Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Doug Beason, new ADTR

From Anonymous:

Here's a status update from Doug Beason, new ADTR.
I caught his all hands meeting on LabNet and I was positively impressed. He's trying to be a Theory Y manager working under a a hard-core Theory X boss, so I don't think he'll last too long. He alluded to that in his talk, when he explained that he maintains his residence in Albuquerque and, as a retired military officer, he doesn't really need the money from the LANL job. I got the impression he was doing it for the challenge and perhaps out of a sense of duty. We could use more like him.
For further insight, check out "The toxic handler" at
You can also Google for Theory X, Theory Y. While somewhat passé, it provides some insight into management behaviors.
The mention of the NASA RTG's for the Pluto mission is telling - LANL is the only place in the country where you can build them, and with Nanos' shutdown, it jeopardized the entire NASA mission because there was the possibility that they wouldn't make the launch window. Looks like some people worked really hard to pull this one off. We thank you, even if Nanos doesn't care.

From: "J. Douglas Beason" <>
Colleagues -
I've just finished my second week in my new job as associate director, and I am still on an emotional high. I've only just begun to see the vast capability that exists across TR, and I continue to be impressed with the competence and professionalism of everyone I meet. I want to thank you for your support, and I sincerely appreciate the work everyone is doing.
I will try to communicate with you at least every few weeks by e-mail, and in addition to my walk-arounds, I want to make myself available via brownbag lunches, as well as group and division meetings. We'll set up a schedule for my visits, but please feel free to work with your line management if you'd like me to speak to you sooner. We have 1,200 people in TR, and I want to make myself as available as I can.
As far as what's been going on in TR, this past Friday, TA-18 came up for Level 3 work! This is great news, and everyone should be proud of this accomplishment. As an example of what this does, this frees up the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) work, which is the first of the many programmatic items that had been backed up. If Naval Reactors says "go," we can do some important characterization and criticality work for JIMO. . . as long as it doesn't affect Early Move, which is the 800-lb gorilla driving TA-18's work and schedule.
The TA-18 resumption also allows us to conduct the first of a series of IAEA safeguards training schools. Many people are working hard to get it in place and congratulations to all involved.
Some additional news is that Randy Erickson's program folks have delivered the Radioisotope Thermal Generators to NASA for the Pluto mission. Because of the stand down, they delivered not as many as originally hoped for, but enough to get the launch underway on time. NASA will have to ramp down a little on power usage over the life of the mission, but it's better than the alternative, which would have delayed the mission to a later launch window, 200 YEARS from now.
Although I've only been on-board the TR office for 2 weeks now, I've been called to the University of California for most of next week to learn about the contract proposal. The week after, I will be in Washington, DC to introduce myself to some of our major customers, and after I present a paper at a conference (which I had promised to do last fall), I'll be back at Los Alamos. I've asked Cliff Giles and Paul Weber to cover for me while I'm gone, and I'll be participating in meetings via conference calling when possible.
Again, I'm excited for the opportunity to work with all of you. In my first TR "All-Hands" meeting two weeks ago, I promised I'd concentrate on people first, and balance this with ensuring our programmatic deliverables and increasing our science. As a result, in the next few weeks I'll be championing activities ranging from the alternate work-week study being conducted in ISR to other "people programs" of which I'll be looking for your feedback.
Finally, in the spirit of Jefferson Airplane's charge to "feed your head," I'll be ending these missives with what I've been reading and listening to … so you'll know where I'm coming from if I ever start rambling:
Book of the week: "Whiteout," by Ken Follett (a biothreat thriller)
Album of the week: "Toto: Past to Present," by Toto
Quote of the week: "What we do in life echoes through eternity." from Gladiator
Best regards - Doug

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