Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Dec. 16

1 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE DATE, TIME) - WH6NW
Speaker: Kyler Kuehn, Australian Astronomical Observatory
Title: Optical Spectroscopy with Starbugs from TAIPAN to the Giant Magellan Telescope

3:30 p.m.
Director's Coffee Break - WH2XO

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Denise Ford, Argonne National Laboratory
Title: First Principles Study of Impurity and Vacancy Structures in Niobium

Wednesday, Dec. 17

3:30 p.m.
Director's Coffee Break - WH2XO


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Dec. 16

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Grilled reuben sandwich
- Portobello and peppers over soft polenta
- Kielbasa and kraut
- Grilled chicken Caesar jazz salad wrap
- Pork carnitas soft taco
- Chef's choice soup
- Chicken and sausage gumbo
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Dec. 17
- Pork tenderloin with brandy cream sauce
- Sweet potatoes
- Roasted broccoli
- Cranberry cake with warm caramel sauce

Friday, Dec. 19
Guest chef: Marty Murphy
- Antipasto
- Baked mostaccioli
- Mixed green salad
- Spiedini
- Sauteed spinach
- Raspberry parfait with assortment of Christmas cookies

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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In Brief

Find out about DOE's new Lab-Corps - Jan. 20

If you have an idea for a new, marketable clean-energy technology, the Department of Energy's new Lab-Corps program could help you make it a reality.

Fermilab has partnered with Argonne National Laboratory, one of five sites chosen for the new program. Funded by the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Lab-Corps program will pair scientists and engineers with entrepreneurs to fast-track clean-energy technologies from the lab to the marketplace.

The Chicago Innovation Exchange will co-manage the program. Teams of scientists, engineers and business mentors will shepherd ideas through the proposal stage and, if selected, will compete in a Pitchfest event at Argonne in late March.

Fermilab will host an informational meeting about Lab-Corps on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. in Curia II. If you are interested in attending, please contact Cherri Schmidt at x5178.


Marty Whitson, magnet specialist, retires this month

Marty Whitson

Marty Whitson first came to Fermilab in early 1980 to work in Industrial Building 3 on Tevatron dipole magnet fabrication. He quickly became an expert at superconducting magnet production processes. Now he retires after 34 years at the laboratory. His last day is Dec. 31.

Since the completion of the Tevatron, Marty has been a key participant in all the superconducting-magnet programs carried out by the Technical Division, including dipoles for the Superconducting Super Collider, LHC interaction region quadrupoles and recent R&D for accelerator magnets using new state-of-the-art materials. His career also included a brief foray into detector fabrication when he took a break from magnets in the early 1990s to help develop and build the scintillator panels for the CDF end plug upgrade.

Marty continues to be involved in magnet technology today, currently serving as the lead technician for all superconducting-magnet R&D and production.

He will be sorely missed on many levels, from his technical skills to his leadership and organizational abilities. He has been a pleasure to work with and is well liked throughout the lab.

Marty and Peggy, his wife (also a former Fermilab employee), plan on moving to Tennessee to enjoy their retirement. Unfortunately for Marty, their phone will probably continue to ring for some time with requests for advice from the people he has left behind. They will need caller ID.

All his co-workers wish him the best of luck on his new endeavors. Those who would like to say good-bye are welcome to a reception for Marty on Thursday, Dec. 18, from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Industrial Center Building production floor.

Technical Division Magnet Systems Group members

Photo of the Day

Disappearing beneath the horizon

The vantage from NML affords a breathtaking view of the setting sun, which peeks between the ceiling of clouds and the horizon just before disappearing for the day. Photo: Jamie Santucci, PPD
In the News

Do X-rays from distant galaxies offer first look at dark matter?

From The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 12, 2014

For more than 75 years, scientists have been trying to solve the mystery of dark matter. It makes up some 84 percent of all the matter in the universe. It forms the very webbing of the cosmos, along whose intersecting strands and sheets galaxies and clusters of galaxies form. But so far, astronomers can only infer its presence by the influence its gravity has on the structures they can directly detect.

Now, a team of astronomers in Europe reports detecting X-ray emissions from the Andromeda galaxy and from the Perseus galaxy cluster that could be a more definitive signature of dark matter — one that also would yield clues about what dark matter is made of.

