Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on April 30, 1998, 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. The action items from the 1/29/98 APSUO Steering Committee Meeting were also reviewed.

APS Update:

David Moncton provided the APS update. He told committee members that Argonne National Laboratory Director Dean Eastman will be stepping down as of July 1, 1998. Eastman will assume faculty status at The University of Chicago (U. of C.). Moncton reminded the group that U. of C. has the principal executive responsibility, as the Lab's contractor, to appoint a replacement for Eastman with Department of Energy (DOE) approval. No decisions have been made regarding the approach U. of C. will take in seeking to fill the directorship.

Moncton reviewed recent developments in the FY 1999 budget scenario. The Budget Committee sets caps on federal budget spending. The Appropriations Committee then gives allocations to each of the 13 subcommittees. The Energy and Water Subcommittee then marks up the President's budget, dividing funding between water projects and the DOE. At this time, water projects have a shortfall of approximately $800M. Funds to make up this deficit could potentially be taken from the DOE portion. A User mailing effort to prevent the funds from coming out of the DOE budget has been launched (with DOE concurrence). This effort will direct letters to Appropriations Committee members, with copies sent to the Energy and Water Subcommittee.

The FY 1999 President's budget for the APS is up approximately $5M over the actual funds provided during FY 1998. Some credit for the additional funds can be attributed to the Birgeneau panel report, as well as an inflationary increase. Not all of the panel's requests have been addressed, however, probably because of the timing of the distribution of the report (e.g., about $9M in funds for APS beamline development and free-electron laser (FEL) work has not yet been allocated).

Moncton stated that for the second half of FY 1998, the APS has shifted to an operational schedule geared to provide 5000 annual hours of operation (compared to 4833 hours of user operations at ESRF during 1997). Moncton presented a summary of beam delivery, reliability, and fault data from the last run.

Moncton outlined plans to further use the extensive diagnostics systems on the ring to provide continuous monitoring of beam stability and emittance data for the User community.

The first tests of top-up mode are planned for the May-June run, and a one-week run in top-up mode is tentatively scheduled for September. Plans call for a switch to electrons during the December shutdown. Moncton stated that studies have indicated that a current stability of 10-3 should be achievable. A 30-milli-second damping time will be required to re-establish beam stability after injection. Operation with electrons should significantly enhance injector reliability. The planned tests will provide a good opportunity for comparison between running with positrons and electrons.

Much progress is being made on the development of a testing facility for FEL components. A new linac gun for the FEL studies has been borrowed from Brookhaven National Laboratory. First beam into the transport-booster area is planned for the May-June run, and FEL studies are scheduled for the December shutdown. The purchase order for the 3.3-cm period undulators for the low-energy undulator test line has gone out and delivery is expected by September.

Moncton reviewed the current status of new potential CATs (COM-CAT, HP-CAT, NE-CAT, SER-CAT, SG-CAT, and SRI-CAT's fourth sector), their areas of research, and major participating institutions. Laboratory office module (LOM) space is currently available for four of these six potential CATs. Some funding has been set aside to begin construction on a new LOM, but the FY 1999 budget cannot absorb the entire construction cost (approx. $5M). Moncton hopes that the influx of biology-related Users will provide motivation for the National Institutes of Health to fund some LOM infrastructure costs.

The issue of proximate dates between the NSLS and APS User meetings has brought about the suggestion from NSLS that the two laboratories hold their User meetings jointly. An APS User poll conducted in April 1997 overwhelmingly supported an 18-month interval for the frequency of APS User meetings. It was suggested that the NSLS consider holding their meetings on an 18-month interval out of phase with the APS.


Gopal Shenoy presented two proposals for consideration. The proposed Compton School for Multidisciplinary Applications of Synchrotron Radiation and Neutrons format was reviewed, and action items for the preparation of a funding proposal to the National Science Foundation were discussed. A trial school in 1999 was suggested. The draft justification was distributed to the group for review. The second proposal focused on DOE User-facility participation in the American Physical Society Centennial Meeting, March 1999. A special exhibit on 100 Years of X-Rays has been proposed. Shenoy encouraged everyone to send proposals for one of the Focused Sessions at the meeting.

Executive Session:

Ninth Users Meeting for the APS: Programs and workshops: Steve Dierker announced that six workshops (an increase from four) are now being planned for the meeting, necessitating the need for parallel workshops. Changes were made to both titles and organizers since the last meeting.



