Jan 10, 2010

Will it make any difference?

Will the appointment of a new Deputy under D'Agostino at NNSA result in any improvements at LANL? I personally doubt it.

PBI's, baby.

--Doug


Donald L. Cook, Nominee for Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy

Dr. Donald L. Cook was the Managing Director of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in the United Kingdom from 2006 to 2009. In this capacity, he was accountable for AWE’s performance on the contract with the U.K. Ministry of Defence, which includes support of the U.K. Trident warheads and development and sustainment of capability in nuclear weapon design, development, manufacturing, qualification, assembly, transport, support in service, and finally, decommissioning, dismantlement, and disposal. Prior to heading AWE, Dr. Cook worked at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico for 28 years in Pulsed Power Sciences, Microtechnologies, Infrastructure, and Security. From 1999-2006, he was Director of the MESA Program Center, accountable for design and construction of the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) complex. In 2003, he assumed Program Director responsibilities for Sandia’s Infrastructure Program and for Sandia’s Safeguards and Security Technologies Program, which responded to a new Design Basis Threat. From 1977-1999, Dr. Cook led efforts in pulsed power accelerator design and experimentation, fusion research, hydrodynamics, radiography, diagnostic development, and computational code development. He managed the Sandia Inertial Confinement Fusion program from 1984-1993 and was Director of Pulsed Power Sciences from 1993-1999. Dr. Cook is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Physics (IOP).


53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will this affect my bonus?

-MIKEY

Anonymous said...

You bet, Mikey. Don was a key member of the opposing bid team, and now he's your boss!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. On the one hand Don was a long-time Sandia scientist, and was a key member of the LM capture effort.

On the other hand, D'Agostino followed the money and chose the Bechtel LLC to run LANL & LLNL.

And now Don will work for D'Agostino. I bet Don has already gone over to the dark side -- who wants to bet that there is brand spanking new Bechtel vice president position just sitting there with his name on it for when he leaves NNSA? I agree with Doug, nothing is going to change. NNSA will remain a corporate stooge of the Bechtel consortium. From the day D'Agostino picked LANS, LANL's only future was pit production. That's not going to change. The PBI's that NNSA wrote into the LANL contract aren't going to change either.

Same trees, one new monkey.

Anonymous said...

Donald Cook's latest appointment as a deputy level administrator at NNSA shows just how well things are working with the new thrusts emerging from usage of management LLCs and a new, forward looking NNSA.

LANL is doing better than ever and LANS is helping to lead the way. Dr. Anastasio detailed a long list of incredible accomplishments at his latest All-Hands meeting with employees this last week. He also took many serious questions during the Q&A period after his wonderful talk. It's rare to find a leader who is so "in tune" with his employees. We are lucky to have him!

Working together, LANS and NNSA are taking LANL to a whole new level of perfection. Stay tuned by keeping up with reliable LANS and NNSA news sources as your LANS executive team, the NNSA and our incredible Bechtel and BWXT business partners push the lab's "best and brightest" to Six Sigma levels of achievements.

Soar like an eagle!

Join the LANS team and soar like LANS!

Anonymous said...

"Will it make any difference?"

Did it make any difference when Dr. Chu was placed in charge of DOE?

Does that help answer your question?

Thief said...

Join the LANS team and soar like LANS!

1/10/10 4:22 PM



Dammit Anon...you owe me a new keyboard to replace the one now ruined by my coffee spit take!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely typical and par for the course for the naysayers here to immediately disparage any and all developments nuclear, LANL, and NNSA. Slow week for you guys at POGO?

Don Cook is a good guy, known him for years, and to my memory, its been a while since we had a lab person back at Defense Programs at this level. After the disasters of Shoenbauer, Crandal, and others, I'll take a long-term Sandia staffer.

Anonymous said...

I did some searches on this guy. Although it is claimed that he has some expertise in accelerators and pulsed power, I can find no technical papers for which he is even a co-author.

So, did he ever do any technical work?

This is an important issue in that we need people at high levels who have some understanding of what it takes to technical work!

Anonymous said...

I've also heard that Don is a good guy. And I don't work for POGO. But is still agree with the assessment: Same Trees, One New Monkey.

