboratory system as a person of extraordinary value to the whole country. I will miss him as a friend and colleague – his insights, his leadership, his knowledge and competence."
He and his wife, former Lab administration manager Cheryl McFate, will now set off on new adventures in a life of travel. "We have a motor home and plan to take extended trips in North America, interspersed with trips overseas," he says. "We have lots of hobbies and interests we’re planning to pursue together." He adds, "We may even take up golf!"
But he says he will never forget Berkeley Lab. He still recalls an Open House a few years ago, at which he was walking around wearing a Lab t-shirt.
"A visitor came up to me and asked if I worked here. When I told him that I did, he informed me with great enthusiasm, ‘This is the neatest place in the whole world!’ I’ve always felt that way…I’ve had a great career here."
By Lynn Yarris
Alexander Xavier Merola, better known as "Sandy," has been named to direct Berkeley Lab’s new Information Technologies and Services Division. He has also been named the Laboratory’s Chief Information Officer.
"We at Berkeley Lab are very fortunate to have someone of Sandy Merola’s remarkable talents and ability to lead this new Division," said Berkeley Lab director Charles Shank in announcing the appointment last Friday (March 16).
Included in Merola’s new division will be the Computing Infrastructure Support Department (CIS), the Information System and Services Department (ISS), the Network and Telecommunications Department (NTD), the Technical and Electronic Information Department (TEID), and the Cyber Security Protection group.
In addition, ITSD will also be the new administrative home of Energy Sciences network (ESnet), the high-speed network that links DOE Energy Science research and collaborator sites nationwide and around the globe. James Leighton, who heads ESnet, has been named deputy director of ITSD.
"Integrating ESnet with other elements of ITSD enables the locally focused component of our division to better capitalize on national initiatives," says Merola. "ESnet benefits by having improved access to the challenges and capabilities of this institution, which to some extent are similar to those at other DOE laboratories. Jim Leighton and I have a long track record of successful partnering in technical and sometimes controversial initiatives."
Merola stresses that the emphasis in ITSD under his leadership will be on science.
"I see the scientific requirements for information technologies as technical opportunities that will drive our division," he says.
Merola’s career in computing has tracked the arc of the high-tech information evolution. He got his start in 1966 when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to work on the modification of airborne computers.
"Those were the days of vacuum tubes and analog computing devices," he says.
His duties as an automatic flight control computer specialist helped land him a job as a computer technician with Berkeley Lab after his honorable discharge in 1973. His initial assignment, data analysis for physicists, got him involved in the Lab’s first local time-sharing network.
"A networked desktop computer then was essentially a teletype machine or a slow video terminal connected by twisted-pair wiring that would transmit data at about 300 bits per second," he says. "Debugging those systems required getting down to the level of transistors, resistors, and capacitors."
Information technologies and Merola have both come a long way at Berkeley Lab. From working with primitive local networks, Merola steadily rose through the ranks, serving in leadership and management roles over various iterations of computing science research and development groups. In 1994, he founded and headed TEID, a consolidation of the Laboratory’s various resources for providing, referencing, and disseminating scientific and technical information. He did this while at the same time serving as deputy division director of the former Information and Computing Services Division. In 1996, having played an instrumental role in Berkeley Lab’s becoming the new host for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and ESnet, Merola was named the deputy to Bill McCurdy, the Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences.
"I was an early representative of Berkeley Lab scientists who had been allocated time on the supercomputing system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that would later become NERSC," he says. "Back then, Berkeley Lab had little in the way of high-performance computing requirements. Today, in great part due to the influence of NERSC and the Director’s LDRD program, we have a significant demand and interest."
As head of ITSD, Merola’s initial priorities will be to work with members of the Computing and Communications Services Advisory Committee (CSAC) to assess Berkeley Lab’s need for mid-range computing capabilities; improve cyber-security Laboratory-wide; and advance the Lab’s computer and network services.
"ITSD and CESAC have jointly organized a colloquium for next month on scientific computing at Berkeley Lab to evaluate whether the gap between desktop computers and NERSC is one that we need to fill," Merola says. "We’re not predisposed to the answer, but we are excited to see scientific interest in this possibility."
On the issue of cyber-security, Merola takes a firm stand that, like issues of safety, it should be the responsibility of all employees.
"A new model for cyber-security will be rolled out within the next few months," he says, "but it will be implemented within the context of Berkeley Lab’s open scientific mission."
The Lab’s scientific mission is another issue that draws a firm response from Merola. He attributes his strong belief in the value of this mission to a year he spent, between 1981 and 1982 with a major national banking firm, in which he oversaw installation of San Francisco’s first private T1 connection.
