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[Sandia Lab News]

Vol. 55, Special Issue        February 2003
[Sandia National Laboratories]

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-0165    ||   Livermore, California 94550-0969
Tonopah, Nevada; Nevada Test Site; Amarillo, Texas

Back to Lab News Sandia Labs Accomplishments 2003 index

Laboratories support, facilities, and human resources

Sandia had another banner hiring year with more than 1,400 new regular and temporary employees joining the Labs. Approximately one-third of those were hired into the Student Internship Program (SIP). Sandia/NM had a 91.2 percent acceptance rate with 575 new hires. Sandia/CA had a 81.5 percent acceptance rate with 75 new hires, reflecting the tougher California market. As part of Sandia's goal to leverage the student internship program as a pathway for identifying future Labs talent, 84 of the new regular hires are former SIP interns. Susan Harty, slharty@sandia.gov

HR Information Systems made a number of customer-focused enhancements during FY02 that include changes to the Pension Calculation tool to reflect the provisions of the new plan, enhanced "Graphalyzer" functionality to support Lab Workforce Planning, a Mission Critical Designator system to facilitate base access during times of high security, and a major upgrade to PeopleSoft that is Web-enabled and supports the integrated view to "My Benefits/My Rewards," allowing employees access to their customized suite of "total rewards." (3500, 3300, 9500) Ed Saucier, saucier@sandia.gov

Three highly successful negotiations with Sandia's labor organizations (Security Police Association - SPA; Metal Trades Council - MTC; and the Office and Professional Employees International Union - OPEIU) were completed this past year. Highlights included: Revised work schedules with substantial cost savings -- SPA; The resolution of major Trades Plan issues and introduction of a modified skills-based pay pilot for Neutron Generator Production -- MTC; Establishment of a pilot program to reward classified document station custodians for handling high volumes of documents and the introduction of two new orientation/training programs for Tier employees -- OPEIU. (3500) Julian Sanchez, jpsanchez@sandia.gov

The long-awaited pension plan changes were announced to employees upon approval from DOE and NNSA in a letter from Paul Robinson on Feb. 13, 2002. The change adjusted the pension formula for non-represented employees who retired after 12/18/2000. A 15 percent ad-hoc increase for employees who retired before 12/19/2000 was also approved. Comparable changes were made in the Pension Security Plan for retirees and represented employees. The approved package included changes to retiree and survivor health care plans that became effective Jan. 1, 2003. (10300, 3300) Rebecca Statler, beckymc@sandia.gov

Sandia's Occupational Health Program formalized a disease management strategy to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Multidisciplinary teams of health professionals provide comprehensive interventions that coordinate onsite and offsite health resources, making the best standard of patient care accessible at the workplace. As demonstrated by the success of Sandia's Diabetes Clinic pilot program, many complications of disease can be prevented with an integrative approach that combines health education, diet, exercise, and new pharmacological practices. Gigi McKenzie, gmcken@sandia.gov

Continuing changes in the travel industry and an increasing number of Sandia new hires highlighted the need for a single location for travel information and guidance. The Integrated Sandia Travel Page on Sandia's internal website has taken information from more than a dozen departments and consolidated it into one travel homepage for travelers. Information can be found for anything from airlines to rental cars to foreign travel requirements. There are two step-by-step walkthroughs, one for standard travel and one for foreign travel to guide new or infrequent travelers through the travel process. (10500, 5300, 10200, 3100) Bonnie Apodaca, blapoda@sandia.gov

Following a kaizen (continuous improvement) event, Sandia's internal Foreign Travel Request System streamlined and improved our Foreign Travel process by decreasing the number of required approvers from more than 10 to just two approvals per request. In addition, a new process was developed to collect Actual Cost Data (ACD) from a traveler's expense voucher. This improved Lab productivity and decreased the hassle for travelers by eliminating unnecessary administrative requirements. Since travelers are already required to submit expense vouchers, they no longer have to submit ACD data separately. (3100, 9500) Samantha Flores, sflores@sandia.gov

The Security Oversight and Requirements Review Team has achieved great success with its Security Topics website. This series of timely security-related topics regularly includes cross-cutting issues (e.g., ES&H) and cites requirements, lessons learned, Porcelain Press articles, self-assessment questions, etc. Relevant information is presented in a variety of ways, including videos, puzzles, and other fun ways to learn about serious matters. The first topic, "Vouching," was viewed by more than 2,000 people. Feedback indicates that this is an effective method of communicating issues. Security Topics website: http://security/security_topics.htm (3100) Adele Montoya, amontoya@sandia.gov;

