Today at Berkeley Lab

Faces at the Lab: ALS Beamline Scientist Michael Martin

Division: Advance Light Source

Years at the Lab: 15

What do you do at the Lab?
I’m a beamline scientist for the infrared beamlines at the ALS, deputy leader of the Scientific Support Group, and serve on several safety committees.

What do you like best about your job?
Working with so many outstanding scientists who come to use the ALS everyday. It’s a privilege to participate in cutting-edge research from so many different fields.

What would you like people to know about your position?
Many people know that the ALS has great instruments, but it’s our outstanding scientists that really make them shine. Our beamline scientists are all leaders in their fields and enjoy helping users.

What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?
Traveling the world, spending time with my kids, skiing, and volleyball. I really believe in becoming more energy efficient without sacrificing our modern lifestyle, so I have solar panels on my roof and an electric vehicle.

Do you possess any unique talents?

I am proficient in web development and do much of this now for my Lab projects. In the mid 1990’s I created a website that provided travel and language aids. I sold the company in 1999.

What is your greatest achievement at work?
I have developed new ways to produce synchrotron light and new uses for infrared light, and helped advanced the ALS in terms of safety and organization, putting the right tools in the right hands.

What are the more significant process changes you’ve seen at the Lab?
When the HSS auditors came several years ago, it helped the Lab focus on improving safety by getting employees to think about what they’re going to do, what hazards are possible, and developing controls for those hazards to prevent injuries.

What changes have you implemented to create a more positive or efficient work environment?

I’m part of a team trying to help improve the Lab’s safety culture. We recently announced our new phrase, “Safety is Elemental,” which we hope highlights the positives we already have in our safety culture and motivates employees to further develop this culture.

This subject found by the Change Agent project.

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