Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Scientist James Harris Played Key Role in Discovering New Elements

February is Black History Month. Today we celebrate James Harris, a Berkeley Lab scientist and the first African American to play a key role in the search for new elements. He is credited with helping to discover rutherfordium and dubnium. To learn more about Harris, go here, or see recent Berkeley Lab posts on Twitter and Facebook.

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From Belgrade to Berkeley: A Postdoc’s Path in Particle Physics

After completing her Ph.D. thesis in calculating the mass of the W boson – an elementary particle that mediates one of the universe’s fundamental forces -physics researcher Aleksandra Dimitrievska is now testing components at Berkeley Lab for a scheduled upgrade of the world’s largest particle detectors. More>

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Marissa Smithwick Gives Life to Lab’s Red Cross Blood Drives

Since joining the Lab, Marissa Smithwick of the Facilities Division has been devoted to safety and volunteering. She is a member of the Building Emergency Team and a certified Emergency Medical Technician. She also keeps the Lab’s Red Cross blood drive going. The next session is Feb. 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the cafeteria parking lot. Register here (code LBL). More>

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Glenn Kubiak, Retiring Feb. 16, Reflects on a Career in Support of Science

Looking back on his tenure at the Lab, Kubiak says that it is the people who have really made his time here valuable: “Those thousands of interactions are a gift. The chance to interact with and be influenced by that many talented and dedicated people is amazing.” A reception celebrating Kubiak’s career will be held Friday, Feb. 9. More>

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Elias Sebti Is Taking Charge of Battery Power

A recent Daily Californian article featured Elias Sebti, a UC Berkeley student and Berkeley Lab materials sciences researcher. Sebti analyzes different compositions of cells in order to determine their stability, durability and capability as a power source. He and his colleagues are working toward a cheaper, stronger lithium-ion battery. More>

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Director’s Message on Appointment of New Deputy Director for Operations

Michael Brandt has been appointed as the Deputy Lab Director for Operations and Chief Operating Officer. He will begin his tenure on March 5. He replaces Glenn Kubiak, who is retiring on Feb. 16. We will announce the interim Deputy Lab Director for Operations and Chief Operating Officer in the next few days. More>

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How Anna Spurlock’s Brainy Idea Turned Into an Early Career — in Neuroeconomics

With traffic congestion at a record high, some Bay Area officials would like to see more people use public transportation. Habits, however, are hard to break, and so the gridlock grinds on. But for Early Career LDRD awardee Anna Spurlock of ETA, the path to changing our minds about driving lies deep within — our brains. This is the second in a series of features on Early Career LDRD recipients. More>

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Q&A With Jens Birkholzer on State Gas Storage Report

In a recent Q&A, Jens Birkholzer discussed his work on a report on the safety and reliability of California’s underground gas storage (UGS) facilities. A massive 2016 leak from the state’s largest facility, Aliso Canyon, raised the visibility of UGS in California and across the nation. Curt Oldenburg and Jeff Greenblatt also contributed to the report. More>

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Director’s Message on Ramamoorthy Ramesh Stepping Down as ETA Leader

Associate Lab Director Ramamoorthy Ramesh has announced his plans to step down as the leader of the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) to focus on his research in correlated oxides and ultra-low-power oxide electronics. A nationwide search for a new leader of ETA will begin immediately. He will step down on July 1. More>

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How Carolin Sutter-Fella Turned ‘Major’ Change Into a Successful Science Career

Carolin Sutter-Fella once counted on a future in business and economics. But while completing a certification program in banking, she realized that field wasn’t for her. She liked math, however, so switched her major to physics. Today, as an Early Career Laboratory-Directed Research and Development awardee, she’s seeking a better way to synthesize semiconductors. More>

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