Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who represents southern San Francisco and northern Peninsula communities, recently spent an afternoon at Berkeley Lab. In addition to an overview of the Lab provided by Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, Speier toured the FLEXLAB and the Advanced Light Source. The Congresswoman was elected to the Congress in 2008. Previously she served the residents of the San Francisco Peninsula while on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and later in the California State Assembly and State Senate. In total she has over 29 years of representative public service.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein visited Berkeley Lab on Tuesday, April 15. As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Feinstein plays an important role in setting funding levels for the Department of Energy. Lab Director Paul Alivisatos hosted the Senator on a tour of the Advanced Light Source where she met with scientists and users from industry and academia, and on a tour of the Molecular Foundry.
California State Assembly member Rob Bonta visited Berkeley Lab last week for a tour of the Advanced Light Source and a series of briefings by Lab scientists. Bonta represents the 18th Assembly district, which includes the cities of Oakland and Alameda. At the ALS, he learned about the latest research conducted there on protein crystallography, materials related to energy storage and semiconductors. He was also briefed on the need for regional climate readiness, FLEXLAB and air quality in California public schools. He was also shown modeling of the impact of state policies on greenhouse gas emissions in California.
During a recent trip to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, Danish Minister for Science and Higher Education Sofie Carsten Nielsen visited the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). Nielsen met with JBEI’s Vice President of Feedstocks Henrik Scheller (left) and Director of Commercialization, Robin Johnston (right). The visit was part of an effort by Denmark to strengthen collaborations between knowledge institutions and businesses. JBEI shared its experience as an organization that represents a departure from traditional research institutions. JBEI’s streamlined approach, coupled with a culture of innovation, has resulted in a rate of invention disclosure and licensing that is more than double that of the top five U.S. universities, per funding dollar.
The Lab was a popular place last week, with both a senator and House Appropriations staff member visiting. Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons (left) stopped by to learn how national labs promote innovation and technology transfer, while Ben Hammond of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations subcommittee explored programs at NCEM, NERSC, JBEI, JCAP, and BELLA. Both visitors took tours of the Advanced Light Source and Molecular Foundry, as well as met with senior leaders and scientists.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman visited Berkeley Lab on Friday, Nov. 15, during a brief stay in the Bay Area. Glenn Mara of the University of California Office of the President and Aundra Richards of the DOE Berkeley Site Office joined Deputy Laboratory Director Horst Simon’s welcome. They updated Poneman on the lab’s future initiatives and current capital projects and heard briefings on cyber security, computing, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute. He also toured FLEXLAB and the ALS. As second-in-command at DOE, Poneman is responsible for assisting the Secretary of Energy in the management and operations of the agency and acting on his behalf when necessary. Poneman (right) is pictured with Ken Goldberg of the Materials Sciences Division.
Newly appointed UC President Janet Napolitano (pictured with Peter Ercius of NCEM) came to Berkeley Lab for a daylong visit on Tuesday (Oct. 15) that included discussions with senior leadership as well as presentations from a variety of Lab scientists highlighting various aspects of the Lab’s research. While here, she also toured the ALS, Molecular Foundry, and NCEM. The Berkeley Lab stop is part of a statewide tour Napolitano is conducting to familiarize herself with all UC institutions. In a note to the UC community about her tour to date, Napolitano stated, “it is clear to this freshly minted Californian that you have much to be proud about, and I myself am proud to be in your midst.” Napolitano took over as UC President on Sept. 30.
Recently, several young researchers working at the International Institute for Tropical Africa (IITA) just outside Nairobi, Kenya, made a trip to the Joint Genome Institute and UC Berkeley to learn more about genomics. Their goal? To help breed more effective cassava crops to feed hungry mouths in their native Africa. Disease is one of the critical constraints to higher yields of the tuber. Learning the genomics of the plant may make it more resistant. More>
Recently, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and her key DC and Oakland staff toured Berkeley Lab along with Director Alivisatos and Don Medley, head of Federal Government Relations. The Congresswoman was briefed on LIGTT and batteries research, and was given a tour of the Advanced Light Source by ALS Director Roger Falcone. Congresswoman Lee is a strong supporter of the Lab, especially research into renewable sources of sustainable energy.
On Friday, Sept.7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium, Bruce Held, will give a talk on “Espionage for Rocket Scientists: Why Counterintelligence Matters at Unclassified Science Laboratories.” Held is the Director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the Department of Energy. The Office is responsible for all intelligence and counterintelligence activities throughout the DOE complex, protecting vital national security information and technologies and providing scientific and technical expertise to the U.S. Government related to foreign intelligence, terrorist, and cyber threats. Read more about Held here.