Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on January 30, 1997, at Argonne National Laboratory


S. Barr, R. Bubeck, S. Dierker, R. Harlow, G. Long, D. Moncton (for Project Update and Close-Out only), G. Shenoy (for Project Update, part of Executive Session, and Close-Out only), L. Soderholm, M. Sutton, S. Sutton, and J. Tischler

Project Update:

D. Moncton began by mentioning the official opening of the Argonne Guest House on January 8. So far, operations have been fairly smooth, with only minor concerns expressed by guests. A chef has now been hired, and the projected opening date for the restaurant is in early March.

At present, the DOE is between budget cycles. The president's budget for FY 1998 has not yet been released. By the April Users meeting, the APS should have more details. Since the APS is only one quarter into the FY 1997 budget, it is too soon to tell what the year-end funding situation will be.

A preliminary operations schedule has been drawn up for the rest of this fiscal year; this schedule calls for 1968 hours of operation for Users from April 1 through September 30, which is a significant increase over the number of hours available for Users in the preceding six-month period and very close to the desired 4000 hours annually for Users at this stage of facility commissioning/operations. Through May, front ends will be installed during the shutdown periods; from then on, shutdown periods will be used primarily for routine maintenance.

Accelerator improvement activities planned for 1997 include the commissioning of the experimental station in the Sector 35 insertion-device beamline (diagnostics beamline),the establishment of a hot spares program for the booster and storage ring rf systems by June, the completion of fast feedback orbit control by July, and the establishment of a hot spares program for the linac klystron by October. In addition, the rf beam position monitor improvement program will be on-going throughout the year, and work will begin on establishing a "top-off" mode of operations.

Operational statistics for the last three runs in 1996 and the first run in 1997 show that availability has ranged from a low of 58.9% to a high of 83.2%. The lifetimes during the 1997 run were typically 20 hours, with the majority (3/4) of trips occurring early in the fill and attributable to rf issues.

Moncton concluded by asking the Steering Committee to include a Mini-Symposium commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of synchrotron radiation on the first afternoon of the April Users Meeting in place of the usual scientific talks held then. The scientific talks could then be held on the morning of the second day in place of the usual facility talks arranged by the APS. The APS volunteered to organize the symposium. Moncton presented an outline of a possible program. The Steering Committee agreed that the symposium would be a valuable addition to the meeting program and provide a historical perspective for students and young synchrotron scientists.

Routine Business:

Chair Mark Sutton then moved to routine business. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved, and the status of action items from the previous meeting was reviewed. As part of the Action Item review, Sutton reported on the selection of the Compton Prize winner(s) and indicated that the Program Evaluation Board (PEB) has indicated a willingness to serve as a standing selection committee for future prizes. Steering Committee members agreed to ask the PEB officially to serve in this capacity and recommended that the selection process begin earlier for the next Prize. Sutton also commented on a potential letter to DOE (Pat Dehmer) suggesting issues that from Users' perspective should be included in any review of DOE synchrotron facilities. Committee members agreed to have Sutton draft such a letter and send it for comment to the Steering Committee by e-mail but suggested waiting until the next Steering Committee meeting (which will take place immediately after the Users Meeting) to decide if it will be appropriate to send it. Pat Dehmer is scheduled to speak at the Eighth Users Meeting and will probably address the issue of facility reviews.

Executive Session:

User Meeting Workshop report. Jon Tischler reported that Chairs have been selected for all six workshops and preliminary planning has begun. The final workshops, times, and chairs are as follows:

9:00 am-noon

  • Making and Using Very Small X-ray Beams - Gene Ice, organizer
  • Macromolecular Crystallography - Andy Howard, organizer
  • Surface, Interface, and Thin-film Scattering - Mike Bedzyk, organizer
  • X-ray Scattering Spectroscopies - Eric Isaacs, organizer
  • 1:00-4:00 pm

  • Making and Using Very Small X-ray Beams (contd.) - Gene Ice, organizer
  • Macromolecular Crystallography (contd.) - Andy Howard, organizer
  • Introduction to the APS - Sunil Sinha, organizer
  • Time-Resolved X-ray Techniques - Steve Dierker, organizer
  • The locations of the workshops will be determined as soon as registrations have been received. The Bldg. 402 lecture hall and meeting rooms are available, as is the Bldg. 401 seminar room (A1100) and three open office areas in Bldg. 438. Box lunches will be available for purchase in the atrium of Bldg. 401 during the lunch break.

