8th Annual DOE LSO Workshop – Recap
− Thank you to the following CLSOs for their contributions to this recap: Surendra Dua, Jamie King and Barb O’Kane. We would like to send special thanks out to workshop host/coordinator Mike Woods and his onsite team for the excellently planned and executed workshop!
L – Lots of
S – Sensational
O – Opportunities to
W – Witness
O – Orations on
R – Recent,
K – Keen,
S – Scientific
H – Honing
O – of Laser Safety
P – Practices
These workshops get better every year and I truly enjoyed the 8th Annual DOE LSO Workshop at SLAC this past September. The 2.5 days provided fabulous opportunities to hear about and see firsthand recent advances in laser safety. I learned about the history of SLAC, and how the facility uses and controls hazards associated with lasers. The walking tour of the Linac Coherent Light Source was awesome! I saw the experimental set ups and spoke directly with the researchers. I took advantage of coffee breaks and social events to visit with old friends and make new ones. These workshops provide me with an inexpensive professional development opportunity and allow me to earn certification maintenance points for my professional credentials. Mike Woods and his workshop committee deserve acknowledgement for pulling together such a polished and value-added workshop in such a lovely setting. – Barb O’Kane
There were interesting presentations on fiber lasers, attosecond laser systems, free electron lasers, laser alignment, interlocks and controls, laser pointer characterization, review of recent accidents, ANZI 136.1 update and a new laser document ANSI 136.8, laser training. I attended technical sessions, and visited laser facilities (SLAC, NIF), as well as exhibits from various vendors (at the vendor reception).
Tour of SLAC – The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) produces ultrafast pulses of X-ray lasers millions of times brighter than even the most powerful synchrotron sources—pulses powerful enough to make images of single molecules. This unique laser also works much like a high-speed camera, enabling scientists to take stop-motion pictures of atoms and molecules in motion, shedding light on the fundamental processes of life on unprecedented timescales. – Surendra Dua
I found this year’s Laser Safety Officer’s Workshop to be one of the best so far. Taking Ken’s experience in running the past seven events and formalizing the process, a perfect formula was achieved. Focusing talks on “practical laser safety” provides a venue that is just not available anywhere else. The stark honesty of Doug Kresse’s presentation on “Laser Safety Risks for Service Engineers” was both eye opening and jaw dropping. Talks like this one are what keep me coming each year. Kudos to Mike Woods who raised the bar for future workshops, and congratulations and thank you to Ken Barat for fostering the workshop into the industry standard that it has become. – Jamie King, LLNL
The presentations that stood out for me included Uwe Bergmann’s history of SLAC, with a focus on photosynthesis and inclusion of a clip of an old Jimmy Stewart film that made more than one point (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx65Vroy9hI). Alan Fry then reviewed the lab set up at SLAC, which is a masterpiece of ingenuity with the laser systems residing above the labs, fully enclosed beam energy delivered “through” the floor.
The next morning DeWayne Holcomb from the University of Texas, gave his presentation on “Laser Safety at a Research University.” This talk was especially good, I thought, because it was so heartfelt. It was presented as DeWayne talking to his peers, relating his experiences, and making suggestions as to how to integrate laser safety into the university setting to get the best buy-in. He showed a number of “smart people on a budget” moves that were frightening.
Josh Hadler gave a presentation on “Laser Pointer Characterization and Evaluation at NIST,” that ultimately carried over (from 9:30am) to the vendor reception, where Josh tested workshop attendees’ laser pointers on the NIST homemade device.
The workshop closed with a plaque presentation to Ken Barat. A beautiful plaque was made by John Hansknecht (Laser Safety Systems), and a touching speech was delivered by Jamie King, a phenomenal achievement − Ken was left speechless.
We love you Ken, and know that in retirement you will be even more active in the laser safety community than you were at LBL. – Barbara Sams