The new Financial Reporting System (FRS), developed in partnership with our customers, deals with the issues of report fragmentation, speed of access, and data incompleteness. The new FRS has a user-friendly Web interface (titled Reportville). Financial reports for projects, programs, SBUs, and organizations are being automatically generated every weekend, and are available Monday morning. These reports include summary-level information down to detail-level information -- everything a manager needs to manage financial aspects of their projects. Try out the new site by typing Reportville in your Web browser. (9500, 10500)

The Quality-Significant Procurement Program was designed for all purchases determined critical because of potential consequences if they fail (harm to people, property, or the environment). This Quality Assurance Procurement Program is based on a system of logical graded approaches in accordance with the risk faced when considering what is being purchased, and how and where it will be used. On-line job aids and instructor-led training are available. We once benchmarked other DOE sites; we are now looked at as the DOE benchmark in this area. (10200) Lynne Adams, ladams@sandia.gov

Shopping for common use items has become easier for both Sandia and its Just-in-Time suppliers. Sandia has implemented iProcurement and the iSupplier portal. Oracle's iProcurement is self-service requisitioning software with an intuitive, Web shopping interface. It is a key component of the complete Internet-based procure-to-pay solution that helps your employees process requisitions, purchase orders, RFQs, quotations, and receipts quickly and efficiently. The iSupplier portal gives suppliers complete visibility into the procure-to-pay process. Suppliers can perform common business functions, including reviewing purchase agreements and verifying receipts. Both are saving time and money. Gary Concannon, concan@sandia.gov

A partnership of the Computer Support Units (CSUs), the Procurement organization, and DOE led to successful implementation of a new contract for staffing CSUs. The key to success was the proactive, value-adding approach taken by all the partners in planning, creating, and reviewing this complex, time-critical, innovative contract. The transition from the previous contract, involving addition of a new company and rearrangement of several CSUs, was accomplished with minimal if any perturbation of customer service. (9600, 10200, DOE) Charles Shirley, cshirle@sandia.gov

In partnership with our customers and stakeholders, the ISO 9000 Program led an effort to support them in the area of ISO 9001:2000 training and Business Management System (BMS) development/ implementation. By using the ISO 9000 standards and process-based model our customers were able to integrate all of their customer requirements into one BMS. This helped our customers to better understand, use, and measure their business processes, objectives, measures, targets, and customer satisfaction to improve how they fulfill customer requirements, develop and deliver their products and services, and enhance supplier chain management. (12100) Phil Rivera, fariver@sandia.gov

We developed a Sandia assurance model to help beneficially change the governance relationship between Sandia and NNSA. At the core of assurance is self-assessment, augmented by independent assessment, Web-based insight into laboratory performance, oversight by Sandia management, and periodic reports to the Board of Directors. (12100)

The Model Validation and System Certification Test Center (MVSCTC) project upgraded the communications infrastructure in Technical Area 3 and remodeled an 18,600-square-foot building housing office space, light laboratories, command/control centers, data management, computing, 3-D visualization, video editing, dark room, and video conferencing capabilities. The project, the first in a series of efforts to revitalize Sandia's full-scale environmental test operations, significantly expanded Sandia's programmatic testing capabilities. MVSCTC was the first line item to use a design/build contracting methodology and was completed on time within budget. (9100, 9300, 10200, 10800, and 12300) Lynne Schluter, lhschlu@sandia.gov

Institutional General Plant Projects (IGPPs) have become an invaluable tool for providing critically needed office space. Sandia has used indirect funds to complete two new IGPP buildings in the last year. Thanks to a design/build contracting strategy, the first building was designed, built, and occupied in less than eight months and the second in six months. The teaming of Facilities, the contractor, and other Integrated Enabling Service (IES) providers such as procurement, security, and communications was critical in completing these projects in record time. (3100, 9300, 10200, and 10800) Lynne Schluter, lhschlu@sandia.gov

Sandia/California completed its first design/build (for more on design/build, see entries immediately above) construction project on site, Bldg. 960. Design/build allows Facilities Management to complete projects faster and for less money than the traditional design-bid-build approach. A preliminary design based upon a pre-engineered building was provided to design/build contractors for bidding. The successful contractor clarified the requirements, provided a price, and began work before design was completed. The final product was an attractive, energy-efficient, competitively priced building that can stand as a model for other sites within DOE. Howard Royer, hjroyer@sandia.gov

