It can't be called a minor facelift. Nor is it major surgery. But the ongoing makeover of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) - the organization charged with the management of Jefferson Lab, isn't exactly a trivial matter because the future poses risk as well as reward.
"Things are changing. All of science is at a crossroads in some sense," contends SURA President Jerry Draayer. "SURA is poised to help our member institutions move through that intersection. While Jefferson Lab is SURA's crown jewel and continues to be our top priority, we're also looking toward initiatives that are more directly coupled with economic development and commercialization opportunities that can be an outgrowth of SURA's research thrusts."
SURA is meeting the future with several initiatives. One continues a traditional strength in information technology (IT), begun with the establishment of SURAnet, which was sold to a private firm in 1995 for $16 million, and is a prime example of technology transfer at its best. According to Draayer, "IT is the glue that has pulled our institutions together." The Association now hopes to leverage its members' IT expertise to build a region-wide state-of-the-art network that can serve numerous purposes including a health-sciences network that would feature telehealth for underserved populations as one of its offerings.
"Ten years ago who would have predicted information technology would be where it is now?" questions John Mullin, the organization's general counsel since 1986. Mullin recently relocated from a JLab home base to SURA's Washington, D.C. headquarters, where he has also assumed the title of Senior Vice President for Operations. "You have to be prepared to change as circumstances change."
SURA is also mulling the possibility of an Association-lead coastal marine science initiative. Given that much of the southeastern United States is coastal, it is not surprising to find many SURA member institutions sponsoring national or international marine science programs at their campuses. As in the case of JLab, pooling efforts could lead to a groundbreaking venture whose impact could be felt worldwide.
"The intellectual horsepower that drives SURA resides in our member institutions," Draayer says. "We facilitate; we organize, convene, and act as liaison. In principle, we have 46 field offices - our member institutions. That's where we go for guidance."
Draayer says that in the coming months and years the Association will intensify its support of research and researchers - plowing back into programs interest earned from the sale of SURAnet and any profits earned from future technology transfers. "How does something like Jefferson Lab happen," Draayer rhetorically asks. "It happens as a result of the leadership of one or two individuals that push programs forward. Those intellectual leaders are what we fondly call our spark plugs."
"When you get right down to it, one of the most important things SURA does is select a director for Jefferson Lab, which it did with Hermann Grunder in 1985," Mullin points out. "Pick the wrong guy and it could be a disaster. Hermann's been superb. He took a green site and built a world-class laboratory. It's a remarkable accomplishment."
Small Is Beautiful
Established in 1980 as an organization that would ultimately design and manage Jefferson Lab, SURA has grown into a consortium of 46 universities from 13 southeastern states and the District of Columbia that operates as a nonstock, nonprofit corporation. The Association serves as an entity through which colleges, universities, and other organizations may cooperate with one another as well as with the Government in acquiring, developing and using laboratories, machines and other research facilities to further knowledge in the physical, biological and other natural sciences and engineering. In addition to its 46 field offices, as Draayer describes SURAs member universities, and the DC headquarters, the consortium's other operations site is JLab.
Since the beginning of this year, SURA headquarters has been bustling with activity with the addition of several staff members. Besides Draayer and Mullin, Elizabeth Lawson, who has been with JLab since 1985, joined the headquarters staff as Executive Assistant to the SURA President in April. Greg Schuckman, the new Director of Communications and Corporate Relations at SURA since mid-June, brings to the organization a decade of experience in public affairs. Meta Wilt, SURA Controller since 1995, recently relocated to headquarters and assumed the additional responsibilities of Corporate Treasurer. They build on the foundation established by Hugh Loweth, a veteran of the organization since 1986, who serves as SURA's Vice President for Government and University Relations, and Leslie Swindells, SURA's Office Manager, since 1996. Rounding out this new headquarters team will be a Director of Information Technology Initiatives and an administrative support position, both of which are planned for next year.
As SURA steps more aggressively into new areas, the role of its member-university presidents on the organization's Council of Presidents will likewise increase. "SURA will be more active than ever," Draayer predicts. "While we can't focus on everything, the programs we choose will grow. Yet Draayer remains mindful of the role that Jefferson Lab plays in SURA. "Jefferson Lab is the backbone of SURA's operation. Our future is linked to the Lab's future and that is why we are going to work hard to ensure that the JLab upgrades come through." Although the Association's JLab management and operations contract with the Department of Energy has recently been renewed, it expires in 2004. At that time, the contract will probably be put out for competitive bid and given the Lab's track record, there should be no shortage of interested parties.
