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Thursday, August 20, 2009


Successful Test of Fast-DR Marks Step Towards Smart Grid

Smart grid software and hardware technology developed by Berkeley Lab helped Pacific Gas and Electric Company and several of its commercial and industrial customers demonstrate that they can reduce power usage automatically and quickly — in less than 10 minutes — in support of grid reliability. This approach is sometimes called Fast-DR (fast demand response). The demonstration is the first of its kind in the U.S. to use automated demand response technology to implement Fast-DR. Mary Ann Piette is research director of the Lab's Demand Response Research Center. More>

Cafeteria: New Measures Taken to Prevent Theft of Food

receiptIt was recently determined that some customers of the Lab's cafeteria are circumventing the cashier lines and not paying for their food. Cafeteria personnel monitoring lunchtime activity over a recent two-day period witnessed 16 people who exited the food service area with items for which they didn't pay.  As members of the University community, employees and guests of the Lab are required to conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity in all dealings. 

Although the overwhelming majority of us do abide by the University of California's Standards of Ethical Conduct, is estimated that up to $500 in losses are occurring each day at the cafeteria due to theft.  To discourage such actions in the future, cafeteria staff will be watching the cashier area to ensure that all food has been purchased. If there is uncertainty about whether payment has been made, customers may be asked to show their receipt. In addition, the tip jar has been removed from the Peets Coffee Bar because it is in violation of UC guidelines for handling cash. The cafeteria's management asks Lab employees for their understanding and patience as these new measures take effect.

UC News: Director Search Committee Visits Lab, President Yudof Offers Update in Letter


Members of the UC committee tasked to find the next director of Berkeley Lab visited the Lab yesterday and heard feedback from several key employees. The staff members "presented their views of the opportunities and challenges facing the Laboratory in the future," says Yudof in a letter to the Lab community. "They expressed their opinions of those characteristics and qualities we should be mindful of when considering the next director." While the committee was not able to meet with all staff, comments can be submitted on the UC Director Search website. Yudof said he is "hopeful" he can bring a recommendation for the next director before the UC Regents at their November meeting. Go here to view a larger image of the search committee members.

kisielowskiSpecial Event: Materials Sciences Hosts ‘Conversation' With Microscope Expert

The Lab's Materials Sciences Division is sponsoring a seminar series in which scientists sit down in conversation with host Alice Egan to discuss their work and lives in "language everyone can understand." The next installment takes place Thursday, August 27, at 4 p.m. in the Building 66 auditorium, when Egan interviews Christian Kisielowski of the National Center for Electron Microscopy.

HR Benefits: September Calendar of Events Available

From an orientation for international employees to a "Tips for Stress Relief" workshop, the HR Benefits department hosts a number of events to help staff manage their work and life. To assist in tracking upcoming events, the department produces a monthly calendar, and the September edition is now available.

Employee Activity: See Your Artwork on This Year's Runaround T-Shirt

With the 32nd Runaround, the Lab's annual fun race, just a couple months away, the Employee Activities Association is busy making preparations. Among them is the contest for the Runaround t-shirt design. Submissions are now being accepted and can be sent here as a JPEG or PDF file. Be sure to include your employee and phone numbers, as well as a brief description the design. Deadline is Friday, Aug. 28, with the winner announced in mid-September.

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