Workshop Title


Full day

Microscale and Molecular Environmental Science

Lynda Soderholm
Steve Sutton

Full day

Microbeams: Techniques and Applications

Eric Isaacs
Barry Lai
Cyrus Safinya

Full day

Structural and Functional Biology

Cele Abad-Zapatero
Grant Bunker

Full day

Industrial R&D with Synchrotron Radiation

Kevin D'Amico
Steve Wasserman

Half day

Introduction to the APS

Denny Mills

Half day

Optics Metrology and Fabrication Workshop for Users

Al Macrander

It was suggested that a non-COM-CAT person be added as an organizer for the industrial workshop. Bob Bubeck was selected based on past experience in the realm of industrial research. A concern was expressed that the Optics Metrology and Fabrication workshop will not draw enough attendees to make its inclusion in the User meeting worthwhile. It was decided that the focus and content of the workshop would be discussed further with Al Macrander.

The layout for parallel workshops was decided.


Wednesday (afternoon only), Oct. 14

Thursday, Oct. 15

  • first half of Microbeams
  • all day Microscale and Molec. Environ
  • first half Structural Biology
  • all day Industrial R&D
  • Introduction to the APS
  • a.m. second half of Microbeams


  • a.m. second half of Structural Biology


  • p.m. Optics Metrology

Ninth Users Meeting for the APS: Logistics, etc.: Susan Strasser outlined potential sites for the poster session, including the Building 438 LOM and the Building 401 5th-floor viewing area. The Argonne Guest House dining room was a well-accepted suggestion as a possible poster session site, and it was further suggested that wine and cheese could be furnished. Strasser will find out about the availability of the dining room for this event.

The Wednesday evening time slot has been left open to provide an opportunity for CAT meetings. It was thought that the evening could be expanded to become a hospitality night for the CATs, and could include self-guided tours around the ring. Strasser will ask the Argonne Guest House to develop food and beverage packages for the CATs could choose from. Permission to serve alcoholic beverages on site will have to be obtained.

Strasser solicited the group for ideas on the meeting souvenir. Suggestions included coffee mugs, thermal travel mugs, clocks, bags, tee shirts, and mouse pads. Strasser and Dierker will discuss the ideas further.

1998 APSUO Nominating Committee: A letter soliciting nominations was prepared by Eric Isaacs and George Srajer. Linda Carlson will distribute the letter via e-mail to the User community. It was noted that a brief article on the subject will appear in the upcoming issue of CAT Communicator.

Role of the APSUO in User communication: Jon Tischler confirmed that everyone present had received the e-mail asking Users to participate in the letter-writing campaign to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. It was noted that the letter had a NSLS return address on it because the APS User community didn't have an outside means of distributing the request. It was decided that the APSUO should establish its own Web site for future mailings.

APSUO By-laws review: Strasser will prepare a draft revision of the by-laws to make them reflect actual APSUO practice (e.g., remove the word "annual" from the document where it refers to frequency of User meetings). The steering committee will review the draft prior to the User meeting where it will be voted on by the APSUO membership.

APSUO subcommittee on User orientation: Strasser proposed that members of the APSUO participate in an evaluation of the User orientation process. She noted that the on-line orientation and the APS User Guide are currently being revised, and that badging new Users at the time of orientation will soon be available. Peter Eng, Denis Keane, and Tischler volunteered to participate in the evaluation.

Close Out:

Moncton, Dierker, Shenoy, Strasser, and Tischler attended the session. Tischler and Dierker reviewed the topics discussed during the Executive Session.

Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee will be June 18, 1998.

Action Items:

  1. Find out what exhibits are currently planned for the American Physical Society's Centennial meeting (S. Dierker, S. Strasser).
  2. Consider preparing symposia for the special sessions of the American Physical Society's Centennial meeting (all Steering Committee members).
  3. Investigate holding the 9UM poster session in the Argonne Guest House dining room (S. Strasser).
  4. Request that the Guest House provide the CATs with a choice of food and beverage packages for the hospitality evening (Wednesday, October 14) planned for 9UM (S. Strasser).
  5. Distribute the letter soliciting nominations for the APSUO Steering Committee election via e-mail to the User community (L. Carlson).
  6. Investigate establishing an APSUO Web site (S. Strasser).
  7. Notify Peter Eng, Denis Keane, and Jon Tischler via e-mail about evaluating and providing feedback on the APS orientation process (S. Strasser).