"With increased engagement by our Council of Presidents, new horsepower at SURA headquarters, and most importantly, continued success by Hermann and his team at Jefferson Lab, we are confident that the JLab will continue to thrive and that SURA, with the creativity and determination of its 'spark plugs', will be able to provide the kindling (seed capital) for what could be another major fire (scientific breakthrough) like CEBAF, the FEL, and SURAnet," boasts Draayer.
by James Schultz
By early next century an upgraded cryomodule design will help to boost Jefferson Lab's accelerator to 12 billion electron volts, or GeV. The new configuration will substantially improve accelerator performance, increase operational efficiency and save money by reducing maintenance costs.
The first of 18 reconfigured cryomodules is scheduled for installation in 2003. The remaining 17 will be mounted as monies are made available. In order to double the accelerator's output from its current energy of 6 GeV, scientists and engineers must develop, install and commission more than 15 of the redesigned modules. Each upgraded unit will have a capacity of up to 80 megavolts, more than double the present levels.
"Roughly speaking, the cost per cryomodule remains the same," says Charles Reece, a JLab staff scientist in the accelerator division, "But we'll be getting more voltage per module, which translates into a higher energy beam for physics research."
John Fischer (I) and Joe Preble, Accelerator Division, preparing to test the new seven cell cavity prototype.
Improvements will include a new tuner control that is substantially more efficient than current controllers. Also planned is the elimination of the present ceramic "cold window," which, because it is physically close to the high-gradient cavity, is susceptible to electrostatic charging and periodic arcing. Due to be replaced by coaxial couplings are waveguide couplers, which extract power from cavity modes excited by the beam; their coaxial successors, while no more efficient, are less expensive to build and will be easier to modify for possible use in the planned FEL upgrade.
Better magnetic shielding is also being devised. Although existing shielding protects installed cryomodules against effects from the EarthMs magnetic fields, magnetized metal bars embedded within the accelerator tunnel concrete continue to affect the units. The upgrade will eliminate such problems.
"The redesign isn't wildly dramatic. No major research effort is required," Reece says. "But it is a chance to efficiently meet the needs of physics research. And it's exciting to be able to more fully exploit the capability of superconducting RF technology."
Cleaner is Better
An essential part of the upgrade will be improvements to the Lab's clean-room processing procedures, including the commissioning of two automated cabinets that will remove impurities from the cryomodules' constituent supercooled cavities. Reece estimates that cleaner components alone will translate into 60-percent-worth of expected performance increases. "Cryomodules are very stable," Reece explains. "Once it's clean and good it stays good. Not much happens at 2 Kelvin."
The remaining forty percent of performance improvements derive from the Lab's introduction of seven-cell niobium cavities, successors to the existing five-cell units. Future cryomodules will be assembled in groups of eight cavities as opposed to the previous system, which involved sequential assembly of four cavity pairs. The risk in the new assembly method, Reece points out, comes in a greater potential corruption of cavity surfaces, which ideally should remain free of any contaminant for optimal operation. More tightly controlled clean-room and vacuum procedures are essential as the upgraded design is introduced.
"Let's say you build a cryomodule with eight cavities. Seven of them are great and somebody sneezes at the wrong time near the eighth," Reece says. "You don't know it until all the assembly is done. That's what we have to avoid. Otherwise you have to open it up and put the seven good cavities at risk."
The cavities comprise the innermost components of the cryomodules' three-part system, which includes a cooling tank of liquid helium and a Thermos-bottle-like structure known as a cryostat. The cryostat provides insulation to allow the cells to remain cooled to two degrees Kelvin, nearly absolute zero.
Currently, 41 cryomodules are active in CEBAF. For JLab to achieve its goal of 12 GeV, planners will need to fully exploit the accelerator's total capacity of 50 eight-cavity modules in the linacs, plus several more in the injector region.
Reece credits the Accelerator Development Department staff for making the upgraded cryomodule possible. Jean Delayen, department head, leads the effort. Peter Kneisel is spearheading process improvements; Joe Preble coordinates the mechanical design and assembly sequence definition, while John Mammosser manages the technical facilities and DX Wang works on magnetic-shielding issues. Many other Lab staff are making vital contributions to the upgrade project.
