All-Hands on the new organization.

Here’s my usual disorganized notes about what I heard/saw today.

The starting slide was “Getting the Job Done” and it was up when I came in, so I suspected it would be a theme. Sure enough, Matt said it was a theme.

Matt said there was a lot of turbulence over the past few years, and a desire for change, but Matt believes the turbulence is about to end, and we’ll be able to focus on getting the job done. Matt put up an upside-down org chart. He and Mike are here to support us and to balance the needs of missions and Divisions. The goal was to flatten the organization and get decisions pushed down to the working level.

Duccio will step aside as head of SPD; he will now focus on making ESA/STScI partnership work for JWST as well as it does for JWST. SPD and SD are gone, and now we have the Science Mission. Science is a deliverable, so we should be focusing on that as we do any other deliverable. Antonella Nota will lead the Science Mission. Bruce Margon will support OPO (still under Jim Manning) and a new Science Communications group led by Bob Brown. The Senior Science staff is working on how the will organize themselves.

OT and PM are no longer part of STScI. Peg Stanley will support the current CP and some resource management people. The groups will run themselves; Peg is supposed to support them. CSC will take on a more important role.

Matt’s part in the changes is done. Now the Divisions will look at their organization and see if they are set up to get the job done. ESS and INS are doing that right now.

New web site: This week in HST. Cool.

HST will have new life, if the Shuttle works. NASA has made a decision on contract renewal, but we don’t know what that decision is. Matt says it doesn’t matter, because either way we will win. We will have to get the job done of making SM-4 a great success. If we do that, we’ll be fine.

For JWST, things are challenging. JWST is front and center for the debate of space science in the United States. No longer a study mission, every flight mirror has been cast, and is now awaiting polishing. There are over 1000 people working on JWST now, a few of them here. We are playing a larger role in shaping the JWST message, and are taking a larger role in understanding the telescope and instrumentation.

Cool metric: Is there a K-12 school anywhere in the nation without a Hubble image somewhere in the building?

CMO will create a New Initiatives Office to look beyond JWST for new business. The first effort will be a conference in November: Astrophysics Enabled by the Return to the Moon.

Bill Smith thinks things are really improving in our relationship with NASA, in no small part because we’re the science center for NASA’s two highest priority science missions. So Bill likes the notion of an org chart that’s upside-down, with customers & users at the top.

Bill had four awards to give out.
1) Two-Gyro Science Mode Team Award. Accepted by Carey Myers for the team (and he’s not an AURA employee.) Two Gyro also won a NASA group achievement award.
2) Babak Saif for developing a speckle interferometer to verify the shape and rigidity of the JWST primary mirror support structure.
3) Tony Krueger got the Service Award for his work on the proposal and planning systems from ASSIST to APT.
4) Mario Livio got the Science Award for 435 publications in the last 20 years. Mario also got a University of Washington lectureship. Very cool lecture series.

Rusty Whitman got a commendation letter from the JWST project for his work on FITSWriter.

Perelli InterNetional award to Roeland van der Marel and his team for a web site on black holes.

One Gyro has completed CDR; IT Infrastructure Upgrade passed a Goddard Review.

Peg got asked about the desktop computing strategy. She says the IT Infrastructure upgrade is the first part of that, to get network and storage. Then a phase-in of a managed desktop solution.

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