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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
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Profile in Safety: Emergency Center Ergonomic Makeover

When pounding rainstorms caused widespread power outages in January, the Emergency Operations Center sprang into action. It quickly coordinated a response plan, but Rocky Saunders, the EOC manager, realized that if a major disaster were to occur, the tables and chairs in the room would not be able to meet the needs of a 24-hour command center. “They were heavy and cumbersome,” he says. “They were hard to move and not conducive to sitting for long periods of time.” To minimize the chance of injuries occurring, the furniture was replaced in June with more lightweight and mobile models. “Now nobody’s going to hurt their backs or crush their fingers moving the furniture,” he says. Click image for larger version. Share how you implement safety in your work area at [email protected].

Go to OurSafety for more on the Lab's safety efforts.

Lab Guests: High-Level Delegation From China

emeryvilleState Councilor Liu Yandong (pictured at right), the highest-ranking woman in China’s government, visited the Lab Monday along with a delegation that included China’s Minister of Education, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, Ambassador to the U.S. and deputy director of the State Council Research Office. After touring the Molecular Foundry, the delegation was briefed on several areas of the Lab’s research, including batteries, buildings and photovoltaics. Interim Lab Director Paul Alivisatos (left) gave an overview of the Lab’s work in clean energy research. Acting DOE Assistant Secretary Jonathan Shrier also accompanied the group. Liu and the other officials were in Washington, D.C. last week where they met with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren. In the Bay Area, they also visited Head-Royce School in Oakland and City College of San Francisco.

In The News: The Green-Energy Mecca of Emeryville

emeryville[Business Week] The drying up of venture capital for alternative-fuel projects ought to have been a death knell for Emeryville's aspirations as a "green corridor" but thanks to the efforts of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and other private biotech firms, the city and the concept are weathering both the recession and the drop in oil prices. Speaking on behalf of JBEI are Berkeley Lab’s Jay Keasling and Harvey Blanch in a special feature on “The Green-Energy Mecca of Emeryville, California, that appears in Business Week. More>

In The News: Saying Goodbye to the Bevatron Accelerator

bevatron[KQED] Fifty-five years after its construction, the Bevatron, a landmark particle accelerator at Berkeley Lab that helped pioneer physics discoveries and win several Nobel prizes, is about to be demolished. Why was it so important? QUEST, a multi-media program that highlights northern California science, tries to answer that question. Stewart Loken, with Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, is quoted in the story. More>

brinkmanDOE Update: Ex-Bell Labs VP Nominated for Office of Science Director

William Brinkman, a retired vice president of research at Bell Laboratories and former official with Sandia National Laboratories, is President Barack Obama's pick as director of the Energy Department's Office of Science, the White House said Friday. Brinkman, 70, is currently a senior research physicist at Princeton University. More> (scroll down for full bio)

HR Benefits: May Calendar of Events Now Available

From a workshop that assess the health of your relationships to orientations for postdocs, the Lab’s HR Benefits Department is hosting a number of events in the month of May. Go here to view the calendar.

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