Today at Berkeley Lab Berkeley Lab logo US Dept. of Energy logoBerkeley Lab logo
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009


Listening to the
Earth's Rumbles

The last time you saw the doctor, chances are that he or she planted the chilly face of a stethoscope on your chest and listened. It's a technique Barbara Romanowicz can appreciate, though not a physician herself. A Berkeley Lab earth scientist and director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, Romanowicz has worked to deploy state-of-the-art seismic sensors to listen in on the planet's rumbles. "Just like you use x-rays and magnetism in medicine to find out what's inside the body, we use seismic waves — earthquakes — to image the deep structure of the Earth," Romanowicz says. More>

Go here to make changes to your UC health and welfare benefits.

alivisatosSpecial Event: New Director Welcome Event Today at 12:30 p.m.

Lab employees are invited to a welcome event for the newly appointed Lab Director Paul Alivisatos today at 12:30 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. Alivisatos was named director at yesterday’s UC Regents meeting. Stories on the announcement appeared in numerous media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Contra Costa Times. Go here for more Alivisatos and his appointment.

Awards: Berkeley Lab Invention Fares Well at Cleantech Open

nanowiresKnown as the "Academy Awards of Clean Technology," the Cleantech Open announced the winners of its yearlong business competition this week. Alphabet Energy, co-founded by Peidong Yang of the Materials Sciences Division, was named one of the two runners-up out of 70 companies competing. The Berkeley-based company was also voted as the People’s Choice business competition winner by audience members at an awards ceremony in San Francisco. Alphabet Energy hopes to produce modules that will turn waste heat into electricity using silicon nanowires developed in Yang’s lab. Other scientists who worked on the technology are Arun Majumdar, Renkun Chen and Allon Hochbaum. More>

postdocMeet a Postdoc: Brian Kienitz

Postdoctoral scholars are the lifeblood of any research institution. Too often, though, they work in relative anonymity before heading off to their own scientific careers across the country and around the world. The "Meet a Postdoc" video series turns some much-needed light on this important segment of Berkeley Lab's population and offers a chance to learn more about them as individuals while they are in our midst. Today’s subject is Brian Kienitz, with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Are you a postdoc who’d like to participate in the series, or do you know a postdoc you’d like to see profiled? If so, let us know. Go here to view other "Meet a Postdoc" videos.

planeIRSO: Foreign Travel During the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, international researchers and scholars are reminded of the need to check in with the Lab’s International Researchers & Scholars Office (IRSO) if travelling abroad. Before leaving the United States, contact Ben Ortega to discuss visa status (even if it’s valid) and the possible need to apply for a visa stamp. These steps should be taken to ensure the ability to re-enter the county when travel is complete.

Policy: Voluntary Leave Donation Program Now In Effect

Effective immediately, the Laboratory is implementing revisions to RPM §2.26, the Voluntary Leave Donation Program (formerly known as the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program). The revised policy (1) redefines the meaning of catastrophic illness or injury; (2) adds catastrophic casualty loss and catastrophic bereavement loss as additional components for requesting leave donations, and (3) makes the program available to those employees in "good standing." Go here to read the policy. This policy applies to non-represented employees only. Represented employees should contact their union representative or consult their collective bargaining agreement.

Today at Berkeley Lab is produced by Public Affairs' Communications Group