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Friday, August 11, 2017

Top award winners

Latest press release from OS on top award winners nationwide


Yet more evidence that the quality of science at LANL is not judged to be top shelf.


https://science.energy.gov/~/media/early-career/pdf/FY17_DOE_SC_Early_Career_Research_Program_Selectee_List.pdf

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think LANL gets money from OS, or devotes any resources to their scope, so why do you think anyone from LANL would be on the list? No one from LLNL is on the list either, though interestingly there is one from the "engineering lab", Sandia.

Anonymous said...


There is an LLNL person on the list. In the past LANL would win a few every year now but not anymore.

Anonymous said...

4:08 PM is spot on, and LANL takes a lot of OS money.

Anonymous said...

LANL takes a lot of OS money.

August 11, 2017 at 5:32 PM

How much, and what percentage of the annual LANL budget? Prove you know what you're talking about. My guess: almost zero OS funding, except from other Labs for LANL collaborators.


Anonymous said...

According to the DOE, in FY '16, LANL got 74 million from the Office of Science. That compares with $850 million to ORNL and well over a half-billion to Beserkly.

LANL got less than one tenth of what Choke Ridge got. That isn't "a lot" in any sane person's book.

Seems like the anti-LANL troll (5:32 PM) was trying to mislead once again. He assumes that since he won't spend 2 minutes looking up facts that no one else will either.

Bad assumption, nutcase.

Anonymous said...

To most PIs, and to all Americans, $74,000,000.00 certainly qualifies as 'a lot' of money. Since these are single PI awards, that may be what August 11, 2017 at 5:32 PM was referring to.


Here is a view from a former LANL post-doc that had to decide between competing offers to convert to full-time staff or accept an Assistant Professor offer at a university. This was a few years ago and one of the factors was how candidates position themselves to be competitive for national level awards. Study the rules for the Early Career award and see that any institution that has any OS funds can then have applicants. The program was only open to university faculty until about eight years ago, when the national labs lobbied very hard to become included. While national lab applicants get $500,000.00 per year for five years, university faculty are limited to $150,000.00 per year.

Even though the exact success rate fluctuates annually, it has hovered around 8 - 10% for academic and 20 - 25% for national lab applicants in most years. A quick look at previous years indicates that LANL has almost always had at least one winner, and more than one in some years. Have been told that the unofficial policy of OS for most years since the national labs were allowed to compete with academics for the funds was that each lab had one slot reserved in each cycle for the best proposal from that location.

It is most surprising to see not a single LANL winner on the list this year, considering the large splash press releases from there in prior years to highlight winners. Taken in isolation, it may not mean much, but combined with other trends perhaps it adds credence to the notion that the scientific quality of LANL staff is no longer judged to be competitive on a national level.

Anonymous said...

According to the DOE, in FY '16, LANL got 74 million from the Office of Science. That compares with $850 million to ORNL and well over a half-billion to Beserkly.

LANL got less than one tenth of what Choke Ridge got. That isn't "a lot" in any sane person's book.

Seems like the anti-LANL troll (5:32 PM) was trying to mislead once again. He assumes that since he won't spend 2 minutes looking up facts that no one else will either.

Bad assumption, nutcase.

August 11, 2017 at 7:55 PM



Does it make you feel more important to use derogatory comments to strengthen a fatally flawed argument?

Why do you degrade others by referring to them as from Beserkly or from Choke Ridge?

Where did you come up with the metric that 74M$ is not a lot in any sane person's book?

Where is any evidence to support your claim of mislead?

What insight do you have to claim that the poster is a male?



Based on your statements, it might be more appropriate to conclude that you are perhaps blinded to facts that do not support your own preconceived narrative.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think LANL gets money from OS, or devotes any resources to their scope, so why do you think anyone from LANL would be on the list? No one from LLNL is on the list either, though interestingly there is one from the "engineering lab", Sandia.

August 11, 2017 at 3:32 PM



1. Wrong. LANL does in fact get OS money.
2. Wrong. LANL has historically had successful proposals in this yearly competition.
3. Wrong. Here is this year's list, including LLNL.

LBNL – 5
ORNL – 4
BNL – 3
SLAC – 3
ANL – 2
SNL-NM
LLNL
PNNL
FNAL

Looks like you didn't consider thinking before posting.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you didn't consider thinking before posting.


