Apr 27, 2009

NM labs selected as energy research centers

Associated Press - April 27, 2009 9:55 PM ET

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories have been selected as "Energy Frontier Research Centers."

Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation made the announcement Monday. They say the designation comes with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for the advancement of clean energy technology.

Sandia will receive $3.6 million for researching solid-state lighting, which uses a semiconducting material to convert electricity directly into light. That maximizes the light's energy efficiency.

Los Alamos will receive $3.9 million to research how to improve the efficiency of converting sunlight to electricity. The lab will receive another $3.9 million to research the behavior of materials under extreme conditions.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooo. Seven or eight super-expensive FTE's including the massive overhead of LANS award fees and bonuses.

What a huge windfall!

Anonymous said...

Here is Synopses of the Department of Energy, Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs):

http://www.sc.doe/gov/bes/EFRC_Synopses.pdf

(1) The Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics, Victor Klimov, director, LANL.

(2) Extreme Environment-Tolerant Materials via Atomic Scale Design of Interfaces, Michael Nastasi, director, LANL.

(3) EFRC for Solid State Lightning Science, Jerry Simmons, director, SNL.

PS: I always thought that nukes and missile defense together was a coherent US national security strategy, unfortunately this view is not shared by the Obama administration.

Anonymous said...

It will take hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding if LANL is to mitigate the weapon cuts that are coming the lab's way. This is but a drop in a bucket that is growing a very large hole.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Glenn Mara is bailing out come June 1st of this year. Can't say as I blame him.

He'll have three years of high average salary under his belt and can retire with a very big pension payout.

He also won't need worry about staying awake any longer during Mikey's boring All-Hands meetings.

Anonymous said...

WOW! A total of $5.8M.
That is about one-week's worth
of LANL operations!

Anonymous said...

that's great but will they leave now that they have the $$?? I would leave. These centers ARE also in collaboration with other labs and universities.

check out klimov: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the
University of Minnesota, the University of North Carolina, the University of CA-Irvine, Rice University, the Colorado School of Mines, and the University of Colorado

Anonymous said...

3.9 million! makes for good press to the masses who don't have a clue as to how "small" a number that really is. That may fund about 5 FTE's and a few feet of florrspace for one year.

If this is the best news from Washington, it's time to bail.

Anonymous said...

So how much stays at LANL, with all those collaborators?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 4/28/09 9:39 AM asks:

"So how much stays at LANL, with all those collaborators?"

A very good question. My experience in the past with these things is tht LANL will keep about 20% if we are very fortunate.

Anonymous said...

So... Sandia is gonna get some money to invent light emitting diodes???

Anonymous said...

> The lab will receive another $3.9
> million to research the behavior
> of materials under extreme
> conditions.

Sounds like MaRIE light.

Anonymous said...

You have to be delusional to think that MaRIE is somehow going to re-invigorate and grow the science base at LANL in any meaningful way. The people responsible for this poor decision making should be fired. Instead, they'll all be promoted to higher positions. It's the LANL way. LANL has some of the worst management ever seen at a research lab.

Anonymous said...

When I read the post I hoped not, but I knew this would be twisted into a LANS can't manage anything and give us more.

Please, take the original offer and do science with it. Do it. Do not cry that your pony is too small and the stable hand doesn't know how to feed it. Ride it. Just ride it.

Prove to the world it was a good initial investment. Expect it to be the beginning of new science at LANL. For once, just do it.

Anonymous said...

3:28. Stay off the drugs.

Anonymous said...

the kings of ldrd-dr are now kings of efrc.

Anonymous said...

3:28 pm: "For once, just do it."

Your is a forlorn voice in the wilderness. The denizens of this blog have forgotten that the Lab's job is to get work done. They have instead turned to denigrating anything at all that happens, positive or negative (they can no longer tell the difference). In that, they are unwittingly collaborating with the Bechtel idiots that think they are running a construction or cleanup company. Anastasio is absent (in every sense). If Mara is leaving, he cannot be far behind, since Mara has been covering his butt from the first. When the Director is a Bechtel person, this kind of funding will probably be refused. Better take it now and show that it isn't wasted.

Anonymous said...

7:25,

I'm not on drugs. I'm just wondering when one of you will stop sniveling long enough to try to be creative. Listen to yourselves. Oh, that bad management. Oh, the government didn't give us enough. Oh, if I only had a chance to do science. Do you ever really look yourself in the mirror?

Anonymous said...

"PS: I always thought that nukes and missile defense together was a coherent US national security strategy, unfortunately this view is not shared by the Obama administration."


You are an idiot. Obama, unlike you, understands that deterrence is not always the answer. Because he has a brain. Unlike you.

Anonymous said...