A few years ago the Legal Department wrote an article to answer two often asked questions regarding intellectual property. Because of the many new employees at the Lab, and the many programs, projects and activities underway, we feel it's time to re-run those questions & answers and to respond to a new query.
Q. What do I have to do to find out if my idea is patentable?
A. The first step requires that an inventor make a prompt disclosure to Jefferson Lab's General Counsel - using the Invention Disclosure Form (you may get the form from the Legal Dept. ext. 7384 or make a copy from the example found in the Lab's Administration Manual, Exhibit 701-2). The disclosure form asks the inventor(s) to discuss the problem which the invention is designed to solve; referring to any similar devices, state the advantages of the invention; describe the invention and its operation and; finally to list the features of the invention that are novel. An accurately completed form usually has several attachments (including a drawing if necessary), is signed and dated by the inventor(s), and includes the signature of two witnesses who have read and understood the concept presented on the form. The process of disclosure at JLab has always been user-friendly in order to encourage disclosure of inventions.
Liquid light guides are one example of technology developed at Jefferson Lab with market potential
After this initial step by the inventor(s), the disclosure form undergoes processing. The Technology Review Committee (TRC) (Fred Dylla, Chair, ext. 7450) makes an initial decision to either pursue a patentability review of the invention, proceed straight to prosecuting a patent application, or to return the invention to the inventor. A patentability review could cost $1,200 to $1,500. If the patentability review is favorable, the Committee must decide whether to pursue a patent as prepared by outside counsel. Since fees for obtaining a patent range from $3,500 to $7,000, the TRC must decide not only which inventions hold the potential for obtaining a patent but also hold potential for successful commercialization. If the invention is returned to the owner, he/she may pursue a patent, use the technology for their own business venture or seek commercial partners for further development, all subject to the Government's rights.
Q. If I disclose my idea by publishing it in a trade magazine, journal, on the Internet or by making some other public disclosure (i.e. conference, seminar), will I lose my right to a future patent?
A. Possibly. Even though you have a 1-year grace period to apply for a U.S. patent after publication, most foreign countries will not allow for this 1-year grace period. Any public disclosure prior to filing a patent application will prevent you from obtaining a patent in such foreign countries. Even though SURA/Jefferson Lab has yet to file for a foreign patent, this aspect of protection may be very valuable with the prospect of licensing to private industry and acquiring international markets. Further, once publication has occurred the idea becomes open to the world, and claiming rights to the invention may become a matter of a race to the U.S. Office of Patent and Trademark. Protecting rights to inventions is an important part of SURA/Jefferson Lab's technology transfer program. However, our desire to protect an idea does not have to conflict with your desire to publish or the Lab's desire to develop cooperative research ventures. With the proper timing of an invention disclosure form, documentation, a patentability review, and obtaining confidentiality agreements, it may be possible to achieve everyone's goals.
Rhonda Scales, Jefferson Lab's patent counsel.
Q. Can employees use intellectual property developed here at the Lab for their own personal business ventures?
A. Maybe. Although an employee's request to use technology developed at the Lab can be a very complicated proposition - filled with conflict of interest issues and questions of impropriety - procedures are in place to facilitate such requests. In order to respond to these concerns, as well as to make sure the general public has a fair opportunity to obtain the technology, the Lab's Technology Review Committee puts such employee requests through a rigorous process to insure that the technology has been properly exploited and that private industry has a fair opportunity to compete for the same technology. Such requests may also require DOE approval. (See the Conflicts of Interest provision under the Patents & Copyright Section of the Admin. Manual.) Staff members who have properly disclosed their outside business activities to the Lab via an Outside Business Activities Request Form (see Admin. Manual Exhibit 208.03-1), may compete for a license or other form of technology transfer mechanism to obtain intellectual property developed on site - just as any other company would. Regardless of whether an employee-inventor is licensed under this process, he/she is eligible to share in any royalties resulting from the licensing process.