"I realized that no matter how hard I worked, the most that I could ever accomplish would be to improve the corporation’s profit margin," he says. "By comparison, the payoff in being able to contribute to the advancement of science is immeasurable. I am excited to be working with all of ITSD to help advance the scientific mission of Berkeley Lab."
By Lynn Yarris
A major step toward utilizing inorganic nanometer-sized crystals as basic building blocks for nanotechnology has been achieved. In the March 16 issue of the journal Science, Berkeley Lab scientists report a relatively simple recipe for making nanocrystals that allows for the all-important control of crystal size and shape, and can be used to make more than one variety of nanocrystal.
Nanotechnology offers a potential cornucopia of benefits, from palm-sized supercomputers to synthesized antibodies to molecular-scale robots. Such wonders will be constructed from the ground-up using nano-sized building blocks. Nanocrystals grown from inorganic materials, including metals and semiconductors, are prime candidates to serve as nanoblocks. Typically under ten nanometers in diameter, such crystals are larger than molecules, smaller than bulk solids, and frequently exhibit physical and chemical properties somewhere in between. Before nanocrystals can be transformed into nanoblocks, however, researchers will first need a reliable and relatively inexpensive means of growing an assortment of crystals that are a specific size and shape.
Paul Alivisatos, a chemist with a joint appointment to Berkeley Lab’s Materials Science Division (MSD) and UCB’s Chemistry Department, and postdoc Victor Puntes and MSD senior scientist Kannan Krishnan are the coauthors of the Science paper entitled: "Colloidal Nanocrystal Shape and Size Control: The Case of Cobalt."
In that Science paper, the authors describe "size-distribution focusing," a technique in which the processes of crystal nucleation and growth are separated during synthesis to produce nanocrystals that are highly uniform in size. Applying this technique to colloidal inorganic nanocrystals in solutions made up of one or more hot, soap-like films, called surfactants, enabled the researchers to control the shapes of their crystals as well.
"We can now describe a minimum set of requirements to achieve size and shape control of inorganic nanocrystals in general," says Alivisatos, a recognized leader in the field of growing semiconductor nanocrystals.
These minimum requirements were arrived at working with cadmium selenide, a semiconductor from which Alivisatos and his colleagues have recently prepared crystals in a wide assortment of shapes including rods, teardrops, tetrapods and branched tetrapods. For the work reported in Science, the researchers decided to test their strategies on cobalt, a technologically important transition metal.
"Cobalt nanocrystals display a wealth of size-dependent structural, magnetic, electronic, and catalytic properties," Alivisatos says. "In particular, the exponential dependence of the magnetization relaxation time on volume has spurred intensive studies of cobalt nanocrystal synthesis for magnetic storage purposes."
Until now, making magnetic nanocrystals of cobalt has been difficult and required costly size-selective precipitation methods. Alivisatos and his colleagues achieved size and shape control with cadmium selenide by injecting a powder of the semiconductor – the "precursor" – into one or more hot surfactants. When a single surfactant was used, they obtained one-dimensional sphere-shaped crystals. When a binary mixture of surfactants was used, the crystals grew into two-dimensional rods. This is credited to the fact that the two different surfactants, in this case oleic acid and a substance called TOPO, react with the precursor powders in a slightly different manner, causing each crystal to grow in only one direction. The size-distribution focusing technique yielded high uniformity of size.
"The three strategies that we learned from the prototypical cadmium selenide system were used to produce cobalt nanocrystals with high crystallinity, narrow size distributions, and a high degree of shape control," says Alivisatos.
Under the powerful high-resolution microscopes at the National Center for Electron Microscopy, the magnetic cobalt nanocrystals were observed to spontaneously self-assemble into rods, depending upon the crystal growth control strategies employed. Unlike spherical nanocrystals, nanorods can be stacked and aligned, a real advantage for making magnetic storage devices. It was also observed that, over time, these magnetic particles organized into two- and three-dimensional superstructures, including ribbons of nanorods.
As for the minimum set of requirements for achieving size and shape control of inorganic nanocrystals in general, they are as follows: There must be a suitable precursor that rapidly decomposes at temperatures where the surfactants are stable; two surfactants must be found that "differentially adsorb" to the nanocrystal faces, allowing for rod formation; and one of the surfactants must allow for size-distribution focusing.
Nation Faces Major Energy Crisis, Says Secretary
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said America will be challenged by "a major energy supply crisis" over the next two decades, in an address at last week’s "National Energy Summit" which was sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"The failure to meet this challenge will threaten our nation’s economic prosperity, compromise our national security, and literally alter the way we live our lives," said the Secretary. "This Administration is fully prepared to face this dire situation, which we inherited, by developing something this country hasn’t seen in years – a comprehensive, long-term national energy policy."