NNSA is corrupt. NNSA is inept. A new Deputy Administrator working directly under the chief source of corruption and ineptness (yes, I'm referring to our very own favorite: D'Agostino) will not have any opportunity to make any positive change, even assuming he wanted to.

Anonymous said...

I've also worked with Cook. He is pretty solid - more of an advocate for pulse power than an expert. I doubt he'll rock the boat, but we could do a lot worse. Who knows, maybe someday he'll replace that worthless Navy Captain presently in charge of the rapidly sinking SS LANS.

Anonymous said...

Summation of comments so far: anything that happens relating to NNSA, LANS, or LANL must be bad. Nothing good ever happens or can happen. Life is unremittingly and irreparably bad for LANL employees, and it is always someone else's fault. Anyone connected to DOE, NNSA, or LANS is corrupt, criminal, stupid, and a "D" student, or will magically become so by becoming so connected. The fix is always in. LANL employees (especially TSMs) are downtrodden, abused, and belittled by everyone. They have no recourse and cannot by any means improve their situation. They might as well die. (Well, except for that last, which is only implied, never stated explicitly.) Yawn.

Anonymous said...

"Summation of comments so far: anything that happens relating to NNSA, LANS, or LANL must be bad. "

Well before you blame the workers for being pessimistic you have to remember it is human nature to generalize from the past. So far things just keep getting worse. A new person comes, so what are the odds it will make things better or worse? Using past statistical data the odds favor things getting worse. This is not proof that things will get worse but it is not unreasonable to think that things will get worse.

Anonymous said...

1/10/10 8:29 PM...

Thanks for saying everything I would like to say, but in a much more articulate manner! The reality is that despite the omnipresent oppression, there really is some good science (engineering, too!) happening. Might not be easy, but hey--we have jobs, we make a pretty good living, and now and then we do some good work. Of course, it's not politic to be positive unless you're on the take from Bechtel.

Anonymous said...

Frank or Doug,

Could you post a picture of Cook in a t-shirt, similar to the pictures for the last two posts?

Thanks in advance

Doug Roberts said...

9:59,

Probably not. But thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

"Soar like an eagle! Join the LANS team and soar like LANS!" - 4:22 PM


Eagles seem to be the latest theme with LANS from the looks of the lab's front web page. However, I think a more suitable bird would be a vulture. Or maybe a do-do bird. Then again, perhaps a large ostrich with it's head in the sand is the perfect mascot for LANS.

Anonymous said...

Don's a competent guy however a very soft spoken low key guy. He's from the same mold as Gene Ives, who was the DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Applications (DASMA) [before the NNSA debacle] and a former Sandian. Just as it was the last stop for Ives, this is the last stop for Don before REAL retirement. If anything, Don might stop by DAHRT and NIF every once in a blue moon, that's about it. He will promote the Sandia toys. Quite frankly his announcement didn't deserve a headline in the blog, however, it's a good discussion.

Anonymous said...

Just one step closer to the kingdom...We will soon have a single outfit running LANL, LLNL, Sandia and Pantex. Throw in Kansas City and you have the future weapons complex.

But before we do that, we need to get rid of that useless science at LANL. Split it up and let Terry be the Lab director for Los Alamos-Science and Mikey the Jiffy Lube man

Anonymous said...

It won't make any difference that a Lockheed hack was chosen over a LANS/UC hack. They're part of the same nuclear rip-off-the-taxpayer-anyway-you-can-club. It's like wondering whether the New Jersey mob is better than the Chicago mob. Who really cares. A baseball bat swug at your knees is going hurt the same, either way.

Anonymous said...

This just in from the NNSA Twitter site regarding the new appointment:

"NNSA, as usual, is doing an incredible job!"

Anonymous said...

"Will it make any difference?"

Has the LANS morale survey made any difference with the lab's deaf upper management?

Did the DoD and Stimson Center reports damning both NNSA and the for-profit LLCs of last year make a bit of difference?

Same answer for all. No. The new masters of the nuclear weapons complex are all too busy counting their money and picking out luxury automobiles to buy.

Anonymous said...

LANS is delivering cost effective business solutions that meet LANL's needs.

