Fermilab Today Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, July 8
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Joseph Dwyer, Florida Institute of Technology
Title: X-Ray Emission from Thunderstorms and Lightning

Thursday, July 9
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Satya Nandi, Oklahoma State University
Title: New Mechanism for Neutrino Mass Generation and Triply Charged Higgs Boson at the LHC
3:30 p.m.

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.


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Chance of thunderstorms

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, July 8
- Chicken noodle
- Steak sandwich
- *Maple Dijon salmon
- Mongolian beef
- California club
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Chicken pesto pasta

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, July 8
- Almond chicken salad
- Turtle cheesecake

Thursday, July 9
- Closed

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Sustainable Energy Club to use sun to power projects

Fermilab Sustainable Energy Club members Peter Mouche (left), Erik Ramberg and Brian Chase test the output on the solar panels they received on May 23. The Fermilab Sustainable Energy Club will use the solar panels for projects throughout the laboratory. Photo courtesy of Wendy Mouche.

The Fermilab Sustainable Energy Club wants to harness the power of the sun to run some eco-friendly and educational projects throughout the laboratory.

"By creating projects with solar panels, the Fermilab Sustainable Energy Club hopes to engage Fermilab staff to think about solar energy," said Erik Ramberg, member of the FSEC.

A group of environmentally conscious employees began the club in late March to educate Fermilab employees and the community about how to use sustainable and alternative energy sources. The club recently received 50 55-watt solar panels from government surplus to use in projects in and around the laboratory.

They also received two solar trackers, devices designed to reposition solar panels to track the sun. Another panel, which uses high-efficiency solar cells and concentrated mirrors to maximize power generated from the sun, arrived in June from a private company.

Club members will use one or two solar panels and a tracker for a demonstration during the Nature's Power Lab Science Adventure Camp July 27-31at the Lederman Science Educational Center. The solar panels will power a high-intensity LED light display and a fan to demonstrate the sun's power.

On May 23, members of the FSEC tested the panels at areas around the laboratory. Although there were clouds, the solar panels worked, Ramberg said. When the sun did come out for a short time, the panels were measured putting out 50 watts each, enough to run a laptop or charge an electric bike battery. Several panels together will be used for an electric bike charging station.

Another proposed project is to use the solar panels to power an ultrasonic algae eliminator that would reduce the amount of chemicals in cooling ponds onsite. Brian Chase, president of the FSEC, said the ultrasonic algae eliminator was previously tested in a cooling pond with good results. Solar power could make this possible in remote areas that do not have electric power available.

"Two kilowatts won't solve the world's energy problem," Ramberg said. "But, getting Fermilab staff to think about solar energy might help."

-- Tia Jones

Photo of the Day


Fermilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim poses for a photo with Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) Director Shoji Nagamiya at the inauguration of the facility on July 6.

DOE Press Release

Statement of Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy

Before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.

Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Inhofe, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on moving America toward a clean energy economy.

We face many serious and immediate challenges. American families and businesses are struggling in a recession and an increasingly competitive global economy. We have become deeply dependent on a single energy source to power our cars, trucks and airplanes, and spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to import nearly 60 percent of the oil we use. We face an unprecedented threat to our very way of life from climate change.

Read more


Help us improve HR

Kay VanVreede, head of the Workforce, Development and Resources Section, wrote this week's column.

Kay Van Vreede

Since Director Pier Oddone presented the results of the focus groups at Fermilab, we in Human Resources have frequently discussed the feedback we received with regard to our section. The focus group results indicate that many employees think we are not always effective in assisting them. Many feel that we are not friendly, are isolated and do not understand how the rest of the laboratory works. We learned that some employees are afraid to come to HR because they fear a bad outcome, anticipate an unsatisfactory response or consider it a stigma to be seen going to the HR office. Some view us as corporate or bureaucratic.

What are we doing in response to this feedback? First, we are holding workshops within our section to talk about the feedback and identify actions we can take to address the issues. Most of our ideas involve improved communication, being more approachable and bringing our services to employees across the laboratory. We are also looking for meeting spaces where employees have more privacy than in our glass-walled offices on the 15th floor of Wilson Hall.

Second, I'm taking this opportunity to ask for your specific suggestions: How can we improve our services to you? What would you like us to do? Please e-mail your suggestions to me at vanvreed@fnal.gov or mail them to me at mail station 107. If you would like to participate in a live suggestion workshop facilitated by Barb Brooks and myself, please let us know and include your name and contact information. If you prefer to remain anonymous, put your suggestions on paper and send them to MS 107 without a return address.

Helping our fellow employees and providing them with outstanding services is one of our top priorities. Yet it is often a tough balancing act, with many different customers to serve. So please help out with your suggestions. We will use them to put together our plan for change, which we will share with you.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report July 7, 2009

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes 14 incidents reported in the last two weeks that were work related. Nine cases required first-aid treatment or no treatment; two cases resulted in medical treatment (TRC); one case required medical treatment and days away from work (DART); and two were vehicle accidents without injury.

Find the full report here.

Safety report archive


Latest Announcements

MathWorks Free Seminar - July 15

Change to Users' Office hours

Reminder: Changes to FTL system

Time to complete accomplishment reports

Bristol Renaissance Faire Discount Tickets

On-site housing-fall 2009/spring 2010

Six Flags Great America discount tickets

Pool memberships available in the Recreation Department

Raging Waves Waterpark online discount ticket program

Toastmaster Meetings scheduled - July 9 & July 23

Fermilab Barnstormers

Scrapbooking Open House - July 13

Adult swim lessons and water aerobics offered at Fermi Pool - July 13

MATLAB software tools 75 percent off for Fermilab - July 15

English Country Dancing, July 19

Argentine Tango classes through July 22

Intermediate/Advanced Python Programming July 22-24

Outlook 2007: New Features class Aug. 6

The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program Aug. 17 deadline

Process piping (ASME B31.3) class offered in October

Interaction Management and Performance Review courses scheduled for summer 2009

Additional Activities

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