President Bush has asked the National Energy Task Force to define a clear energy strategy that will allow "environmentally responsible" exploration and recovery of U.S. domestic resources; enhance the United States’ commitment to conservation and energy efficiency; and encourage investment in new technology to further the development of renewable energy sources.
The new chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, a New York Republican, has criticized the White House for reneging on its earlier pledge to curb carbon-dioxide emissions at power plants, and for not inviting more input from his committee into the discussion.
"This committee, quite frankly, has not been an active player," Boehlert said at a press conference last week. "That’s over. Whether (the White House) likes it or not, we’re going to be players."
Vowing that the House Science Committee would be an "active but moderate force" in future discussions, Boehlert made clear he differs with a key feature of the Republican energy strategy, the opening of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development.
"The solution to our energy problems today is not drilling in a pristine area of Alaska," he said. "We should be investing more in basic research, renewable energy, energy efficiency and efficient appliances."
Boehlert also predicted that Congress will turn down cuts proposed by the White House in science budgets for FY-02. He predicted those programs will "do a little bit better than the initial budget projections" next year, and "a lot better" in each of the following three years.
SLAC to Host New Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology Institute
The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center will host a new institute for particle astrophysics and cosmology thanks to a $15 million donation to Stanford University by Pehong Chen, chief executive of software technology company BroadVision, and his wife. The mission of this new institute is to explore questions about the Big Bang, dark matter, black holes, and neutron stars and other cosmic objects. Chen’s older brother is a physicist at SLAC.
The donation will pay for a 25,000-square-foot building at SLAC designed to house a total of about 90 people. It also will fund an endowed professorship to allow Stanford, which runs SLAC under a contract with DOE, to recruit a top scientist as the institute’s director. — Lynn Yarris
Norman E. Goldstein has been appointed the Acting Division Director of the Earth Sciences Division (ESD) effective April 1, 2001.
Currently ESD’s deputy director, Goldstein brings both administrative and scientific experience to his new position. He came to the Lab in 1976, where he began his work in the then-Energy and Environment Division’s geothermal program. He became an ESD senior scientist in 1981. Goldstein’s research interests have focused on the use of geophysical techniques for imaging and monitoring geothermal reservoirs and currently-active hydrothermal systems in the earth's crust.
Besides his extensive Berkeley Lab experience, Goldstein has worked in Washington on various special assignments for the Office of Science and the Office of Waste Management. In 1994, he became the Berkeley Lab representative for the DOE Office of Fossil Energy’s Natural Gas and Oil Technology Partnership Program, and was named co-chair in 1996. The program has grown into a $12-$15 million per year DOE research partnership program involving nine national laboratories, several universities, and over 50 companies.
Goldstein will replace Sally M. Benson when she begins her new position as Deputy Director for Operations.
By Ron Kolb
Employees showing up for work on Wednesday, March 14, were greeted at the gates by clusters of people waving placards, many of them members of the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union at Berkeley Lab. They were on a one-day strike to protest the slow progress of continuing negotiations between UPTE and the University of California on the renewal of an employment contract.
Both parties are meeting and bargaining on behalf of about 4,000 technical unit employees systemwide, of which about 300 are employed at Berkeley Lab. The bargaining has been conducted with the assistance of a mediator provided by the State of California Mediation and Conciliation Service.
While the parties have reached agreement on many issues and progress has been made toward the resolution of many others, an overall agreement covering all issues at all locations has yet to be reached.
Classifications represented by UPTE include accelerator operators, drafters, designers, electrical and mechanical engineering technologists, machinists, radiation technicians, health and safety technicians including firefighters, computer operators and technicians, and graphic arts, technical illustration and photographic technicians.
"We understand that employees are frustrated over the length of time these negotiations are taking," said Laboratory Director Charles Shank. "We are doing our utmost to bring them to a successful conclusion for all parties involved and affected by them. We believe that progress can only be made by the parties continuing to work together at the bargaining table to reach agreement."
To expedite negotiations at Berkeley Lab prior to mediation, the Lab and UPTE entered into local negotiations to bargain over those issues pertinent to Lab employees. The Lab’s current offer is a merit pool of 4.2% and a range adjustment of 3.5% for FY 2001, and a 3.5% merit pool and a 2.5% range adjustment for FY 2002. In addition, management has offered to increase the funding available for reclassifications and promotions in anticipation of more activity than usual as job families are updated.