August 12, 2017 at 7:33 AM

You are simply posting your opinion but claiming these are facts. Typical of arrogant scientists who think everything they say are facts. This is the problem with LANL and why it should be shut down.

Anonymous said...

Choke Ridge got 11 times more money than LANL so, proportional to funding, LANL wouldn't be expected to win any awards, would it?

Beserkly got 6 times more money, right? So, proportional to funding, LANL should be expected to win less than one award.

The same is true for all of the other large labs, they all got much more OS funding than LANL.

So much for the mindless hatred of LANL as there is NO basis to fault LANL here. NONE whatsoever.

Only a nutcase can't understand this.



Anonymous said...

Science at LANL is wonderful and of the highest possible quality in the world. You should not question this, since it has been led recently by such giants of the field as Wallace, Bishop, Sarrao, Sauer, Hockaday and Preidhorsky.

Anonymous said...

8:21 AM somehow still doesn't understand that this is a single-PI proposal competition, and LANL fell short. They appear to have some favorable bias toward the old Soviet style of proportional distribution of resources, not based on a competitive review of the quality of the proposal.


Consider that many of the university award winners come from locations that are not at the very top of the overall funding lists.

Auburn University
Boston University
Carnegie Mellon University
Colorado School of Mines – two winners
Cornell University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Louisiana State University and A&M College
Michigan State University
Mississippi State University
North Carolina State University
Old Dominion University
Princeton University
Purdue University
SUNY Stony Brook University – three winners
The City College of New York
The College of William and Mary
The Ohio State University—two winners
The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
University of California, Berkeley – two winners
University of Colorado, Boulder
University Of Delaware
University of Illinois – two winners
University of Kentucky
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota – two winners
University of Notre Dame
University of Rochester
University of Tennessee, Knoxville – two winners
Washington State University


Anonymous said...

August 11, 2017 at 3:32 PM
August 11, 2017 at 6:28 PM
August 11, 2017 at 7:55 PM
August 12, 2017 at 8:21 AM


Touch a nerve of the UC-led LANL science, eh?

Anonymous said...

It is correct to point out that LANL owes its present, sad state of science to Wallace, Bishop, Sarrao, Sauer, Hockaday and Priedhorsky. While we are at it, let us also recall that all these people predate LANS LLC. Here is just one article showing how "concerned" Bill Priedhosky was about the last contract change:

https://www.wired.com/2003/05/troubled-nuke-lab-up-for-grabs/

Of course, his real concern at the time was to not lose his cushy position. We of course know that Bill's fears were allayed. Not only did he manage to stay on, but he succeeded in putting himself in charge of the LDRD program. His actions there over the last ten years are directly responsible for the hollowing out of the basic research at LANL and ZERO early career awards this year.

The same applies to the other names on the list. In fact, "Every single LANL manager that traveled to Bechtel HQ in San Francisco to help write the winning LANS bid has been extremely well rewarded since LANS took over the LANL contract." http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-future-of-lanl-after-lans-contract.html

The pertinent question now is: which headquarters are these people traveling to right now? And how many of them will continue running the science here -- into the ground! -- under the new contractor? Remember these guys are extremely resourceful, don't sell them short.

Anonymous said...

The same applies to the other names on the list. In fact, "Every single LANL manager that traveled to Bechtel HQ in San Francisco to help write the winning LANS bid has been extremely well rewarded since LANS took over the LANL contract." http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-future-of-lanl-after-lans-contract.html

And this is exactly how Bechtel took over, they said you will be richly rewarded but you must do our bidding and your loyalty is absolute.

Anonymous said...

"Absolute loyalty" to Bechtel?

LAUGHABLE, made-up nonsense.

Did you forget that the first two Bechtel Deputy Directors were REMOVED by UC and the UC Lab Director?

Scooby, BAN THIS LIAR. He is making a mockery of your blog.

Anonymous said...

"Every single LANL manager that traveled to Bechtel HQ in San Francisco to help write the winning LANS bid has been extremely well rewarded since LANS took over the LANL contract."

August 12, 2017 at 1:37 PM

Not true. I was one of those who voluntarily lent my expertise to the contract bid by LANS. I did my work in SF and left when it was done. I continued in my position at LANL with my previous salary after the transition, with nothing but a sincere thanks from my (new) managers, and I asked for nothing else. I'd have done the same for the other side if they'd asked, just part of making sure the job was done right.

