Next on the ATIC docket is finding the best candidate to run the operation. LEDA President Gregg Gothreaux says a search committee has recently forwarded him three finalists for the job of the center's director and he plans to fill the position in the coming weeks. The new ATIC director ' set to make an upper five-figure salary ' will primarily be a salesman for the center and also will become LEDA's chief information officer. (The state granted LEDA and ULL a $17 million grant for the construction of ATIC, which is expected to operate self-sufficiently after its opening.) Offices rented out to the university and other businesses are expected to cover the bulk of the building's basic maintenance, but the visualization lab has yet to secure an operating fund. The new director's main job will be lining up clients.
ATIC's main attraction will be its six-sided "immersive visualization cave" ' one of less than 10 in the world. Planners say the center will provide businesses and researchers with a one-of-a-kind tool. Other visualization centers are now being used for oil and gas companies to explore seismic data, for engineers to design and test machinery, and for training programs for a variety of workers including utility techs and emergency responders. UL, which is also a partner on the project, is in the process of bringing in new researchers and staff to work specifically with ATIC.
According to sources close to the project, SGI's bid includes building what would now rank as one of the top 100 supercomputers in the world for the center, supplying the majority of its other computers and electronics and bringing in business to help with the visualization center's operating costs. SGI will share revenue with ATIC for services it sells out of the center to its corporate clients. The SGI name will also be attached in some form to the ATIC center.
"In the end, after all was said and done, [SGI] offered the most comprehensive package," says a source at UL.
SGI is best known for the technology it develops for big name clients from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. The company provides some of the cutting edge innovations used in major film studio special effects and in the national government's satellite surveillance and anti-ballistic missile defense systems. SGI also is the technological force behind Landmark Graphics, a Halliburton-owned software and visualization service provider for oil and gas exploration.
SGI landed the ATIC contract after more than a year of negotiating between LEDA, the university and the country's top computer manufacturers. The other finalists for the contract included IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Sun Microsystems. Sources say LEDA was set to award the contract to IBM in July, before IBM pulled back on its proposal due to its own internal deliberations. As a result, ATIC now represents SGI's first substantial venture into Louisiana.
"I think SGI will pay more attention to [the center]," says a source close to the negotiations. "In the grand scope of things, this is statistically significant to them. Plus IBM is already in the state and SGI wasn't and now they are."
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.