Read more

In the News

Cosmic rays drive the galactic pottery wheel

From New Scientist, Dec. 10, 2014

Winds driven by charged particles hurtling through space may be responsible for the elegant spiral shape of our galaxy.

A galaxy typically starts out as a giant clump of roiling gas and dark matter. Spinning flattens out its shape somewhat, but that can't explain the stately disc structure of mature galaxies like the Milky Way. Cosmic winds are one possible explanation: they could blow material out of the plane of the galaxy, driving it outward and forcing galaxies to become flatter and thinner. But how such winds arise has been a mystery.

Read more

From the Chief Operating Officer

Job well done

Tim Meyer

We are drawing close to the end of 2014, and it is a time for reflection on progress and accomplishment. Each of us, personally, may have a few milestones, a few scars or maybe some special moments that we pin on the bulletin board of memory. Fermilab has its own record of achievements as well, and these are all driven by the great dedication and good work to which all of you have contributed.

Just as we each received a report card in grade school to measure our performance, Fermilab, too, received an annual report card from the U.S. Department of Energy to evaluate our work over the course of the fiscal year. This grading process, called the Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan, is a crucial comment on the lab's accomplishments and the confidence that DOE has in our laboratory. The report card is seemingly simple but reflects a very sophisticated system of weights and measures that rolls up into eight distinct letter grades.

In addition to the letter grades associated with the eight performance areas, DOE designates certain "notable outcomes" that identify specific milestones for the laboratory that support the overall expectations.

In FY2014, Fermilab earned the following scores (available online):

A-   Mission accomplishments (quality and productivity of R&D)
B+  Construction and operation of research facilities
A-   Science and technology project/program management
A-   Contractor leadership/stewardship
A-   Environment, safety and health
B+  Business systems
B+  Facilities maintenance and infrastructure
A-   Security and emergency management

We were also rated as "successful" on each of eight different notable outcomes.

How do we interpret this? I offer three comments, and if you are interested in more detailed conversations, please find me or Mike Weis from the Fermi Site Office to talk further.

The expected performance for goals 1 to 4 is A- to A+. So by achieving three grades of A- and one B+, we have learned that Fermilab is very much on the path to success and performing well. The place that needs most improvement is the area of project management and planning for the construction of new facilities, a topic that we'll report on in a near-future column.

The expected performance in goals 5 to 8 is B+, similar to the adage, "If you never miss a flight, you are spending too much time at the airport." What we learn from these grades is that teams led by people such as Martha Michels, David Esterquest and Bill Flaherty are doing really well. In fact, the A letter grades (including A-) indicate that in these areas Fermilab is not only performing very well, but also contributing to the overall excellence of DOE.

Of course, if you remember, the most important aspect of report cards when you were a kid was the parent-teacher conference. Similarly, Fermilab had its parent-teacher conference on Dec. 4 with Fermilab leadership attending a meeting with the DOE Office of Science leadership.

The bottom line was two-fold, both empowering and sobering. Fermilab was acknowledged for undergoing a "remarkable transformation" from the Tevatron era to a new, international long-baseline neutrino era. At the same time, we were cautioned that this level of excellence will require twice the effort to maintain as we move from talking about success to actually beginning construction and execution. Extra vigilance and diligence will be required to keep us on this track.

And this is perhaps the best message for us all: Job well done, there is more to do, the going is going to get tougher, so keep up the good work, but work harder!

I challenge each of you to spend a few moments thinking about these questions: What did you tell your supervisor was a success this past year? What are you striving to finish this year? What will it take for you and your team to sleep well, knowing that success is near?


Today's New Announcements

Gallery talk - Dec. 17

Timecards for Dec. 15-21 are due early, Dec. 18

Yoga Mondays registration due Dec. 29

Health screenings for active employees - Jan. 13, 14

ASM handbooks available online

Indoor soccer

FermiPoint (SharePoint 2013) outage - today

Free Upper Body Blitz class - Dec. 17

December School's Day Out

No on-site prescription safety eyewear - Dec. 24 and 31

English country dancing Sundays at Kuhn Barn - Jan. 4

Fermilab Arts Series presents Chicago Harp Quartet - Jan. 11

Writing for Results: Email and More - Feb. 27

SharePoint online training videos available for on-site users

Cashier's office closed during holidays

Norris Recreation Center discount for employees