"Ride it. Just ride it." - 3:28 PM

I do, every afternoon. I zoom zoom down the hill in my beautiful black sports car and get away from LANL just as fast as I can.

- MIKEY

Anonymous said...

Two billion dollars annual budget, two thousand hours in a year. That's one million dollars an hour. Just for LANL.

But hey, every dollar counts.

Anonymous said...

I'm not on drugs. I'm just wondering when one of you will stop sniveling long enough to try to be creative. Listen to yourselves. Oh, that bad management. Oh, the government didn't give us enough. Oh, if I only had a chance to do science. Do you ever really look yourself in the mirror?

4/28/09 8:15 PM
To whom are you talking to? No LANL scientist is commenting on this blog anymore. And except for few (Klimov, Korber), the creative scientists have left long ago.

Anonymous said...

8:02,

Consider yourself among those addressed. You don't need initials at the end of your name to be creative. You don't need advanced degrees to be part of the solution. You do need personal integrity and the ability to hold yourself accountable. Stop the sniveling.

Anonymous said...

Stop the sniveling.

4/29/09 8:21 AM

Stop pimping for LANS, 8:21 AM. They can do very well on their own without your whoring for them.

Anonymous said...

Was 8:21 pimping or whoring? Thanks in advance for clarifying this point.

Anonymous said...

11:57,

I'm not pimping for LANS. I'm expressing the amazement of tax payers listening to well paid employees snivel.

I don't even work at LANL. I wouldn't last a full hour before being escorted off the premises for bitch slapping the first of your kind who opened his sniveling pie hole.

Man up. Do something and then you'll be in a position to gripe. You might be surprised. By doing something your life will have meaning and griping won't be necessary.

Anonymous said...

11:57 am: "Stop pimping for LANS, 8:21 AM. They can do very well on their own without your whoring for them."

So, 8:21's comments: "You do need personal integrity and the ability to hold yourself accountable. Stop the sniveling," constitute "whoring for LANS"? Since when did LANL employees stop believing in integrity and accountability, and start believing sniveling is a good thing? Aren't those the traits we hate about LANS? "Fearing not I'd become my enemy in the instant that I speak..."

Anonymous said...

Hey....Can we get back on topic? The few million bucks we are getting is a joke! Pure and simple, LANL will cut anywhere between 1000-2000 FTE's beganining this fall. Now thats something to crow about.

Anonymous said...

2:37,

The tax payers just ponied up several million. You're response is to call it a joke and then snivel. In case you were too busy complaining to notice the topic was a tax payer gift to do some science. The only reason you ask "Can we get back on topic?" is because sniveling has become the only topic here. If your comments are any indication of your value to the country and science, then you need to be among that 1000 FTE shown the door.

Anonymous said...

5:33 PM, no I think the point is that the stupid taxpayer is doing NOTHING about the $70M fee being paid to incompetent management or the outrageous cost it is for anyone to pay for themselves OR do anything at LANL because of the expense. Obama want's to save some money - get rid of LANS, Bechtel and all the worthless management that comes along for the ride.

Anonymous said...

And you, 5:33. Just what have you done for the taxpayer? Just because money changes hands, doesn't mean anything useful was accomplished. I'm guessing you are a prime example. It was obvious from your first post that you've never worked at LANL - not when it was great nor under LANS. You, sir, are a blowhard. Cheer up, there are plenty of Bechtel jobs waiting for you and your kind. You worthless, self-absorbed parasitic cheerleader calling plays from the sideline on a game you've never once played. Loser.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that Sandia gets money for "efficiency" and LANL gets money for "extreme conditions"

Anonymous said...

7:17,

Touch a nerve, did I?

I've stood in a military uniform and put my life on the line for the tax payer. You? Whine when the taxpayer puts up money for you.

Sidelines? I'm fully engaged in life. I'm not still licking my wounds from getting my geek ass kicked in science class.

You're a disgrace. Do the honorable thing and resign from LANL. LANL has a lot of problems that need strong minded people to solve. You are simply academic flotsam not worthy of another public dime.

Anonymous said...

Bravo 4/29/09 7:17 PM

First folks whine about not being able to do science and then they whine when we get the chance. Sounds like these type of folks do not want people with the funding telling them what to do in their little private sandbox.

Anonymous said...

Hope Glen comes back to Livermore, we can really use him and..... can Liedle.

Anonymous said...

If the snot eating, butt picking, gadflys that frequent this blog are representative of the quality of the staff at LANL then I suggest no funding be awarded for studying anything. The amount of the award isn't 3.9 million, it is 7.8 million. Either you are illiterate or, more likely, so anxious to bitch that you simply didn't bother to read beyond "$3.9 million to research how to improve the efficiency of converting sunlight to electricity". I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

9:24. Oh, since you've played toy soldier, thank you, sir, can I have another? I guess you just need to find a way to drain the swamp and all will be right with the world. Would you start Los Alamos over again with just 10 people too? You don't have any idea what you are talking about. Shouting "oooohh raaaaa" like a trained monkey won't solve this problem, PFC. Neither will $10M of random hand-outs.

