Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on October 30, 1997, at Argonne National Laboratory


R. Alkire, R. Bubeck, S. Dierker, P. Eng, E. Isaacs, D. Keane, D. Moncton (APS Update and Close Out only), C. Pittroff, G. Shenoy (APS Update and Close Out only), L. Soderholm, G. Srajer, S. Strasser, S. Sutton, and J. Tischler.

Routine Business:

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved, and committee members were reminded that minutes are simultaneously sent to the committee via e-mail and posted on the Web. Web versions of the minutes and agendas of all previous meetings can be reviewed by clicking APSUO Steering Committee Meetings on the APSUO home page (URL: http://www.aps.anl.gov/apsuo/apsuo_home.html), then typing in "apsuo" for both user name and password. The action items from the 8/14/97 APSUO Steering Committee Meeting were also reviewed.

APS Update:

David Moncton presented a summary of FY 1997 operating statistics. Good progress was made in storage ring performance throughout the year, with availability at 78% overall for the year, and at an average of 85.6% in the fourth quarter of FY 1997 due to a reduction in the rf fault rate. The first half of the FY 1998 schedule is currently on the Web. For FY 1998, 4512 operations hours are projected, with a goal of 90% availability. To date in the first quarter of FY 1998, availability has been at 94.6% with an average fill duration without fault of 49 hours. Currently 10+ beamline shutters are open at any given time during User operations. Average utilization in FY 1997 was 36% on commissioned ID beamlines, and 35% on commissioned BM beamlines. These numbers are expected to increase during FY 1998.

Gopal Shenoy presented a summary of the Birgeneau Committee's presentation to BESAC on October 8-9, 1997. He began with the charge to the panel, and reviewed committee membership, the agenda, the findings of the committee, and recommended priorities. Discussion was held about how the findings of the report could impact the APS. The final report is expected in mid-November, 1997.

D. Moncton spoke briefly about fourth-generation R&D at the APS. He reviewed the system layout for the LEUTL (Low Energy Undulator Test Line) and the strategy for procuring undulators that would be used first on the LEUTL to test the FEL concept and later on the storage ring when needed to expand beamline capacity.

Executive Session:

Ninth Users Meeting for the APS: Steve Dierker commented that holding the Compton Award presentation at the banquet as suggested at the last Steering Committee meeting may not give the award the dignity it deserves and may present some logistical difficulties (e.g., use of overheads during acceptance talks). It was decided to keep the award presentation and acceptance talk(s) on the first morning of the User Meeting.

In his role as Program Chair of the meeting, S. Dierker asked the Committee if there were any subjects of interest to Users that could be offered as suggestions for facility-related talks; timing structure of the storage ring and future developments at the APS were mentioned.

The following additions to the meeting agenda were discussed: a reception at the Guest House on Monday evening, time for CAT meetings on Wednesday evening, and a poster session on Tuesday afternoon before the banquet (with refreshments to draw people in). Susan Strasser suggested that the group consider an APSUO-sponsored student competition in conjunction with the poster session. The posters must be on synchrotron-related work (not necessarily done at the APS). Discussion was held on how to identify qualifying papers, choose prizes, and possibly have a vendor or vendors also sponsor an award.


Revised Ninth Users Meeting Timetable


Monday 10/12



Vendor set-up


Reception at the Guest House

Tuesday 10/13




User Meeting facility/agency talks/Compton Award presentation


User Meeting scientific talks/Poster Session



Wednesday 10/14


User Meeting scientific talks/APSUO Business Meeting and Election


APSUO Workshops


CAT meetings

Thursday 10/15

all day:

APSUO Workshops

Topics for workshops and scientific talks were discussed. The results of the suggestions are summarized below.


Scientific Talks


High-Pressure Applications

Macromolecular Crystallography (1 day)

Industrial Applications Overview

Introduction to the APS (1/2 day)
Molecular Environmental Science (1/2 day)
Microfocusing (1/2 day)
Time-Resolved Technology (1/2 day)

Possible workshop topics include instrumentation, spectroscopy, and an industrially related technique. It was also suggested that the APS be asked about priorities for technique-specific beamlines, with a workshop to be held on the technique having the highest priority.

Locations for the banquet were discussed. S. Strasser reported that the Adler Planetarium was no longer a choice due to renovations that will keep it closed to the public until November, 1998. A variety of locations were evaluated by the group, boiling down to three possible sites: the Museum of Contemporary Art (capacity is a potential problem), the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Shedd Aquarium. S. Strasser pointed out that some facilities mandate selection of caterers from their own list; others allow you your own choice.

Independent Investigator (II) Satisfaction Questionnaire: Randy Alkire distributed a two-page, 10-question draft questionnaire intended to gather information from IIs at the end of a run to evaluate their experience at the beamline. The group felt the form was very thorough in covering important aspects of II satisfaction. Each CAT could derive its own questionnaire, tailoring the questions for specific beamline characteristics.

Compton Award Planning: S. Strasser reviewed the draft nomination letter and Web pages describing the award. She asked the group to review the material and provide feedback.

Close Out:

D. Moncton, S. Dierker, G. Shenoy, S. Strasser, and J. Tischler attended the session. J. Tischler reviewed the topics discussed during the Executive Session. D. Moncton indicated that a two-hour time slot would be satisfactory for facility issues.

Action Items:

  1. Review the draft nomination letter and supporting material for the APS Compton Award and provide feedback for revision to S. Strasser (all Steering Committee members).
  2. Provide feedback to R. Alkire on the draft II Satisfaction questionnaire (all Steering Committee members).