Join the winning team!
Make a difference!
Contribute to improved performance!
Keep ahead of the game!
Join the discussion!

LANS listens to employees at the LANL Performance Blog...
...go there NOW!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard from their divisions how management plans to improve on the problems identified in the morale survey, or will this be just like Leadership Effectiveness Training where the problems are identified but no real solutions or followup?

Greg Close said...

Without devolving into superlatives too much, I doubt very much that one person, at any level, can reverse the negative momentum at the Lab right now. What needs to happen, and I have a hard time imagining such a thing, is for everyone at the lab to take a deep breath and stop crapping on each other at the earliest (and easiest) opportunity. There needs to be a morale change that starts on the individual level across the board and radiates upward, as well as an attitude change in upper management that is willing to acknowledge that some things may not have been handled well at Transition and beyond, and be genuinely willing to affect change at the institutional level. Neither will change things without the other.

Sadly, I don't see it happening. I see bitter and detached employees growing more bitter and detached; and I don't see the kind of leadership, let along management, from the chain of command to set reform in motion from that end.

Sometimes good things come to an end. Maybe that's the lesson here.

Anonymous said...

Greg, it's too late, the damage has been done. The Lab Director has shown that he is unwilling to address and correct the damage that his Associate Directors (e.g. Bret Knapp, Craig Leasure, others) and other Managers have done to LANL workers. Mike continues to ignore it when it's occurring right in front of him. To make matters worse, Mike continues to promote and reward these individuals and is condoning their viscous behavior. I have been at LANL for 30-years and have never seen such behavior from LANL Management, not even from Nanos.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1/12/10 5:00 PM is correct. Nanos was far better than Mikey et al!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1/12/10 5:00 PM is correct. Nanos was far better than Mikey et al!

YES - At least Nanos had some balls. I actually liked the guy.

Whats Mikey have? Same old suit, a crappy haircut, and the personality of a toothpick.

Anonymous said...

Have you heard? Dr. Anastasio recently briefed the Vice President! It's rare that a NNSA lab director gets an honor such as this one, but Dr. Anastasio was certainly up to the task.

We are lucky to have leaders of this caliber pulling the lab together. Let's all be thankful for the quality of our fantastic LANS upper management team and pull together even more to make 2010 an even better year than last year!

Look around. Amazing things are happening at LANL. Morale is quickly improving with each passing day. The LANS "can do" attitude is catching on with all the employees.

Thank you, Dr. Anastasio, for you ceaseless efforts! I'm joining the LANS team and working hard to make LANL grand!

Anonymous said...

1/12/10 9:50 PM

Dude, give it break. It was sort of funny the first few times but no longer. You are like an SNL skit that gets repeated way too many times.

Anonymous said...

Mike continues to promote and reward these individuals and is condoning their viscous behavior. I have been at LANL for 30-years and have never seen such behavior from LANL Management, not even from Nanos.

1/12/10 5:00 PM

I often read this blog for the current-feelings impressions from the current LANL staff. But it is increasingly distressing that even long-time LANL employees who post here can't be bothered to proof their comments before posting them. I'm sure the poster above didn't mean "viscous" but instead "vicious." However, the oversight just leaves an impression of disconnectedness, sloppiness, and carelessness on the part of LANL employees that is really unfortunate, given the obvious lack of intellect on the part of LANL's detractors.

Come on, folks, spelling and grammar matter, if you care how you appear to those who would belittle you as unprofessional and undeserving of your fortune. If you are "A" students, then act like it.

Anonymous said...

Whats Mikey have? Same old suit, a crappy haircut, and the personality of a toothpick.

A heavily used toothpick.

Anonymous said...

Most of the bloggers who frequent this blog and constantly criticize LANS obviously don't work at LANL. If they did, they would know, like most employees, that LANS is the lab's savior and is turning LANL into a true center of scientific excellence and efficiency!