A good start would be to lose Bechtel and for profit management entirely from the equation. THAT is what we "whiners" would like to see happen. Otherwise, we are doomed here.

Anonymous said...

$7.8M to do new science.

Precisely 10% of the fee paid to LANS to do nothing, or worse than nothing. And LANS costs the LANL budget another $150M in taxes that the University of California didn't have to pay. So it's important to keep in perspective that the easiest and most effective way to increase LANL's productivity and science output is to fire LANS. That would free up over $200M dollars per year to do real science.

No one who doesn't have a direct interest in LANS would defend them and their raping of the LANL budget. The idiot who writes here chastising LANL staff for "sniveling" is almost certainly a shill paid by LANS; probably a new LANS psychological warfare experiment.

Save the LANS budget Mikey, the staff here really do care about LANL so your paid idiot won't divert the staff from keeping a focus on the real problem at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Some of you have never gotten past the terrible twos when the whole world was all about you. You're still only interested in your career, your job, your house, yours, yours, yours. In life you have to give something back.

5:27, It takes a sniveling maggot like you to denigrate the service to country of another.

Shovel Head Ed gave the likes of you individual numbers. He was too kind. All I see is a singular, writhing mass of maggots left to eat other people's shit. You lack the backbone and fortitude to do anything other than let nature takes its course so you can eventually fly off to find your own steaming lawn sausage. It's all about you.

There was a sign in a small outpost in the Iraqi desert. It read:

You're in a desert.
Deserts are hot.
Stop whining.

You're at a nuclear weapons facility.
Nuclear weapons have a dim future.
Be creative.

5:27, you're doomed anywhere you go. You want to blame Bechtel. Go ahead. They probably deserve it. You've done nothing to improve the situation. In fact, you've probably done nothing period.

Anonymous said...

6:52,

So, anybody that finds your pubescent attitude a slap in the face to the people funding your little post-school, pre-work adventure has to be a paid shill. Go back and use that education to read the posts. Nobody is defending LANS. I'm calling into question your ability to be part of something that matters.

Most people when faced when adversity roll up their sleeves and get to work. Your's has to be a sorry existence.

Anonymous said...

"Shovel Head Ed gave the likes of you individual numbers. He was too kind. All I see is a singular, writhing mass of maggots left to eat other people's shit."

lol. Now there's some constructive criticism. Sounds like you have anger management issues, bud. More likely though, you're a complete fake.

Pointing out that the government can save a great deal of taxpayer money by canning the LANS fee isn't sniveling, it's a constructive viable suggestion. That it's not being seriously considered suggests that saving taxpayer money is not really a priority.

Anonymous said...

Folks, keep the comments rolling in. At least Doug won't have any problems to find some gems for the CoW in the "extreme, beyond the norm stupidity" and "poor little me, whining" categories.

And boy, am I creative: yesterday I found a cure against cancer. Today I have a great plan to save the world. Unfortunately I lost my notes.

Anonymous said...

It's time for this blog to be shut down. Almost no one at LANL reads it anymore and it is serving no purpose other than to let the bitter LANS hating whiners continue to bitch and moan while bringing LANL down with their constant carping.

Shut it down, Frank and Doug. You have better ways to spend your time.

Anonymous said...

10:08 am: "Pointing out that the government can save a great deal of taxpayer money by canning the LANS fee isn't sniveling, it's a constructive viable suggestion."

No it isn't. There has to be a contractor to run LANL. The contractor needs to be paid. The amount of the contract fee will be set by the market. The idea that UC, or any not-for-profit, will be willing to come in and run LANL for a few million a year is a pipe dream. LANL has become the "third rail" of DOE labs - no one will touch it unless the payout is big.

Anonymous said...

11:39 AM

You apparently read the blog. What's your interest in seeing it shut down? Are you afraid that it might have some impact on the future of LANS? And your bonus?

Anonymous said...

Yes, shut it down.

10:08,

No problem with anger nor am I a fake. What I am is your neighbor.

I see you huddled in the back during Friendship time at church. Whining about work while letting others volunteer to set up and clean up.

I see you huddled at the back of the Cub Scout meeting whining about work while letting others volunteer to organize activities for your kids.

I see you on the sidelines at soccer games whining about work while others put in the time to coach your kids.

I see you on this blog whining while the lab goes downhill.

Just like the Community Asset Workshop in which an outsider pointed out some truths that made us wince, I'm pointing out truths that have made a few wince.

One of those truths is that you are part of the problem. No amount of elbow grease will transform that turd floating in the punch bowl into a Baby Ruth.