For firefighters, the Lab has offered to revamp the pay structure to be consistent with the step structure used by the University. The offer to Lab firefighters would result in an average pay increase in FY 2001 of 9.3%. For FY 2002, the Lab has proposed a salary package that would result in a minimum increase of 5% for a firefighter who meets performance expectations and who is not at the top step of the structure.
University updates on the negotiations can be found at http://www.ucop.edu/humres/labor/tx.html.
By Paul Preuss
Jie Song and Quan "Jason" Cheng of the Materials Sciences Division (MSD), working with Raymond C. Stevens, who is now at the Scripps Research Institute, have created artificial membranes using a new kind of two-headed, bola-shaped lipid molecule.
The new molecule, dubbed L-Glu-Bis-3, readily assembles to form robust membrane structures which assume dramatically different shapes under changing conditions, such as increased alkalinity, and change color from blue to red.
"Our interests are focused on biosensors for toxins and disease organisms that can’t be detected by traditional methods," says Cheng, who heads the biosensor project at MSD’s Center for Advanced Materials. "For example, we have previously made materials that recognize pathogens such as cholera or flu virus."
Other applications of lipid-based artificial membranes include liposomes for the controlled release of drugs, synthetic immunogens which may provide the basis of safe vaccines, and other self-assembling "smart" nanodevices.
Most such materials have been based on layers of amphiphilic lipids, says Cheng, with only one end of the molecule modified to perform a specific function. Amphiphilic means "both loving," and refers to the fact that many lipid molecules have hydrophilic, "water loving" heads and hydrophobic, "water fearing" tails.
Lipids, many of which are fatty or waxy, are ubiquitous in organisms. They link together to form films and membranes, and they can be artificially modified with functional groups that, for example, bind to disease organisms.
But most layered lipid materials must be painstakingly coaxed to assemble, sometimes under conditions much different than those found in nature, and they have limited stability. To improve membrane stability and ease of assembly, the biosensor group decided to imitate a kind of lipid found in some bacteria.
"Some bacterial lipids are transmembranic," explains Jie Song, who joined the group late in 1999 as a postdoctoral fellow. "They are coupled tail-to-tail, with heads on both the inside and outside surfaces of the cell’s membrane." Such a two-headed structure resembles an Argentine gaucho’s bola, a rope with a weight at each end — thus the adjective "bolaamphiphilic."
The Berkeley Lab researchers realized that each of the two heads of the "bola" could be tailored for a different function. Because of their long experience with lipids having amino acid headgroups, they decided to use L-glutamic acid for one head. "Amino acids have defined chirality," says Song, "which affects the way the lipids pack together, which in turn affects the properties of the assembled membrane. And amino acids are compatible with other biological molecules."
For the other head the group chose a single carboxyl group, giving the lipid a wedge shape important in membrane formation. Both heads can serve as "handles" to attach other functional groups.
To link the tails, the researchers used diacetylene units that stabilize the material and affect its optical properties — causing it to change color when the head groups bind to microorganisms or other contaminants.
The resulting molecule was L-Glu-Bis-3, an "asymmetric bolaamphiphilic lipid." The researchers synthesized the new molecule, which rapidly self-assembled in water at room temperature and, when irradiated with ultraviolet, quickly polymerized, through cross-linking of the diacetylene groups, into a dark blue material.
When examined under transmission electron microscopes and by atomic force microscopes, the blue material proved to consist of both flat and helical ribbons, exclusively right-handed, from a few nanometers (billionths of a meter) to hundreds of nanometers wide.
When the material was treated by a solution with elevated pH (less acidic, more alkaline), the increase in electrostatic repulsion among the groups at both heads forced them apart, causing strains and distortions that had two marked effects: the sheets and ribbons were frayed into thin nanofibers, and the material turned bright red.
"The color-coded transition from blue, right-handed helical ribbons to red nanofibers provides an important test bed for the design of biosensors and other ‘smart’ materials that can signal the presence of certain conditions visually and straightforwardly," says Cheng.
While the synthesis of a new, robust, and more versatile form of self-assembling lipid is noteworthy for its own sake, even more important may be the promise of a new approach to answering a host of basic questions about these important materials.
An article describing the new material will be published April 18 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and may be found on the web at http://pubs.acs.org/CHECKCCIP-984769559/isubscribe/journals/jacsat/jtext.cgi?jacsat/asap/html/ja0035046.html.
The development of EUV lithography technology got a boost last week with the announcement that IBM, along with Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) LLC, has joined a consortium to develop EUV lithography technology targeted at increasing computer chip capabilities. The private industry consortium works with the Virtual National Laboratory, which includes Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories.