Q. How does the Lab protect drawings, designs and computer software?
A. These forms of intellectual property are usually protected by a copyright although they may also be protected under a patent or trademark if necessary. Technically, a copyright exists when a work is created. Registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is now optional. However, registration is usually highly recommended if the work is the subject of a license or has commercial viability. Additionally, since employees of the Lab work for a government owned and contractor operated facility, SURA must seek DOE's approval in order to perfect copyrights in works created by its employees.
Most of the drawings, diagrams and software developed at Jefferson Lab are not proprietary and do not have commercial value. Those works belong in the public domain and are accessible by the public for non-commercial purposes. (A release statement incorporating the "non-commercial" use of such works should accompany their publication and transfer.)
Intellectual Property Seminar
Mark your calendar and plan to attend "Protecting Our Intellectual Property" - the seminar will be held September 9 at 2 p.m. in the ARC Auditorium, and feature discussions on these and other IP issues.
By the end of August each Department of Energy lab (including Jefferson Lab) will conduct a mandatory employee awareness program on the role of security and individual employee responsibility at their lab, at the request of the Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson.
The defense-related labs, Argonne National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory underwent their "security stand-downs" on August 3. The rest of the DOE complex is expected to complete this requirement by Sept. 1, with the exclusion of Los Alamos National Lab, Sandia National Lab and Lawrence Livermore National National Lab, who conducted a two-day security stand-down in June and a classified computing stand-down in April.
At Jefferson Lab, a graded approach will take place starting August 19 with the core managers who will hear presentations about the Lab's overall security requirements, site security (including the new badging system to be installed later this fall), cyber-security, intellectual property and export controls.
After the August 19 briefing, the core managers will schedule meeting times to assemble their groups and convey the same information to the various work groups at the Lab. In addition, every presentation will be available on the Web starting August 19 at www.jlab.org/intralab/security. This briefing will become a part of each employee's training record to assure that the requirement is being met.
All JLab employees are asked to contact their supervisors if this security training has not been completed before the Sept. 1 deadline.
Need to make a quick office supplies or equipment purchase? Who ya gonna call? At Jefferson Lab it may well be Corporate Express; and you won't call them, you'll order directly from their web page.
In response to the purchase needs of Jefferson Lab staff, Corporate Express developed their E-Way Internet sales program last year, and are now vying to become an e-commerce leader in the business supplier market.
The company's sales for the 12 months leading up to April 1999 were almost $100 million - compared with sales totaling just $20 million for the 12-month period ending in April 1998. Corporate Express expects its E-Way Internet sales to be between $150 and $200 million for fiscal year 1999.
Chris Goodwin, Corporate Express Corporation, explains the products available on the web to attendees of the recent Business Services Fair.
Corporate Express, founded in 1986, has become a leading supplier of non-production goods and services to mid-sized and large companies around the world. It operates in 500 locations and employs 28,000 people in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Visit the company's Web page at www.CorporateExpress.com for more information about the company or making electronic purchases. Or, go directly to www.eway.com with your user ID and password to submit a purchase order. Its Web page features easy to understand instructions, clear graphics, and a user-friendly ordering system. Customers may browse the product catalog or search for specific items or materials, then easily submit individual or bulk orders.
Corporate Express carries a variety of office supplies, furniture and equipment, as well as computer hardware and software. It offers a line of products made with recycled-content materials and is an approved supplier for Jefferson Lab. As a vendor, Corporate Express participated in the Business Fair hosted by Business Services earlier this year.
The company boasts a new state-of-the-art distribution center just across the North Carolina border, which serves this region. Corporate Express prides itself on its 99 percent next-day order delivery rate.
Account Manager Chris Goodwin said that moving into the electronic age more than tripled local sales. "We're reaching a much larger customer base through our E-Way sales," he explained. "We analyzed our purchase order process - our costs were high. By developing an efficient, electronic purchase order system, we were able to drop the cost of processing each purchase order by $130. That cost was borne by the customer. So, developing E-Way has been a win-win situation. It saves our customers money and it saves us money."
According to Mitch Laney, JLab subcontracting officer, Corporate Express' first year sales at the Lab amounted to 1,390 calls with more than 5,500 items processed, and he anticipates the volume for this year to be nearly double last year's totals. He credits the joint effort and hard work between the Accelerator Division and Business Services for making the business transactions between the Lab and the company work so well.