The original post was about unexpected millions coming to the lab. It didn't take long for the whiners to blame LANS and the government for your station in life.

Another truth is that the country and the world doesn't need LANL or you. When millions come in for research, do as much as you can.

Anonymous said...

4/30/09 12:55 PM

AMEN!

Anonymous said...

12:24 PM

What makes you think the LANS fee was set by the market? It wasn't, it was set by DOE. If you remember, the original RFP limited the fee to about $30M. The UC team expressed interest at that fee, however, DOE withdrew the RFP and reissued it with the fee limit set to over twice the original amount. Why? Just to get Lockheed Martin to bid. But Lockheed lost, so DOE ended up paying over twice the "market" value. Also supporting the conclusion that LANS is overpaid, note that the LLNL fee is well less than 1/2 of the LANL fee, but LLNL is "managed" by essentially the same set of monkeys as manage LANL.

DOE could force LANS to restructure as a non-profit led by UC, with all the lab staff paid by UC. Bechtel et. al. could be paid their portion of the fee as subcontractors to UC. LANL could be "managed" by the same monkeys who would earn exactly the same fee, but the Gross Receipts Tax could be lowered by over $100M, thus returning that money to do science.

Anonymous said...

8:07 pm: "DOE could force LANS to restructure as a non-profit led by UC, with all the lab staff paid by UC."

Really?? Under what authority? LANS only exists as a private, for-profit corporation (LLC) in order to run LANL. How ecactly coud DOE legally "force" a privately-held company to restructure? You're forgetting a little thing called the Constitution of the United States. Oh, and contractual law. You sound quite delusional. Or perhaps just massively ignorant.

Anonymous said...

If the LANL management fee was set by NNSA to attract the bidder it wanted, then by definition it was set by the market. QED.

Anonymous said...

8:25

Well, for one thing DOE could threaten to fire them unless LANS restructures. Similar to what Obama did to Chrysler. Or is that unconstitutional too?

Contractual law doesn't prohibit this as there's a provision in the LANS contract that allows the Government to terminate the LANS contract "at the convenience of the Government".

Seriously, this can and should be done.

Anonymous said...

12:55 PM, yes, you are my neighbor Kevin Ott. Jealous, insecure, women hater ,,, surprised you have lasted as long as you have at LANL with all the women who have risen to power over you in the past couple of years (Neu, Burns, Taylor, Seestrom,... ). Couldn't help but notice your early arrival this week at CAG yesterday ... stress starting to get to you?

Anonymous said...

Also remember that the RFP "did not" require bidders to be an LLC, only that the be a "separate" corporate entity from the parent company. This did not necessarily mean a separate "legal" entity like a LLC. There are other corporate models that UC could have selected and still met the RFP requirement.

This was also a "special" NNSA only clause and not required of other DOE national lab contracts.

LM runs SNL through Sandia Corporation, which is a separate entity owned by LM. Univ of Chicago runs ANL with an LLC owned solely by the Univ of Chicago. UC could have set up LANS the same way. But UC feared the LM/UT team was ahead in winning the bid, and UC wanted Bechtel on board so badly that they sold their soul to the devil.

"H-23...(a) The work performed under this Contract by the Contractor shall be conducted by a separate corporate entity from its Parent Organization(s). The separate corporate entity must be set up solely to perform this Contract and shall be totally responsible for all Contract activities."

Anonymous said...

Contractual law doesn't prohibit this as there's a provision in the LANS contract that allows the Government to terminate the LANS contract "at the convenience of the Government".

Seriously, this can and should be done.

4/30/09 10:34 PM
In this case, the next step for the LANL community should be to write to the representatives in Congress and Senate and/or to start a petition, notify the media.

SSPed

Anonymous said...

"..UC wanted Bechtel on board so badly that they sold their soul to the devil." - 7:40 AM

How true. And now, Bechtel, a politically connected construction company, runs what use to be one of the nation's premiere national science labs and they are running it straight into the ground.

In the end, the devil always gets to own the souls of those who sign his contracts. LANL has become the land of the damned.

Anonymous said...

"How ecactly coud DOE legally "force" a privately-held company to restructure? You're forgetting a little thing called the Constitution of the United States. Oh, and contractual law."

Do you EVER read a newspaper? The current administration has little interest, much less reverence for contractual law and the rights of private corporations that accept government money.

Anonymous said...

My God! Frank, Doug, HELP --- save us from the morons that have taken over this blog !!

Doug Roberts said...

We feel your pain, 8:34.

Anonymous said...

Doug, no you don't! Klimov can take a shit and LANL management will find funding to keep him. This despite the fact he is way expensive and gives no credit to any of his PDs or colleagues. All I have seen is Klimov stories and nothing for Nastasi. Why?