From the Director: All-Hands Update - Keep Performing!

February 10, 2012

It was great fun to meet with many of the lab staff at my All-Hands briefings on Jan. 27. In three full sessions in Panofsky Auditorium, I gave a 20-minute update on where the lab is and where we are going, then took questions from all of you. For those of you who missed the sessions and want to see my presentation, you can find the complete video at the new All-Hands Meeting website.

We started with an update on the FY12 budget, which provides funding for LCLS-II and our new Science and User Support Building. I’ve been asked to stop calling it the “Panofsky replacement” (you can never replace Pief), so you will have to get used to SUSB as its name, as I will! We are still waiting to hear about the President’s FY13 budget request. The original roll-out date of Feb. 6 was delayed by a week, so we should hear more when DOE Secretary Steven Chu holds a briefing on Monday.

A big milestone this year will be preparing for the CD-2 review for LCLS-II. Getting LCLS-II off to a good start is a priority for the lab this year. We also will continue to focus on building up our portfolio of photon-science research that we perform ourselves, which will serve to drive the lab to its future.

Of course, we have many other important activities this year: getting LSST moving forward to its CD-2 review in FY13; starting to develop the science case for LUSI-II, which will develop the scientific instruments for LCLS-II; major renewals for SIMES and PULSE; and much, much more. 

Our plans on the mission support side are no less ambitious. We have the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) project that will deliver modern business systems to the lab, major new buildings like the RSB and SUSB, and continued infrastructure upgrades and maintenance, among many other important projects.

A strong message I gave at the All-Hands was the need for the laboratory to keep performing: We are only as good as the last project we delivered; we are only as safe as what we learn from each accident. We cannot become complacent or rely too much on our past accomplishments.  

The Q & A session is always what I enjoy the most. I got the most questions by far on the new athletic facility being built on PEP ring road, which should open in late March or early April. All of you seem very excited about it! I also had questions about the difficulty of finding parking, which unfortunately I can’t do much about in the near term. In the longer term, as the pace of construction on and near the central campus picks up, we will all need to get used to walking farther from our cars to our offices.

On the plus side, the fact that we have to do this is very much tied to the exciting growth we’re seeing at the laboratory, and the increased investment being made in SLAC, an assurance that I hope helps ease the burden of the parking issue.

My sense from the All-Hands is that you feel the lab is in strong shape and are looking forward to a busy and exciting 2012. Me too!