EUV lithography will allow semiconductor manufacturers to etch circuit lines smaller than 0.1 microns, which will lead to the development of more powerful microprocessors and higher density memory chips.
The private industry consortium is led by Intel Corporation, Advanced Micro Devices, Motorola, Micron Technology and Infineon Technologies. EUV LLC is working directly with Silicon Valley Group Lithography (SVGL) and ASM Lithography to commercialize EUV technology. Intel began substantial funding for EUV research in 1996, and established the EUV LLC in 1997 with Motorola and Advanced Micro Devices. Micron Technology and Infineon Technologies joined the EUV LLC in early 2000. Monica Friedlander
By Ron Kolb
Over the last two fiscal years, Berkeley Lab has had what most would consider an undistinguished safety record. The accident rate ranked the Laboratory 32nd out of 40 complex-wide, and self-assessments for the University of California and the Department of Energy earned marginal grades.
Then something dramatic happened. Accident rates went down. Way down. And it wasn’t by accident.
Last August, Laboratory Director Charles Shank sent a cannon shot in the form of a memorandum to all division directors. In it, he expressed his concern "about the latest safety statistics and the trends they reveal." While acknowledging improvements over a five-year period, he noted the more recent slippage.
"In our dynamic environment, safety requires constant vigilance," he told the directors. "Managers and employees together have to make absolutely certain that the safeguards we put in place are adequate. The best-intentioned ‘corporate’ practices will fail unless all managers personally address safety in their own areas."
Then he commissioned David McGraw, director of Environment, Health and Safety, to pay visits to the divisions and review their performance. His message was simple: here’s what prompted the concern, here’s where we rank compared to other sites, and here’s what we have to do. The end products were safety plans by each scientific division, plus EH&S, the Facilities Department, and the Computing Sciences Directorate.
After eight months of the current fiscal year, results have been, in a word, stunning.
Last year, the Laboratory monthly average for recordable accidents, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Hazards Act (OSHA), was nine. The number of total recordable cases for Fiscal Year 2000 was 107. For FY99 and FY00, the total recordable case (TRC) rate was 3.5 cases per 100 employees. That was slightly above the average for all DOE laboratories. Berkeley Lab’s self-assessment target threshold for TRC is 3.0.
In September, recordable cases totaled just four; in October, one; and in November, zero. If that trend continues through 2001, Berkeley Lab will shatter the 3.0 barrier and boost its DOE grade from "marginal" to "outstanding."
"This is a superb start to the assessment year," McGraw said. "It’s a success story in which all participants can share, from the managers who made it a priority to the employees who made it happen. Now we must keep safety and accident prevention a Laboratory value."
McGraw said that due to divisional awareness and implementation of their plans, plus enhanced training programs and incident reviews, total accidents at the Lab have been reduced by two-thirds, and the number of cases resulting in lost workdays have dropped by 80 percent from last year.
"We’re proud of the achievements we’ve been making," said McGraw, "and we couldn’t have hoped for a better start in the fiscal year. But we want to model our programs after the best for our long-term sustainability. For that to happen, safety has to be part of our culture and not just an area of emphasis for 12 months."
The clear best-of-class in this turnaround is the Production Sequencing Facility in Walnut Creek. Last year, Berkeley Lab employees at the Joint Genome Institute had a per-hundred-employee accident rate of 13.1. This year so far, Director Trevor Hawkins and his staff have had zero reportable cases.
The Facilities Department, an understandable focus for accidents given the type of work its employees do, are averaging just one case per month this year after averaging two or three per month in prior years
"We assigned EH&S liaisons to each division to support line management," said Robin Wendt, who as McGraw’s deputy took the lead in making the house calls to directors. "The liaisons then worked with the safety coordinators in each division to develop strategies based on their individual culture. We also did internal and external benchmarking and developed best-practices targets."
Wendt said the lab has done well in high-hazard activities, "but we were seeing more accidents in ergonomics, lifting-and-moving, and slips-and-falls." In his memo to division directors, Shank called out particular areas of concern — "ergonomic insult from excessive computer work coupled with inadequate workstation design, and soft tissue trauma (e.g. cuts, abrasions) resulting from improper selection or use of tools."
With Don Van Acker, head of safety engineering in EH&S, overseeing the accident prevention program, the units analyzed their data, reviewed the guiding principles of Integrated Safety Management, and made specific recommendations to address their weaknesses.
The success is in the numbers.
LANA Tamale Fundraiser — Place Your Orders Today!
The Latino and Native American Association (LANA) at the Berkeley Lab is taking orders for its first ever Tamale Fundraiser, noon, April 11, in the Lab’s Cafeteria Lobby.