Mike Anastasio is doing a wonderful job in this effort. If anything, his salary should be tripled to compensate him for his excellent work. He is, without a doubt, the best director LANL has ever seen. And as far as Bret Knapp goes, he is applying the successful "Livermore Model" to fix many long standing problems that have been holding LANL back for decades. His managerial talents as a "Mr. Fixit" are truly awesome! Weapons engineering has been tweaked for performance by Bret and he will now be using his huge managerial talents to fix the many existing problems over in the old X Division. I know what I'm talking about here, as I've seen LANL up close and at all levels every single day for the last couple of years. There are many long standing problems at LANL that need to be eliminated.

As far as morale problems, there are none at LANL. The recent engagement survey puts LANL squarely in the norm with surveys done at hundreds of other companies. If anything, many of the figures show that morale at LANL is better than what you'll find at most other companies. LANS can be proud of the results of this survey and should not over-react to placate a few highly vocal sore heads. Yes, there are still a few disloyal, whining company employees left who have the deluded belief that they work for LANL and not for LANS LLC. Management needs to find these disloyal employees and quickly get rid of them. This will send a strong message that disloyalty to the company will not be tolerated. Workers who turn against the company that hired them should not expect to receive a company paycheck. It's as simple as that.

LANS is leading LANL to greatness. Their cost effective business solutions (many brought by the bright people coming in from Bechtel and BWXT) are turning this lab around. The ever improving metrics from NNSA help prove all of this. Any other view simply has no validity based on facts.

I'm sure I'll be attacked by many bloggers for the views I have outlined here. However, in the end LANS will win and those attacking LANS with their ugly lies will fail. Twenty years from today, LANS will still be running LANL and it will be better than ever!

Eric said...

A gift back to the blog.

I am reading a book, "Women Don't Ask", by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Princeton University Press, 2003.

The main question that the book answers is why in many fields women do not get the salary or the promotions that, by the quality of their work, they deserve.

The concise answer is that they do not ask for the salary, promotions, or working conditions that they want.

They may say nothing or they may whine among colleagues, but they do not come out and ask for what they want -- the only effective way to get what you want.

The lesson applies equally to men, especially scientists.

The book will be back at the Mesa Public Library in a few days when I finish reading it.

Cheers,

Anonymous said...

11:46 am: "I'm sure I'll be attacked by many bloggers for the views I have outlined here."

Nope - keep it coming. The humor may be too subtle for some, but I think your stuff is a hoot. The irony in particular is over the top. I really liked "(Anastasio) is, without a doubt, the best director LANL has ever seen." And "As far as morale problems, there are none at LANL." almost made me spit my coffee all over my keyboard. Yep, this is what we needed to counteract all the seriousness here. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Eric, READ:

1. "U.S. Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century: Getting it Right," A White Paper By: The New Deterrent Working Group, Foreword By: R. James Woolsey, July 2009.

2. "Iran´s Nuclear Threat, The Day After," Heritage Special Report, SR-53, June 4, 2009.

3. "Non-Aerospace Research Quests of a Designer/Flight Test Engineer, Things you probably do not know about Rutan," By Burt Rutan.

4. "Green Hell: How Enviromentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them," by Steven Milloy.

5. "The Will To Power," by Friedrich Nietzsche.

6. "The Constitution of the United States of America, with the Bill of Rights and all of the Amendments; The Declaration of Independence; and the Articles of Confederation."

Enjoy!

Eric said...

Interesting list.

Thanks.

I have some reading and rereading to do. I have already read about half the list but not all of them recently.

Anonymous said...

11:46 am: "I'm sure I'll be attacked by many bloggers for the views I have outlined here."

No one loves the boss that much. You just spent 5 paragraphs telling us how much you love Mikey. I've got bad news for you, I think your in love and need to tell the boss, NOT US! Find a hotel room or something. And also, spare us the details.... TOO MUCH INFORMATION!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1/13/10 11:46 AM cannot be a scientist, engineer, or technician doing programmatic work. This must be some person in an overhead group. Or maybe it's Mikey posting anonymously?

Anonymous said...

Or maybe it's Mikey posting anonymously?

1/14/10 8:07 AM


I sign all my blog post, 8:07 AM. Besides, I think the staff already know pretty well how I feel about this god-forsaken, awful place. If not for the money, I would have left years ago! At this point, I'm just staying around so I can enjoy watching Bret Knapp work his magic as a marvelous 1-man wrecking crew. Suck it up, people!

