Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for July 2012

CRD’s Wehner Discusses Greenland Ice Melt on KTVU Channel 2

Micahel Wehner, a climate scientist in the Lab’s Computational Research Division, spoke to KTVU Channel 2’s health and science editor John Fowler about heat waves and Greenland’s melting ice sheets. On July 8, NASA satellite imagery showed about 40 percent of Greenland’s top ice layer intact. By July 12, only four days later, 97 percent of the ice had melted. Go here to watch the video (select “San Francisco: Scientists say to expect more heat waves” from menu).

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Lab Director Hosts Aug. 8 Meeting on Early Career Research Program

Employees interested in submitting proposals for DOE’s 2013 Early Career Research Program are encouraged to attend a Town Hall meeting with Lab Director Paul Alivisatos from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 8, in the Building 50 Auditorium. He will be joined by joined by previous Lab awardees. The Early Career Research Program, now in its fourth year, supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers. Go here for more details on the program.

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Hawkes and Mannion are Winners of Lab Tennis Tournament

The doubles team of Dan Hawkes (left; Earth Sciences) and Brandon Mannion (center left; Life Sciences) won the Tennis Club’s annual tournament last week. Runners up were Sean Nord (center right; ALS) and Matt Rice (EH&S). Employees interested in playing tennis with the Lab group can contact Joe Harkins (x7486). Lunchtime matches are played on campus and carpooling options are available.

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BELLA’s Laser Achieves World Record Peak Power

BELLA laserWim Leemans of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division has announced that his team at AFRD’s LOASIS has set a new world record for laser power with their BELLA system. BELLA, which stands for Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator, delivered a petawatt of power in a pulse just 40 femtoseconds long at a pulse rate of one hertz. No other laser system has achieved this peak power at this rapid pulse rate and with BELLA still under construction, “There’s more to look forward to,” said AFRD director Stephen Gourlay. More >

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Quantifying the Environmental Impact of Structural Materials with B-PATH

A new software tool from scientists at Berkeley Laboratory will help architects, engineers, and urban planners better assess and manage the environmental impacts of structural materials in commercial buildings. The software tool, called the B-PATH model (Berkeley Lab Building Materials Pathways), allows designers and builders to estimate the energy, resources, and environmental impacts associated with the manufacture of structural materials; their effects on the energy use of a building during operation; and their impacts when the building is ultimately demolished and its constituent materials are reused, recycled, or disposed of. More >

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Lab Annual Emergency Exercise Set for Tuesday, July 31

Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31st, the LBNL Emergency Services Program will be holding the Lab’s annual disaster exercise from 9am to approximately 1:30pm. Buildings 48, 65, and 76 will be the sites participating in the exercise. “Exercise in Progress” signs will be posted around the affected areas. There will be no sirens, road closures or disruption to the bus service. The normal operations of the Lab will not be interrupted during the exercise. If an actual emergency occurs during the exercise, the exercise will end immediately. For questions or concerns, contact Jan McClellan (x7570).

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Richmond Community Turns Out to Hear New Campus Plans


Biosafety officer Bruce King (left) and biofuels researcher Nathan Hillson discussed the planned science programs with Richmond residents.

Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley held a community workshop Thursday evening at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium intended to engage the Richmond community in a discussion of what they would like to see at the proposed Richmond Bay Campus, preferred site for the Lab’s second campus. More than 300 people turned out to hear talks from Deputy Lab Director Horst Simon, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming, and others. Several informational tables helped give residents a chance to ask questions about sustainability, jobs and educational opportunities, among other topics.

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Lab Photograph Makes DOE Photo of the Week

A photo by Lab photographer Roy Kaltschmidt was the DOE’s Photo of the Week. In the image, UC Berkeley engineering student Jerome Thai launches one of 100 floating sensors into the Sacramento River as part of the Floating Sensor Network project, a collaborative effort between the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), and UC Berkeley’s Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Electrical Engineering. The project will collect data to help researchers and scientists better understand how water flows from the Delta to pumping stations and the San Francisco Bay. More>

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Photovoltaics from Any Semiconductor

Alex Zettl, Feng Wang and Will Regan of the Materials Sciences Division led the development of a technology that enables low-cost, high efficiency solar cells to be made from virtually any semiconductor material. This opens the door to the use of plentiful, relatively inexpensive semiconductors previously considered unsuitable for photovoltaics. Also working on this project were Steven Byrnes, Will Gannett, Onur Ergen and Oscar Vazquez-Mena. More >

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Emergency Preparedness Fair 2012

To help employees get better prepared for an emergency, be it earthquake, fire, or hazardous materials spill, the Lab’s Emergency Services Program sponsored its 6th Annual Emergency Preparedness Fair on Thursday, July 19. Activities included rescue dog demonstrations, raffle prizes, giveaways, and honoring CERT program graduates. Alameda County Fire Department, UC Police Department, American Red Cross and LBNL Emergency Services had their response and communication vehicles on display.

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