The tamales are only $1.25 each, or $14 for a dozen. LANA will be selling chicken, pork, and vegetable tamales. You can order your tamales at [email protected] or phone ext. 2828. Special delivery for large orders is also available.
Money raised from the tamale sale will go toward the building of a LANA Mural Area near building 90. The LANA Mural Area will include a garden, picnic table, and mural recognizing the scientific and cultural accomplishments of Latinos and Native Americans. Additionally, money will go to a scholarship fund for disadvantaged Latino and Native American students.
LHS Presents Women in Science, Math and Technology
In celebration of Women's History Month, the Lawrence Hall of Science will present a special session on Women in Science, Math and Technology this Sunday, March 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is intended to inspire and inform students about careers in math, science and technology. Featured will be women in fields such as computer graphics, geology, and astronomy who will demonstrate aspects of their professions and talk with participants about the role of women in these fields. The session is free with museum admission.
Also scheduled is a "living history" performance of "Fossil Finding with Annie Montague Alexander," in LHS’ Science Discovery Theatre at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.
The LHS is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information call 642-5132 or visit http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org.
Joint Meeting of Combustion Institute
Oakland Marriott City Center, March 25 - 28, 2001
The Environmental Energy Technologies Division will host the Second Joint Meeting of the U. S. Sections of the Combustion Institute, to be held at the Oakland Marriott City Center March 25 - 28. U.S. and international scientists and engineers will participate. EETD Division Director Mark Levine will be one the speakers. The meeting is organized by the Western States Section of the Combustion Institute.
As the official host, Berkeley Lab will display a booth showcasing the research and technology transfer activities at the Laboratory. For more information, including registration information, see http://eetd.lbl.gov/aet/combustion/jointmeeting.
The Dance Club began a four-week Rhumba series on Monday, March 19. Classes are held each Monday at noon in B64 room 142; Wednesday practices are held at noon in the same location. Classes are $20 for the four-week series or $6 each on a drop-in basis. Practices are at no cost.
Lab Blues Band Plays at the Cafeteria
Have lunch and enjoy the blues next Friday, March 30. The Employee Music Club Blues Band will perform on the deck outside the cafeteria, weather permitting. For more information contact Larry Bell at X5406.
Lab to Host IT Expo
An Information Technology Expo will be held onsite Tuesday, March 27, to showcase the latest products and vendors. The expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Perseverance Hall, and admission is free. Refreshments will be served. Scheduled exhibitors include Marconi Communications, Micron Government Computer Systems, Iomega, Wolfram Research, NEC and Sony Electronics. For more information call (800) 247-6353 or email [email protected]
Open Enrollment for CalPERS Long-Term Care Plan
The open enrollment period for the CalPERS Long-Term Care (LTC) plans begins on April 1 and runs until June 30, 2001. LTC refers to the extended care needed due to chronic illness, injury, or frailties of old age that one would typically receive at home – from a nurse, home health aide, or family member – or in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult day care center.
The CalPERS program provides comprehensive coverage at a reasonable cost, offers a variety of options, and is tax qualified. All Lab employees, retirees, spouses, parents, and parents-in law, as well as UCRS members, are eligible to apply.
A representative from the CalPERS Long-Term Care Program, Mildred Boyd, will give a brown-bag seminar on Wednesday, April 18 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in Building 66 Auditorium.
For more information and to receive application materials, call 1-800-338-2244 or visit the web at http://www.calpers.ca.gov/longtermcare/.
To receive a copy of the pamphlet only, please send an e-mail to the [email protected], or call the Benefits Office at x6403.
Yoga Class Update
Effective March 1, the new fees for the onsite yoga classes are $10 per class on a drop-in basis, $8 per class for a series of four or more sessions, and $7 per class for student/low-income participants for a series of four or more.
The classes are held every Wednesday and Thursday from 12 to 1:15 p.m. Bring comfortable clothes. Yoga props are provided.
Two community meetings focusing on issues relating to the National Tritium Labeling Facility (NTLF) will be held next week in Berkeley. Laboratory employees are encouraged to attend one or both sessions and express their views about the Laboratory during public comment periods.
The meeting on Thursday, March 29, will be the ninth in a series of meetings of the Laboratory’s Environmental Sampling Project Task Force. The group includes representatives from a broad spectrum of community interests and was established to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to review and comment on required tritium sampling and analysis. The ultimate goal of the program is to respond to community concerns about possible public health issues.
Thursday’s meeting will include a lecture/presentation by Dr. F. Owen Hoffman, of SENES Oak Ridge, on the siting of air monitoring stations at Berkeley Lab, based on comparative computer modeling and wind tunnel analyses produced by UC Davis professor Bruce White. A Berkeley city consultant’s report has recommended increasing the number of stations and locations.