- MIKEY

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1/13/10 11:46 AM cannot be a scientist, engineer, or technician doing programmatic work. This must be some person in an overhead group. Or maybe it's Mikey posting anonymously?

1/14/10 8:07 AM

OMG, has absolutely everyone at LANL completely lost their sense of humor?? Get over yourselves, people. The guy was posting a JOKE!!

Anonymous said...

Eric, you ignorant slut. With all due respect, you are also a f*cking idiot. Women DO ask for equal pay at LANL.

Anonymous said...

9:52 PM - ditto that!

Anonymous said...

From a different post simply to keep this topic from being covered-up...Iknow that Susan is back in town and all hell is breaking loose.

Anonymous said...
4:09 P ..."MPA-MC just had an explosion at TA-48 this week and after the TA-15 incident Senior Management and NNSA are going berzerk."

Yes, this would be Kevin Ott's group. He approved ALL the IWDs for this work. Chemistry OK under Ott regardless of the hazards. Remember Doc Aq (Kiplinger) worked under Ott during the imfamous aqua regia scadle.

As per a management this week, Toni Taylor wants to keep the MPA aspect of the EXPLOSION a secret. Go Toni, go Toni. Kepp Ott in power, Girl.

Anonymous said...

Apparently we are still hiring scientists who know how to write a competitive proposal:

http://www.science.doe.gov/SC-2/Office%20of%20Science%20Early%20Career%20Research%20Program%20Selectees.pdf

Five awards to LANL staff, compared to three at LBNL, one at Argonne, four at ORNL. I'll be jiggered.

Eric said...

6:21
I am glad that you will be jiggered.
I am glad that the winners did so well.

If you normalize for how far this money goes at LANL, the fields of research supported (transuranic chemistry can't be done that many places), and, especially for the likelihood that any of these winners will still be at LANL five years from now, the results are not so hopeful for LANL.

Remember that these winners constitute 0.1% of LANL staff and 0.2% of LANL funding not a big portion and that the funding is temporary.

Anonymous said...

"Five awards to LANL staff, compared to three at LBNL, one at Argonne, four at ORNL. I'll be jiggered.

1/18/10 6:21 PM"

No...no, no it can not be! I am the idiot who always slams the scientists at LANL. It cannot be... the world is going to hell!!! but, but we are the best and brightest. I too am jiggered, whatever that means, but I too am jiggered for sure. Dam dam dam.

Anonymous said...

Dam dam dam.

1/18/10 9:39 PM

Actually, 9:39, you are allowed to say "damn" on line. Unless you didn't know how to spell it. Or unless you weren't allowed by your religion to actually say it. In Los Alamos, you never know.

Anonymous said...

Being "jiggered" sounds nasty, but I might be willing to try it some day if I'm feeling kinky. How does one go about it?

Anonymous said...

"1/18/10 9:39 PM

Actually, 9:39, you are allowed to say "damn" on line. Unless you didn't know how to spell it. Or unless you weren't allowed by your religion to actually say it. In Los Alamos, you never know.

1/18/10 10:19 PM"

Oh it is one of the best and brightist telling me how to spell.
It is this arragont attitude that got LANL and the rest of you scinetists in so much trouble. We are sick of paying for your sandbox crap only to have you point out spelling errors, get a clue.

Anonymous said...

On a different topic:
With Frank and Doug apparently absent from this blogging scene who wants to go next? - maybe calling the new blog 'LANL-they've-won'?
Or is this it? No more insight information of LANL managers embarrassing themselves and staff members who are still living the premier national security science dream?

Anonymous said...

We are sick of paying for your sandbox crap only to have you point out spelling errors, get a clue.

1/19/10 8:32 AM

Huh? Only scientists know how to spell? Some people are too stupid to be allowed access to a computer.

Anonymous said...

10:21 am: "With Frank and Doug apparently absent from this blogging scene"

Well, obviously somebody is still approving posts. You could always test who it is by making some mildly negative comment about Doug.

Doug Roberts said...

"If you're not catching flak, you're not over the target." -- Quote originated by WWII bombers.

My keen eye tells me that we have reached the end of life for this post as well.