Space and Real Estate Management Dept. 10854 is developing innovative ways to meet Sandia's growing space needs. Aside from traditional leasing options, the department considered having the General Services Administration (GSA), the US Postal Service, Community Reuse Organization, or a private developer construct a building for Sandia to lease. In August, Sandia occupied the first building, the International Programs Building, a 65,000-square-foot, build-to-suit lease, privately owned facility housing 160 people in Research Park. Sandia has committed to leasing this building for the next ten years. (10800) Whitney Wolf, wdwolf@sandia.gov

The Facilities Maintenance Program has accelerated process improvements on several fronts to reduce backlog, minimize response time, and increase preventive maintenance work, while still responding to the usual annual volume (20,000-plus) of service requests. Enhancements in the site-wide deployment of the Custodial team cleaning process and the elimination of the Fleet Services vehicle requests backlog have increased customer productivity. The recently launched Web-based "Facilities e-Services," which allows customers to initiate requests and track the status of ongoing work, exemplifies additional progress to improve customer satisfaction. (10800) Joe Martinez, jemarti@sandia.gov

The Decontamination and Demolition (D&D) Program spent $6.1 million to remove most of the buildings in Sandia's old Technical Area 2, freeing acres of valuable real estate for future development. The D&D effort is removing unusable or substandard space at all Sandia sites. Sandia is "banking" over 90,000 square feet this year to offset the recent DOE requirement to remove one square foot of substandard space for each square foot of new space constructed. Without this effort, Sandia cannot build new facilities needed for mission-critical capabilities. (10800, 9700) Ed Tooley, estoole@sandia.gov

During FY02, Sandians submitted 344 Technical Advances disclosing inventions. A total of 215 patents were filed during FY02 for Sandia inventors, and a record 130 patents were issued. DOE approved 70 requests for permission to assert copyright in FY02, up from 49 in FY01. Of the 70 copyright assertions, all but six were for computer software. During FY02, Sandia registered five trademarks. (11500) Fred A. Lewis, falewis@sandia.gov

Sandia is building a strong patent portfolio in the emerging technology of photonically engineered structures. These materials have many potential applications, including in optical telecommunications, energy conversion, information displays, and lighting. To date, 15 patent applications have been filed related to photonic crystals, including five new patent applications filed and three new patents issued during the past year. (11500, line orgs.) Kevin Bieg, kwbieg@sandia.gov

Sandia has, for the first time, secured approval from DOE to file a lawsuit in defense of Sandia patents. The lawsuit, which concerns part of the suite of patents on Sandia's Explosive Detection Portal technology, marks a significant development in government recognition of the value of Labs-licensed intellectual property. DOE considers the Sandia example to be a valuable one for the agency and other labs to learn from and model in appropriate circumstances of intellectual property infringement. (11500) Russell Elliott, rusty@sandia.gov

The Legal organization successfully supported Sandia's responses to DOE's request for new/model contract concepts and ideas. This submission was widely recognized by DOE as the best in class of all those coming from M&O contractors. Lawrence Greher, lsgrehe@sandia.gov

Sandia's Export Control Council, an informal group of Sandians with export control responsibilities, meets monthly to discuss and recommend solutions to export control issues and problems. Thanks to the efforts of the Council and the Sandia exporting population, Sandia had no export control incidents in FY02. (1300, 3100, 5300, 5900, 8500, 9300, 10200, 11500) George H. Libman 844-7644 Org. 11500 ghlibma@sandia.gov

State-of-the-art lab equipment is expensive. A mass spectrometer, for example, was recently quoted at nearly $500,000. This was more than an emerging biotech program could absorb all at once, so a lease was proposed to spread out payments. The buyer's guidelines indicated, however, that sales taxes would require $40,000 more; a lot of money for this program. After research, it was established the transaction would actually be tax-free in California. A revision to the guideline was prepared. (8500, 11200, 11600) Kurt Olsen, kcolsen@sandia.gov

Sandia successfully defended a lawsuit brought by two former employees of a contractor. Sandia had directed the removal of the people from the jobsite and terminated their access because of safety incidents. Sandia defended the suit in order to support several vital principles regarding safety, liability, and contract authority. Judgment was in Sandia's favor without trial. (10200, 10800, 11200) Charles Pechewlys, cpechew@sandia.gov

Last modified: February 28 , 2002

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