The consultant, Bernd Franke of the German company IFEU, will be featured in the second meeting, a workshop on Monday, April 2, sponsored by the City of Berkeley and its Community Environmental Advisory Commission. He is scheduled to present his findings on tritium releases at the NTLF and to hear comments from the audience. The Laboratory is also scheduled to give a brief presentation.
The Task Force meeting will begin next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Large Assembly Room of First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way.
The city workshop will take place on April 2 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst St. Franke will also meet informally with attendees from 4 to 6 p.m. Audience members will each be given three minutes to speak during the evening session.
Results of the tournament played at Blue Rock East Golf Course on March 17:
1 Henry Rodriguez, 63
1 Don Weber, 60
1 Keith Groves, 56
Fri., March 23
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EXPO
Thurs., March 29
RETIREMENT PLANNING WORKSHOP
TRITIUM TASK FORCE MEETING
Fri., March 30
EMPLOYEE MUSIC CLUB BLUES BAND
Mon., April 2
TRITIUM & CITY OF BERKELEY
UC BERKELEY JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Thurs., April 5
Send us your announcements
Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to [email protected] Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to [email protected] You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the April 6 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, April 2.
Seminars & Lectures
Tues., March 27
CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
ENVIRONMENTAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
PHYSICS DIVISION RESEARCH PROGRESS
Thurs., March 29
ENVIRONMENTAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
SURFACE SCIENCE AND CATALYSIS SCIENCE
LIFE SCIENCES DIVISION SEMINAR
PHYSICS DIVISION RESEARCH PROGRESS
Mon., April 2
PHYSICS DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIUM
Tues., April 3
CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
Thurs., April 5
ENVIRONMENTAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
LIFE SCIENCES DIVISION SEMINAR
PHYSICS DIVISION RESEARCH PROGRESS
* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation. Please arrive at 8:15 for sign-in.
For more information or to enroll, contact Susan Aberg at [email protected] or enroll via the web at http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/ehstraining/registration/. Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10 (Introduction to EH&S). Times and locations are subject to change. For a full, updated schedule of EH&S training sessions see http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/schedule/.
‘96 TOYOTA TACOMA, SR5, 4 wd, 5 spd, extra cab, camper shell, loaded, exc cond, must see, $17,000, Tracy, X5737, (925) 313-8920
‘95 TOYOTA COROLLA, sedan 4 dr, metal grey, 48K mi, at, ac, am/fm/cass, great cond, avail early April, $6,100/bo, Jun, X7307, 665-8309
‘94 MAZDA PROTEGE DX, 90K hwy mi, emerald green, 5 spd, ac, am/fm/cass, exc cond, all records avail, $4,500, Zoltan, X4361
‘92 NISSAN SENTRA XE, 170K mi, auto, ac, cc, Pioneer cass, good cond, well maint, $3,500/ bo, Eileen, (925) 296-5732, home, (925) 274-0965
‘91 FORD EXPLORER Eddie Bauer, V6 OHV, auto trans, leather int, all pwr, JBL/Alpine am/fm/cass/cd, exc cond in/out, new paint, new tires, runs great, ran full AAA diagnostic, everything OK, passed smog, 194K freeway mi, must see, $5,950 neg, Anthony, X7455
‘85 CX2500 GTI, 4 dr sedan, sunrf, exc cond, good tires, new clutch, original owner, serviced at Citroen & European Car Service in So SF, 86K mi, Xavier, X4041, 848-4487
GOODYEAR TIRES & Mustang rims, size P205/65R15, used, approx 25K mi left, $350, Elizabeth, X7681, (925) 634-0538
DIRT BIKE PACKAGE: 2 Hondas (‘82 XR200 & XL185), 2-rail trailer, spare parts & safety gear, fair cond, great for trail riding, pref to sell as complete package, all for $1,000, Chris X7710, (925) 938-1451
‘00 KAWASAKI KLR 250, dual-sport model, 1K mi, new tires & tubes, water-cooled, like new, 75 mpg, $3,500/bo, Tom, X6025, (707) 426-0717