Goodwin applaudes Bill Brisiel, JLab Stockroom manager, for encouraging the development of electronic ordering at the Lab. "It [electronic ordering] helps people save time and money," Goodwin said. "A purchase order process that used to take four phone calls and two faxes, is now taken care of with one visit to the E-way Web page." Electronic purchasing helps the customer find products faster and makes placing orders faster. It allows managers to maintain purchasing control, gain instant access to purchasing data via the Internet, and protects purchasing data. E-Way is integrated with the Lab's purchasing system and allows managers to instantly.
For more information, call Corporate Express customer service at 1-888-430-2737 or call Goodwin directly at (757)858-7010.
The Physics Detector Group has also just won a grant to fund development of a positron emission mammography (PEM) system to aid in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. This $200,000 one-year grant, won in collaboration with Duke University Medical Center, will fund the construction of the dedicated PEM system which will then be used to investigate Positron Emission Tomography (PET) technology explicitly for breast cancer diagnosis. The imager will provide improved imaging over present PET techniques and at a lower cost. It will also permit a comparison or co-registration as it is called, with regular x-ray mammography images, also improving the diagnostic capabilities of researchers in the field. All testing of the device will be conducted at Dike University Medical Center.
The Red Cross blood drive held at the Lab on July 29 was a huge success, according to Cheryl Batten, Medical Services coordinator. The blood drive netted 81 units - significantly surpassing the Lab's goal of 50 units.
Batten attributed the increased participation to the great work done by blood drive co-coordinators Rick Gonzales and Christine Hummel, and to a more centralized location for the blood drive. "Rick and Christine did a great job getting the word out about the blood drive to staff across the accelerator site. They were great at recruiting donors," Batten said, "and the centralized location at CEBAF Center made donating very convenient." The blood drive boasted nine first-time donors. The Red Cross presented T-shirts to first-time donors and to door prize winners.
The heavy turnout only had one drawback. "The number of people responding to the blood drive overwhelmed the Red Cross staff. Many people didn't register or make an appointment prior to the event," Batten explained, "so the Red Cross brought a small staff anticipating a turnout similar to the February blood drive (44 units). A few people who had made appointments wound up waiting because the donation chairs were full. I want to thank our donors for being patient when things got a little slow."
To avoid this inconvenience during future blood drives, Batten encourages everyone planning to give to call her and sign up - even if you can't commit to a specific time. The next blood drive scheduled for the first week in December.
There were questions about quarterly blood drives, and Batten said that is something that could be looked into, "however, we'll see if we can maintain our current level of participation [biannually] before looking into quarterly blood drives."
The Red Cross was also signing people up for apheresis during this blood drive. Fifty people have signed up for the process, whereby the Red Cross takes a donors platelets, which are used as part of cancer treatments. Human Resources is working a policy so Lab staff will be able to donate platelets during work hours. Apheresis takes about 90 minutes and involves going to Virginia Beach for the process.
Anyone interested in more information about blood drives or apheresis may call Batten at ext. 6269.
Charlie Sinclair, Accelerator Division and Lab Director Hermann Grunder explain the new polarized injector to Dr. Ernie Moniz, Undersecretary of Energy during a tour of Jefferson Lab, conducted for the Laboratory Operations Board meeting held July 14-15. This was Dr. Moniz's first trip to the Lab since his appointment as Undersecretary of Energy.
The Lab Operations Board provides advice to DOE regarding the strategic direction for the DOE complex, coordination of budget and policy issues affecting laboratory operations and effective management of the DOE labs. The Board facilitates productive and cost effective use of the DOE laboratory system.
Editor's note: If you have or know of a website that could be informative or useful to Jefferson Lab staff, call the public affairs office at ext. 7689 or e-mail Linda Ware (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Check out "Energy Science News", the official newsletter of the Department of Energy's Office of Science. It provides information for researchers, engineers, and the science-minded public about progress in research funded by the DOE. Articles and news briefs cover a range of scientific disciplines, from groundbreaking research to award-winning technologies. The latest issue features "Plants with Backbone," "Laboratory Plasmas Shed Light on the Sun," "Eureka! California Discovers Plutonium...Again!," and "The Nauru99 Triangle." News briefs include topics on the traveling Gammasphere and research in using noble gas isotopes to track oil resources. With a click you can even electronically subscribe to the newsletter located at http://www.pnl.gov/energyscience/.