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InTheLoop | 05.22.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

May 22, 2006

June 26 Retirement Sendoff Set for John Pon

John Pon, head of the EH&S & Facilities Systems group in IT's Institutional Systems Department, is retiring after 13 years at the Lab. A retirement luncheon in John's honor has been scheduled for Monday, June 26, at Hs. Lordships restaurant at the Berkeley Marina. The cost is $30 per person. Reservations and payment are due by Friday, June 9, and should be sent to Dianne Brenner at 937R0700 (checks should be made out to Dianne Brenner). Questions? Contact Dianne at dpbrenner@lbl.gov.

Thursday Morning Power Outage Scheduled for Bldg. 50B Third Floor

Staff who work in offices on the third floor of Bldg 50B should shut down computers and other electrical equipment to avoid problems during a power outage scheduled for 6:30-7:30 a.m. Thursday, May 23. The outage has been scheduled to allow the installation of a new electrical outlet. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Building Manager John Hutchings (JEHutchings@lbl.gov, x7505) or Parisa Farvid (PFarvid@lbl.gov, x4965).

Regents Take No Action on Retirement Plan Contribution Schedule

Citing the need for more consultation and analysis, as well as the University of California budget process, the UC Board of Regents at their May 18 meeting took no action on a specific schedule to reinstate contributions to the UC Retirement Plan.

The regents continued to review information on how best to ensure the long-term financial health of the retirement plan (UCRP) and heard an update on the current funded status of the plan. The presentation by Mercer Human Resource Consulting updated projections of the UCRP funded status to take into account investment performance through March 31, 2006, and refinements to the impact of catch-up pay increases in future years.

The presentation also included an illustration of a UCRP contribution schedule. The sample contribution schedule reflects possible total contributions over the next several years, but does not specify how contributions will be divided between UC and its employees. The presentation is posted on the regents' Web site at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/may06/8c.pdf. The link takes you to the agenda item; click on the word “Attachment” to view the presentation.

UC is continuing active consultation and discussions regarding the restart of contributions to UCRP with faculty, staff, unions and retirees. The regents at a future meeting will hear specific recommendations as to when contributions will be restarted and how costs will be divided between the university and employees. Future decisions by the regents on this subject will be informed by collective bargaining, availability of funding and the budget process.

United Kingdom Announces Short Fellowships for North American Post-Docs

The UK's Royal Society, in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry's Office of Science and Technology, is now accepting applications for the North America Incoming Short Visits program. This is a new opportunity for scientists from North America to visit institutions in the UK for up to eight weeks to access the best science that the UK has to offer. The key objectives of short visits are to initiate one-to-one collaborations, explore opportunities to build lasting networks and gain access to complementary equipment, data observations and ideas. The application deadline is Thursday, June 1.

Applicants must be of postdoctoral status or equivalent and be citizens or permanent residents of the USA or Canada, or have held a position there for at least three years. They must be based in a US/Canadian academic research institution or a government laboratory.

More information can be found at http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/funding.asp?id=3782.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.