    User Meeting Program report. Jon Tischler briefly reviewed the agenda for Wednesday, April 16, and Thursday, April 17. Wednesday morning will consist of an APS update, a DOE update, announcement of the Compton Prize winner(s), and the Compton Prize lecture. The afternoon session will be the mini-symposium, and the reception and banquet at Chicago's Field Museum will follow immediately after the afternoon session. Thursday morning is reserved for User science talks, and Jon asked for suggestions from the Steering Committee. Suggestions included work at SBC (probably Wayne Hendrickson), nuclear Bragg scattering (Ercan Alp), speckle work at IMM (Simon Mochrie, Brian Stephenson, or Mark Sutton), high-pressure work at GeoCARS (Russ Hemley), microfocusing (Wenbing Yun or Eric Isaacs), polymer scattering (Ben Hsiao), and/or environmental research (Steve Sutton). Jon will contact potential speakers and finalize the Thursday morning program.

    Nominating Committee report. Ron Pindak asked for comments on the potential slate of nominees for the Steering Committee, which he had previously e-mailed to Committee members. The proposed slate is as follows: Randy Alkire (SBC-CAT), Cele Abad-Zapatero (Abbott Laboratory), Simon Bare (UOP), Paul Bertsch (Univ. of Georgia), Peter Eng (The University of Chicago), Eric Isaacs (Lucent Technologies), Denis Keane (DND-CAT), Satyendra Kumar (Kent State Univ.), Roger Leach (DuPont), Mark Schlossman (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago), Janet Smith (Purdue Univ.), and George Srajer (SRI-CAT). A question was raised as to the appropriateness of APS employees serving as Steering Committee members. Following considerable discussion and a review of APSUO by-laws, it was agreed that APS employees who are APS Users (SRI-CAT members or Independent Investigators) are eligible to serve on the APSUO Steering Committee.

    User Meeting logistics. Susan Barr briefly outlined the schedule for the week. The Research Directorate will meet on Monday afternoon. Workshops, the self-guided tour, poster session, and opening reception will take place on Tuesday. Tuesday evening is open for CAT meetings. Wednesday's and Thursday's science sessions will be as described earlier by Jon Tischler. In addition, Thursday morning will include the APSUO business meeting and Steering Committee election. A luncheon for incoming and outgoing Steering Committee members will be held at the Argonne Guest House immediately after the morning session. The Argonne Guest House will be the main hotel used for the meeting, and each CAT will be assigned a "quad" unit to use as a"headquarters."

    APSUO by-laws review. Steering Committee members reviewed the current by-laws and decided that no changes were necessary at this time.

    Independent Investigator program planning. Mark Sutton reported that several CATs are beginning to plan for Independent Investigator (II) access and asked Steering Committee members what role they feel the APSUO should have in the process since the APSUO represents all Users. Following discussion, it was agreed that representation on review committees would allow the APSUO to champion the interests of Independent Investigators. Currently, the Chair of the APSUO sits on the PEB and a representative of the APSUO (John Quintana) sits on the APS Independent Investigator Plan Review Committee. The Steering Committee considered that representation to be adequate. Additionally, the Steering Committee directed M. Sutton to request that all CATs use a common form for II proposal submissions.

    Follow-up Action Items:

    1. Invite the Program Evaluation Board to serve as a standing selection committee for the APS Compton Prize (M. Sutton).
    2. Revise descriptions of APS Compton Prize and process as soon as the PEB agrees to serve as a standing selection committee (S. Barr).
    3. Finalize User Science program for Thursday, April 17, 1997 (J. Tischler).
    4. Obtain biographies for slated candidates for the APSUO Steering Committee (R. Pindak).
    5. Finalize and distribute registration information for the Eighth User Meeting (S. Barr)

    Close Out:

    M. Sutton reported on the Executive Session discussions, indicating that the Steering Committee is enthusiastic about the User Meeting program, including the mini-symposium.

    Next Meeting:

    The next meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee will be held on Thursday, April 17, 1997, at 1:00 pm in the Argonne Guest House.