Monday, July 25, 2005

The Sisterhood: Sandia from Z Division to Z Machine

ROGER SNODGRASS, roger@lamonitor.com, Monitor Assistant Editor

This is the first of an occasional series of articles on Los Alamos National Laboratory's sister labs in the nuclear weapons complex.

ALBUQUERQUE - A visitor from Los Alamos looking for comparisons between Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory might not be entirely surprised by what has become of the Manhattan Project's old Z Division, now SNL, six decades later.

Sandia's Albuquerque facility is located inside Kirtland Air Force Base on the southeastern edge of the city on a dusty 12-square-mile expanse of desert with plenty of room to expand, unlike Los Alamos' 43-square miles cramped on strips of mesa tops and straddling deep ravines.

Hulks of new buildings are sprouting up in bunches these days in both locations, although those at Sandia tend to be lower to the ground.

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Comments:
I will say that after 2 months at Sandia, I can agree with several of the comments. When eating in the cafeteria at Sandia, I see what at LANL would be Techs and TSM's sitting at the same tables and talking.. versus the 2 sides of the cafeteria you see at LANL. I will definately not say it is perfect here, but its culture does allow for the 'commoner' to talk to the king and vice versa. This seems to get things done faster and on a smaller budget..

And let me tell you, things are definately close to the bone here at SNL. The offices get garbage pick up once a week, and the salvage group (reapp) usually has a turn-around of 24 hours on a computer as groups seem to get better kudos out of using that than spending other dollars.
 
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