Today at Berkeley Lab

Michael Witherell Announced as New Lab Director

The UC Regents announced on Jan. 21 that Mike Witherell, currently the vice chancellor for research at UC Santa Barbara, will succeed Paul Alivisatos as the new Lab Director. He will begin on March 1. Witherall — a leading physicist with experience as a teacher, researcher, and manager of complex organizations — is the former director of Fermilab. More>

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Lab Launches New Projects for Grid Modernization

Energy Secretary Moniz announced up to $220 million for 88 new projects across 14 National Lab to deliver new grid concepts, tools and technologies to support the nation’s effort to modernize the power grid. Berkeley Lab will lead two local efforts and assist other labs. More>

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DOE Announces Largest Energy Efficiency Standard in History

The Department of Energy announced historic new efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners and furnaces. The Lab’s Energy Technologies Area provided technical assistance to DOE and the stakeholder working group that negotiated the standards, as well as conducted the supporting energy savings and economic analyses which were key inputs to forge this consensus. More>

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DOE Unveils Strategic Plan for EERE

The plan — the first in more than 10 years — formally codifies EERE’s high impact model for clean energy RDD&D and clearly lays out major strategic priorities and goals as an organization going forward. The document includes new vision and mission statements, and outlines seven strategic goals and targeted success indicators. Go here to view the plan.

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Cherry Murray Confirmed as Director of the Office of Science

Murray — who was confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 10 — will oversee research in the areas of advanced scientific computing, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental sciences, fusion energy sciences, high-energy physics, and nuclear physics. She will support scientific research, and the development, construction, and operation of scientific user facilities. More>

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How Do Holiday Lights Work? DOE Provides Some Answers

Parallel versus series lights, shunts and fuses, common problems…learn the science behind the lights that brighten the holiday season with this primer prepared by the Department of Energy.

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Lab’s CalWave Team Among Final 20 Competitors for Wave Energy Prize

The Wave Energy Prize is sponsored by the Department of Energy and seeks to increase the diversity of organizations involved in Wave Energy Converter technology development. Cyclotron Road’s CalWave team, led by Marcus Lehmann, was selected by a panel of experts from a pool of 92 applicants. Next up is developing scale models. More>

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Office of Science Follow-Up to Grand Challenges Report Now Available

Challenges at the Frontiers of Matter and Energy: Transformative Opportunities for Discovery Science” outlines five research opportunities with the potential to transform key technologies involving matter and energy. Lab scientists who helped produce the report include Don DePaolo, Graham Fleming, William McCurdy, and James Sethian.

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Legacy of ARRA Funding for Lab Research and Facilities is Vast

The Lab received $334 million and used the funds for such things as the demolition of the Bevatron, creating the BELLA advanced laser plasma accelerator, and constructing the ALS User Support Building (pictured). The jobs created and retained by the Lab and its contractors totaled 2,017. More>

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Deputy Energy Secretary to Speak at Commonwealth Club Oct. 23

Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall will discuss the energy sector’s resilience to natural and man-made threats, including threats from cyber warfare. She will be in conversation with President and CEO of the Commonwealth Club Gloria Duffy. The talk begins at noon in San Francisco. More>

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