Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on August 20, 1998, at Argonne National Laboratory 


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

Routine Business:

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. The action items from the 6/18/98 APSUO Steering Committee Meeting were also reviewed.

APS Update:

David Moncton stated that operations have been going well, with availability running at about 94%. The new Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson, is scheduled to visit the APS on Friday, September 25. If the visit occurs as planned, the machine will be shut down for a few hours to accommodate the secretary's tour of the facility. Plans to switch to electrons and implement top-up mode have not changed since the previous Steering Committee meeting. The timing of the phase-in plan to establish top-up operations is still being determined.

Moncton indicated that no significant changes have taken place regarding the APS budget since his report to the Steering Committee in June; the Energy and Water Bill is waiting for the Conference Committee meeting.

Two new national committees are being formed that could have an impact on the APS. The first is a panel established by BESAC focusing on fourth-generation sources. It is chaired by chemist Steve Leone, a new member of BESAC. The panel's origin is linked to the Birgeneau report, which committed 2% of the synchrotron budget to R&D activities in the development of next-generation sources. The synchrotron user community needs to become involved with this committee to keep the FEL initiative afloat. The group was asked to provide names of users who are familiar with the concepts of coherence and time dependence to be recommended for committee membership.

The second panel described was a National Research Council (NRC) panel. This panel is aimed at establishing guidelines to advise agencies on how they can best interact with different facilities (synchrotron, neutron, etc.). Their initial announcement was distributed for informational purposes. Synchrotron radiation is now important enough to the science of many research communities that access to facilities is becoming an issue. The NRC panel will have its first meeting September 14-15, 1998.

Many new CAT proposals have been submitted for sectors beyond the first 20. SRI-CAT signed its MOU in May and was assigned Sector 4. That leaves only three unassigned sectors with LOM space remaining. COM-CAT, which is very close to signing a MOU, is earmarked for Sector 32. Three CATs (HP-CAT, NE-CAT, and SER-CAT) have submitted proposals. These three are competing for the two remaining sectors.

This fiscal year, the APS set aside $750K for LOM construction to support new CATs. It was thought that construction would begin during the summer of 1998, with the expectation that additional funding would be available in the FY 1999 budget to continue construction. Given the current FY 1999 financial scenario, there is not enough budget flexibility to pursue LOM construction. Thus, the $750K (with an additional $150K from Bill Oosterhuis) is being redirected to construction of the centralized liquid-nitrogen system.

Continued development of the APS is possible only if the funding recommendations of the Birgeneau report are completed. Moncton stated that the synchrotron community must let DOE know how important it is that synchrotron-related initiatives be funded. Ernie Moniz, DOE undersecretary, is a critical link in the DOE funding scheme. To ensure that the incremental funding increases come through, the various user organizations (APS, SSRL, NSLS, and ALS) have prepared letters to send to Moniz and others (the new BESAC chairman and Martha Krebs). Jon Tischler asked the APSUO members for their support and passed the letters around for review.

Moncton briefly discussed special operating mode (SOM) requests and scheduling. The question of what constitutes an acceptable SOM was raised. Moncton stated that SOMs cannot decrease beam current. The APS remains committed to full-current operation at 100 mA.

Executive Session:

Ninth Users Meeting for the APS: Programs and workshops: A copy of the registration booklet was included in the meeting packets. Susan Strasser stated that as soon as it was printed, the registration information would be sent to the APS User list and people who returned cards requesting the material. The information will be posted on the WWW and an e-mail will be sent out announcing the availability of registration information.

Steve Dierker noted that the announcement time of the poster contest winners needs to be moved to Wednesday, October 14 (after the poster presentations). Dierker also thanked the workshop organizers who were present. The User Science sessions were listed in the booklet but no details were provided. Dierker is currently working on the content of those sessions and hopes to have the material finalized in early September. The committee was asked to provide input on the User Science sessions to Dierker.

Ninth Users Meeting for the APS: Logistics, etc.: Strasser noted that the location of the poster presentations was moved to LOM 438 from the Argonne Guest House (AGH) dining room. This change was necessary due to severe time constraints at the Guest House for poster set-up and take-down. She also noted that the type of poster boards being used was changed. The poster boards are 4' x 8' cork boards on legs. The boards are divided into two 4' x 4' spaces that are at eye level. Each pentagon in LOM 438 can hold up to 50 posters.

Space assignments for workshop locations will be based on the number of attendees that sign up for each. Strasser reviewed potential workshop locations.

Other User meeting logistics were discussed. The menu for the meeting banquet has not yet been chosen. Strasser announced that she has selected a Totes®-type umbrella to be the meeting giveaway. The umbrellas will be royal blue and will have the APS logo on the bottom of the handle. Plans call for the meeting tent to be set up with heating available if the weather is inclement. Food (continental breakfasts and lunches) will be provided by the AGH. The AGH will be providing CATs with a selection of food packages for the CAT Open Houses. The policy of no alcohol on the experiment hall floor was reiterated.

The call for posters was briefly reviewed, and some names were suggested as potential reviewers for the graduate student poster competition (Sunil Sinha and Simon Mochrie). George Srajer will develop a review panel. The cash prize for the competition has not yet been determined; when the amount is chosen, it will be posted on the meeting WWW site. Thus far, 18 vendors have registered and two vendor inquiries have been recently been received. It was noted that both the vendor fee and the attendee fee have increased since the last meeting. Regarding the door prize to encourage meeting attendees to visit the vendors, it was suggested that to be eligible for the drawing, participants must have half of their cards punched.

A variety of potential topics for the User Science sessions were considered. The following topics (and suggested speakers where available) were considered good candidates:

  • earth science topics/Steve Sutton
  • micro-machining capability at the APS/Derek Mancini
  • structural biology/Janet Smith
  • structural-based drug design/Jonathan Greer (Abbott Laboratories)
  • high-pressure, high-temperature work
  • medical imaging/Dean Chapman
  • inelastic scattering/Peter Abbamonte
  • misc. topics/Sunil Sinha

APS Doctoral Fellowship Program: The purpose and methodology of the proposed program were reviewed. After some discussion, it was determined that the financial aspects of the program are a primary concern. It was suggested that the APSUO approach industrial companies to act as sponsors to promote the development of graduate-student work in synchrotron-based research. A small group was selected (Steve Dierker, Peter Eng, and Eric Isaacs) to focus on the problem, develop an action plan, and to identify target companies for the effort.

Cooperation between Users' Organizations: Tischler briefly touched on the subject discussed during the APS update.

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 October 14, 1998.

Action Items:

  1. Provide to David Moncton the names of users familiar with the scientific concepts of FEL research to participate with the BESAC panel (all Steering Committee members).
  2. Switch the announcement time for poster competition winners to Wednesday, October 14 in the 9UM program book (S. Strasser).
  3. Provide feedback to Steve Dierker regarding possible topics for the User Science sessions (all Steering Committee members).
  4. Develop a three-member review panel to evaluate abstracts for the graduate student poster competition (G. Srajer).
  5. Develop a plan of action to identify and pursue industrial companies to seek support for the APS Doctoral Fellowship Program (Steve Dierker, Peter Eng, and E. Isaacs).