Anonymous said...

Not true. I was one of those who voluntarily lent my expertise to the contract bid by LANS. I did my work in SF and left when it was done. I continued in my position at LANL with my previous salary after the transition, with nothing but a sincere thanks from my (new) managers, and I asked for nothing else. I'd have done the same for the other side if they'd asked, just part of making sure the job was done right.

August 12, 2017 at 7:07 PM

This sounds like total and I mean total BS, since I also know number of people of people who where involved in the contract writing and every single one of them
was richly rewarded and than they even went around and bragged very openly about this. The big give away that you are just lying is this little tidbit "just part of making sure the job was done right"...ya sure. Come on do you really thing you can come on this blog and just out and out lie like this and not get expect called out.

Anonymous said...


August 12, 2017 at 7:07 PM

By the way someone from a previous post gave a list of names of folks all of which where part of the contract writing, can you deny that these people where not promoted? Perhaps you did not provide the proper expertise they had hoped for or perhaps you did get rewarded by keeping the position you had. Just something to think about. By the way a number of group leaders who also provided input where latter promoted well beyond their capabilities by the initial wave of people who got moved up. This created cascade of crap in which the yes man and toadies where rewarded after the Dons and Capos got their booty.

Anonymous said...

August 12, 2017 at 7:07 PM doesn't feel compelled to defend the truth.

Anonymous said...

"Absolute loyalty" to Bechtel?

LAUGHABLE, made-up nonsense.

Did you forget that the first two Bechtel Deputy Directors were REMOVED by UC and the UC Lab Director?

August 12, 2017 at 6:37 PM



One early Deputy Director was displaced by Anastasio, with the support of UC. He was a career Bechtel man, and part of the original bid team.

Contrast that with Sellers, who received a debarment from federal contracting for ethics violations. She was protected by McMillan, with the support of UC, for years after her actions were exposed. She did not work for Bechtel when she was personally recruited to her position by McMillan.


UC backed up both decisions, and the difference was in the leadership quality of the Directors.

Anonymous said...

"She did not work for Bechtel when she was personally recruited to her position by McMillan."


She went to work for Bechtel after she left LANL.

Anonymous said...

8:45, she did not. She quickly transitioned to retirement.

Anonymous said...

8:47, after a year, but I guess in government that is pretty quick.

Anonymous said...

She did work for Bechtel after LANL it is on her Linkedin page.


https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-beth-sellers-35517221

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter how you try to package it, UC has led the decay of LANL science. They made this mess of a bed, now they must sleep in it.

Anonymous said...

In February of 2014, LANL issued a statement saying that the contract with Beth Sellers' husband (unnamed in the announcement) was in violation of internal Lab Policies. The Lab announced that they terminated his contract, and they announced that LANL paid the Federal Government back. This was forced by an Inspector General Report.

FOLLOWING this public announcement, on March 7, 2014, Sellers voluntarily resigned.

That's the way a high-level employee gets fired.

If McMillan wanted to keep Sellers, he would not have approved the lab's public message which implicated Sellers(unnamed at the time) in these illegal activities. He certainly dragged both feet for several months, but he indeed did take the final action that forced her to resign.

McMillan certainly did not proclaim absolute loyalty to Bechtel.

Anonymous said...

Sellers has squat to do with Bechtel and all to do with McMillan's blind support for her after it was clear she had violated federal laws. 5:31 claims that this went on for only several months, but those that know the real story are aware that it was closer to two years.

Anonymous said...

Sellers. Isn't she the one who had the Lab pay for her and her husband's Santa Fe Opera tickets, including meals, per diem, and hotel (Eldorado)? All under the auspices of a recruiting interview for her husband? Another LANS FUBAR.

Anonymous said...

Bechtel, for all of its worldly experience, got taken when they didn't object to UC putting Charlie in charge. They might not have been able to stop the train wreck, but at least they should have invested in attempting to force UC into selecting a more qualified person.

Anonymous said...

Newcomers to the blog might find this entire thread educational about how much difficulty UC had in getting DOE to accept McMillan as LANL Director.

Looks like Dr. Chu knew what he was talking about when he informed UC to go find someone better.


https://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.fr/2011/06/chu-white-house-expected-to-play-larger.html

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the majority of LANL employees do not get to do science.

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