BERKELEY, brand new 350 s/f cottage in priv backyrd, skylight, maple kitchen cabinets, gas stove w/ self-clean oven, 14 cu ft refrig, carpet, fully insulated, dual-glaze windows, levelers, lge closet & kitchen w/ eat-in, Alcatraz Ave east of Shattuck, 5 blks to Ashby BART, buses on corner, near freeways, quiet, no smoking/pets, 1 yr lease, $1,050/ mo incl garbage & water, dep $2,100, ref checks & credit report req, Henry or Susan, 654-2863, [email protected]
BERKELEY, furn 1 bdrm apt, pleasant, quiet large, close to UC/ LBNL and transportation, avail to UC/LBNL visitors by week or month after April 6, 848-1830
NORTH BERKELEY, 1+ bdrm/1 bth upper flat, fully furn, include dishes/linens, fireplc, laudry, partial view, offstreet parking for 1 small car, carpet, on #8 busline, near park, non-smoking, no dogs, cats neg, avail 3/23. $1,350/mo + util, Rachelle, (415) 436-7439
NORTH BERKELEY, room avail immediately, breakfast served daily, $800/mo, stay 2-6 mos, walk to UCB, LBNL shuttle, Helen, 527-3252
NORTH BERKELEY, spacious (~1000 sq ft) 1 bdrm unit in the hills, full kitchen, dinette area, lge living rm, bdrm w/ lge platform closet, spacious bth w/ separate shower/tub, quiet neighbrhd, beautiful garden, on bus line, walk to Kensington shops & Tilden Park, no pets/smoking, avail 5/1, $1,300/mo incl util, Chuck or Diana, 524-4913
NORTH OAKLAND, priv cottage studio w/ loft, avail 4/5 – 6/15, quiet neighbrhd, 15 min walk to Rockridge BART, close to shopping/coffee, nice yard & garden, $750/mo incl util, Julie, X2420
EX-HEADMASTER & SCHOOLTEACHER WIFE visiting from Scotland looking to house-sit or sublet 7/4 – 8/8 anywhere in the Bay Area, Frank, X4636, 843-7029
VISITING FACULTY from France looking for sublet, 2-bdrm apt/ house from N. Oakland to El Cerrito, 4/20-5/7, Laurent, X2459, 540-1299
Misc Items for Sale
ARCADE GAME: Pong by Atari, the original "computerized" arcade game, b&w display, case is 60"H x 25 1/2"W x 24"D, needs minor repairs, 2 avail, $150 for both, John, X5452, 527-5236
BABY ITEMS, evenflo car seat(s), changing pad, diaper genie, crib, mattress, misc toys, David, (925) 516-2358.
KODAK DC215 dig camera, 1 yr old, incl ext warranty that expires 5/05, USB docking port for fast downloading, 4 MB compact flash card, 2 sets of nimh rechargeable batt & charger; carrying case & all software & manual, retail valued at over $550, asking $250/ bo, Fred, X4352, 524-4138
LONG DIST ANTENNA SYSTEM w/ amplifier, new, $100, John, 849-1051
MEN’S BIKE, nearly new in great cond, Shimano gear shift & breaks, avail end of March, $200, Kathrin, X7778, 845-1697 eves
PHILIPS color TV, 19", remote, auto programming, sleep timer, 1.5 yrs old, w/ box, $90, Jun, X7307, 665-8309
SNOW CHAINS, Whitestar, easy mounting, fit most 13", 14", 15" and some special-size tires, used once, $35, Ron, (925) 837-3914
SPINET PIANO, Wurlitzer, good cond, $150; kid’s 6 spd mnt bike, $75; Tappan freezer, $50; Alder desk, $50, Rick, X7943, 644-1116
TREK 1000, 16" Al frame road bike, $50; Weber Kettle BBQ, $20, Kathy, X4385
PRESSURE COOKER, any size, Elisa, X2703, 845-0352
USED MINI-BIKE or go-cart, Diana, X7399
TWIN BOXSPRING: lt beige w/ green leaves & flower patter; metal bedframe for twin/full mattress, looks used/works fine, you pick up, near campus, Judy, X4744
KIHEI, MAUI, 1 bdrm condo, across the street from Kam 2 beach (best beach on Maui), fully equipped, view the ocean & Haleakela, $400/wk, Fred, 981-2073 days, 523-4150 eves
SPRING BREAK IN TAHOE, 2 bdrm condo w/ kitchen & fireplce in So Lake Tahoe, avail 4/8 – 4/12, sleeps up to 6, lakefront property near foot of Heavenly, $720 for 4 nights, Horst, X7377
TAHOE KEYS at So Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm/2-1/2 ba house, fenced yard, quiet, close to attractions, skiing, great views, $175/night, 2 night min, Bob, (925) 376-2211
Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Only items of your own personal property may be offered.
Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home phone number. Ads must be submitted in writing via e-mail ([email protected]), fax (X6641), or delivered/mailed to Bldg. 65B.
Ads run one week unless resubmitted and are repeated only as space permits. The deadline for the April 5 issue Thursday, March 29.